Dear Editor:

I was surprised to see [AAP General Counsel] Terrence Hart's letter expressing “extreme disappointment” that Publishers Weekly quoted my response to AAP's testimony regarding the Maryland legislation concerning e-book licensing. PW was just engaging in good journalism, providing different points of view concerning a complex policy issue: federal preemption of state legislation. If Mr. Hart believes I made a “false statement,” he knows where to find me to engage in a substantive discussion.

In any event, Mr. Hart overstates the extent of federal preemption of state law regarding the licensing of copyright works. Nothing in the Copyright Act nor the U.S. Constitution prevents the State of Maryland from requiring equitable access to copyrighted works sold in Maryland. By unreasonably discriminating against public libraries, publishers unreasonably discriminate against the populations served by public libraries.


Jonathan Band, Attorney at policybandwidth