Thursday, July 16, 2009

CPSIA - Article on Books

The impact of the CPSIA on books and on libraries has been a magnet for attention. Recently, the New Atlantis published an article by Elizabeth Mullaney Nicol entitled "Keeping Books Safe - A Bad Law Threatens Our Past". It's worth a read. Among other things, Ms. Nicol notes the incentive to create black markets for goods that consumers want but which are outlawed by the CPSIA. What a nice innovation, Congress creating incentives for our economy to mimic the Soviet Union's efficient (and now defunct) system of goods distribution! Comrades, it's a Brave New World. . . .

Ms. Nicol also insightfully comments about why the books issue is so important: "The CPSC has provided an exception for books sold as collectors’ items, not intended for children to be reading. But the availability of these books to children is the very purpose and value of preserving them. We want them in children’s hands, being read, not only preserved on the dusty back shelves of research libraries." And then there's the small issue of the First Amendment.

Check out her article, and break out the hankies. This is your government at work.

4 comments:

Lucky Pebble said...

Thanks for the link, Rick.

Sebastian said...

When I read the CPSC opinion on pens, I wondered why this same criteria wouldn't apply to books. So what if it is a well illustrated story that features children? If it also appeals to adults then it could be claimed to not be a children's product.
Of course since CPSC opinions aren't binding (not to mention the spectre of state AG's not agreeing) then all the older books my kids read (not to mention newer books that unfortunately didn't come with a printing date, only a copyright) are still potentially illicit.

bchiasson said...

Thanks for the articles. In case your readers missed it, here's a link to the CNNMoney story referenced in the Washington Times. http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/12/smallbusiness/toymakers_irate_cpsia_labeling_law.smb/index.htm

bchiasson said...

Sorry for the earlier address that got cut off, here's the full address:

http://money.cnn.com/2009/06/12/smallbusiness/toymakers_irate_cpsia_labeling_law.smb/index.htm