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Bookmobile highlights copyright case

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A bookmobile is traveling from San Francisco to Washington, DC to bring attention to a copyright case being argued before the Supreme Court on October 9th. There is a photo of the bookmobile and a mention of it towards the end of an article in today’s New York Times.

Stephen Levy profiled Prof. Laurence Lessig who will argue that a 1998 law extending copyrights by 20 years should be struck down. Lessig has a blog and wrote about finishing the brief. Levy has a follow-up piece in this week’s Newsweek.

I went to an open house before the Internet Archive Bookmobile left last week. They have been giving away public domain books available on the internet. The books are printed out and bound for a cost of about a buck a book. But unless the Supreme Court strikes down the law, no new books (or movies or songs) will enter the public domain for twenty years. An article previewed the Bookmobile’s visit to Akron, Ohio on Saturday.

At the open house, I picked up copies of Huckleberry Finn, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and the Marvelous Land of Oz (the last two complete with color illustrations).

Brewster Kahle who founded the Internet Archive and is driving the Bookmobile accompanied by his eight year old son hopes it will continue to travel and give away books after they return to San Francisco October 11th. He estimates it would cost about $100,000 a year to keep it on the road. One colorful sign on the van says Once Million Books Inside (coming soon) – there is a project to digitize a million books.

This page has images you can put on your webpage and other info on how you can help the case and you can get a Free the Mouse bumpersticker for free.

For more on the case see here and this update on the oral argument with more bookmobile links

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