Legal News

Book Riot has reported that Virginia state delegate and lawyer Tim Anderson and Republican Congressional candidate Tommy Altman are suing Barnes & Noble in Virginia Beach Circuit Court to stop sales of fantasy A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas and Gender Queer: A Memoir by Maia Kobabe, calling passages that include sexual language “obscene.”Anderson claims the court found “probable cause that the books… are obscene to unrestricted viewing by minors.”He seeks an injunction to stop B&N, and Virginia Beach schools, from selling or loaning those titles to minors without parental permission. This may not be the last such legal challenge; An­derson says, “We are in a major fight. Suits like this can be filed all over Virginia. There are dozens of books. Hundreds of schools.”For more: <>.

A Maryland law that would have forced publishers to allow libraries to lend their ebooks has been ruled unconstitutional.

Deborah L. Boardman, a federal judge, granted a declaratory judgment in favor of the Association of American Publishers, who challenged the law. Boardman said the law was “unconstitutional and unenforceable because it conflicts with and is pre­empted by the Copyright Act.”The AAP had re­quested a permanent injunction, but the judge de­clined, ruling that “such declaratory relief obviates the need for a permanent injunction…. [The] State never enforced the law and represents it will not en­force it in the future…. The Court has declared the Maryland Act unconstitutional and may reasonably assume the State will abide by the declaration.”She did impose a temporary injunction in February 2022, pending her final ruling.

The employees’ union of Pen America, Pen America United, has been voluntarily recognized by management, and will now go on to negotiate a contract. The union demanded recognition on December 9, 2020. The union wrote, “We want to work towards a Pen that commits to providing fair and equitable compensation, including clear and consistent policies around salary minimums, increases, and promotions…. A Pen that adequately addresses the root causes of burnout and second­ary trauma, and promotes an organizational cul­ture of transparency, equity, and responsiveness.”Pen America, founded in 1992, is a non-profit that “stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. We champion the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Our mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.”For more: <me­­tion-is-needed-at-nonprofits-c53b9b34c9a5>.

This report and more like it in the July 2022 issue of Locus.

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