General Law Committee

JOINT FAVORABLE REPORT

Bill No.:

HB-5614

Title:

AN ACT CONCERNING "E-BOOKS" AND LIBRARIES.

Vote Date:

3/12/2013

Vote Action:

Joint Favorable

PH Date:

2/7/2013

File No.:

SPONSORS OF BILL:

Rep. Brian Sear, 47th District Sen. Kevin Witkos, 8th District

Rep. David Kiner, 59th District Sen. Gary Lebeau, 3rd District

Rep. Sandy Nafis, 27th District Rep. Linda Orange, 48th District

Rep. Bryan Hurlburt, 53rd District Rep. Victor Cuevas, 75th District

Rep. Theresa Conroy, 105th District Rep. Timothy Bowles, 42nd District

Rep. David Zoni, 81st District Sen. Paul Doyle, 9th District

Rep. Geoff Luxenberg, 12th District

REASONS FOR BILL:

The bill would require publishers to offer E-Books to libraries at reasonable prices and afford the libraries the opportunity to provide their users access to these books.

RESPONSE FROM ADMINISTRATION/AGENCY:

None submitted

NATURE AND SOURCES OF SUPPORT:

Rep. Sear, 47th District, is in support of the bill. He testified to the fact that libraries provide an essential role in our society and that there is no downside to libraries. Libraries provide services to the entire population of our towns and cities. This bill would allow libraries to provide access to electronic books. At present there is no clear access for libraries to provide this medium at a fair cost and/or licensing agreement.

Betsy Gara, Executive Director, COST is in favor of the bill. She testified to the fact that COST is interested in reducing “budgetary pressures” on small towns and as such is in favor of reducing costs to libraries in purchasing E-Books.

Christine Bradley, Director, Norwalk Public Library System is in favor of the proposed legislation. In her testimony she explained how the publishing industry is discriminating against libraries in the purchase of E-Books by prohibitive costs and conditions. Libraries are their friend not their enem

.

Jay Johnston, Director, Farmington Library is in favor of the bill. His testimony reflected his concern that libraries cannot sustain, in the 21st century, without the partnership of publishers that they have enjoyed for over 100 years. We need the E-Books from all the publishers for all the books.

Vince Juliano, Assistant Director, Russell Library is in favor of the bill. He testified that he is in favor of the legislation that would require publishers to sell E-Books to public and academic libraries at the same rates as offered to the public. The fact is,that currently, a library never really owns the E-Book but just licenses the title for use.

Carl R. DeMilia, President, Connecticut Library Association is in favor of the legislation. She testified to the inequality of access to the publishers full list of E-Books. This has led to a discriminatory practice of not allowing libraries to buy at the same prices as the general public.

NATURE AND SOURCES OF OPPOSITION:

None submitted

Reported by: Allan D. Spotts

Date: March 25, 2013