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Unfiltered, unverified information flows freely on the web and is much more easily found and used than reliable sources. There are logical reasons for this, as quality, reliable information often costs both time and money to investigate, verify, and publish. However, that type of investment only justifies the charging for the information at the outset, not the cabining of it once it is available and has been purchased. Where public libraries have acquired content, they should be allowed to maximize its use in society within the bounds of copyright. Such use is within the spirit of copyright and its hope for an informed citizenry and more equal access to information. Private legislation coupled with library collaboration on multiplying access points could make quality information available to the public in a quantity and manner that could help fight the war on misinformation.

Publication Citation

Legal Reference Services Quarterly, forthcoming.