Allan Adler, is the General Counsel and Vice President of Government Affairs at the Association of American Publishers.
Most recently Vice President, Legal and Government Affairs, Adler oversees AAP’s legislative, regulatory and judicial activities on behalf of its 300 member organizations. He serves as the US book publishing industry’s chief representative with Congress, the Administration, federal agencies and international bodies such as the World Intellectual Property Organization and oversees strategies for AAP members’ engagement with those authorities.
“Allan has been a superb advocate for the publishing industry,” said Allen. “He has helped safeguard publishers’ intellectual property during a transformational time in content and technology and has offered AAP member organizations intelligent counsel and sound judgment. This new position recognizes his outstanding service to AAP members and his critical role in shaping publishing’s future.”
For the past two decades, Adler has led advocacy with respect to all major AAP policy decisions related to copyright protection, freedom of expression, digital issues, piracy, privacy rights, product safety and public access to scholarly publications. He has presented testimony in hearings before various Congressional committees and participated in numerous rulemaking and other proceedings before the US Copyright Office. Adler’s efforts ensured that publishing interests were addressed in such Congressional legislation as the America COMPETES Act, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property (PRO-IP) Act. Working cooperatively with the library and education communities, he was instrumental in the effort to secure a library and archives exemption in the Sonny Bono Copyright Term Extension Act; a digital distance learning exemption in the Technology, Education And Copyright Harmonization (TEACH) Act; and Senate passage of the proposed Shawn Bentley Orphan Works Act of 2008.
Adler has also led AAP’s collaboration with disabilities advocacy groups to improve availability of accessible content for individuals who are blind, visually impaired or have other print disabilities. This work resulted in the enactment of the Chafee Amendment copyright exception and key provisions in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act, as well as Congressional establishment of the Advisory Commission on Accessible Instructional Materials (AIM) for Post-Secondary Students with Disabilities.
Adler worked successfully to amend the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act to generally exclude ordinary paper-based children’s books from the Act’s lead testing and certification requirements. In addition, he worked with the Federal Trade Commission to develop key guidance addressing the applicability of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act to websites and online services provided by educational publishers as part of school curriculum. In defense of the freedoms to publish and read, he was instrumental in the enactment of the Securing the Protection of our Enduring and Established Constitutional Heritage (SPEECH) Act, which restricts US judicial enforcement of “libel tourism” judgments obtained in foreign courts to silence or intimidate American authors and publishers.
Adler has also managed litigation for AAP members including the copyright infringement lawsuits brought against the Google Library Project and Georgia State University as well as the successful challenge to Treasury Department restrictions against US publishers doing business with authors and publishers in foreign countries that are subject to US trade embargoes and sanctions.
Adler joined AAP from Cohn and Marks, the Washington DC communications law firm. His practice focused on government relations concerning telecommunications, technology and information. From 1981 to 1989, he was Legislative Counsel to the American Civil Liberties Union, working on a broad range of issues related to the public right to obtain and disseminate information, national security, privacy and employees’ rights. For 16 years, he was editor of the Litigation Under the Federal Open Government Laws annual handbook, a popular resource for attorneys. His work was honored with the Playboy Foundation First Amendment Award for Book Publishing. Adler also served as staff attorney with the Center for National Security Studies and Staff Director for the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.
A frequent speaker and panelist, Adler has served as a long-time member of the State Department’s Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy.
A native of New York, he received a B.A. in History from Binghamton University, NY and a J.D. from the National Law Center of The George Washington University.