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Library Issues Lobbying

From last week’s Search Engine Journal:
Google & Yahoo Spent $1.36 Million in Lobbying Last Quarter
“Google and Yahoo spent a combined $1.36 Million last quarter in lobbying according to the Associated Press, with Yahoo spending $630,000 and Google topping off at $730,000.
Google spent their lobbying funds the following political efforts :
The agreement to let Google serve advertising on the Yahoo network and regulation of online advertising
Net neutrality rules that would bar ISP’s from favoring or discriminating against Internet traffic
Legislation intended to map the availability of high-speed Internet access in the US
Measures intended to protect children from inappropriate online content and online predators
Federal auctions of wireless spectrum and proposals that would allow the use of “white spaces”
Proposals to crack down on spyware computer programs
Making it illegal for U.S. companies hosting Internet content to give users’ personal information to governments that restrict Internet access
Yahoo’s political lobbying focused on bills which would :
Crack down on spyware and phishing scams.
Require registered sex offenders to furnish their e-mail and instant messaging addresses
Require the U.S. attorney general to have a system that allows social networking Web sites to compare their user lists with the National Sex Offender Registry.
Make it illegal for U.S. companies hosting Internet content, such as Web pages or e-mail, to give users’ personal information to governments that restrict Internet access.
Reverse a ruling by the federal Copyright Royalty Board last year that dramatically increased the royalty rates Internet radio stations must pay artists and record labels.
Lobbying is the attempt to influence government bodies, groups and politicians with contributions, donations and other monetary methods. According to OpenSecrets.org, Google has contributed almost as much in the first two quarters of 2008 than they did in all of 2007.”
It’s an interesting posting of just two of the companies actively seeking to influence the US government. Librarians may even agree with many of these companies’ positions. There are, of course, thousands of other registered lobbyists serving many more companies and associations that have an interest in issues that affect all of the information sector and end users.
If you’re not a member of ALA, SLA and/or other associations seeking to provide informatoin and education on our issues to policymakers, then you should be. While our financial might is quite small in comparison we do have influence and represent the interests of our profession and the balanced rights of end users. If you use no other assoication service, you’re still making a useful contribution.
Thanks.
Stephen
SLA President, ALA member, CLA member. OLA member

Posted on: August 7, 2008, 6:45 am Category: Uncategorized

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