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FREEDOM TO READ FOUNDATION NEWS 50 EAST HURON STREET, CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 60611 PHONE (312) 280-4226 www.ftrf.org ● firstname.lastname@example.org ● www.ftrf.org/ftrfnews.html Judith F. Krug, Executive Director John W. Berry, President Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No.1 March 2005 Friends, Colleagues Remember Gordon Conable Gordon M. Conable, President of the Freedom to Read Inside this issue of FTRF News… Foundation, died unexpectedly on January 12 in Riverside, CA. Gordon said he became a librarian in Victory in Ark. Harmful to Minors case, p. 2 order to pursue his passions of free speech and First FTRF files briefs in Kaczynski, Texas Amendment defense. textbook, and Friends cases, p. 2–3 Letter to Secy. of Education Spellings, p. 4 At the American Library Association (ALA) Midwinter Meeting in Boston, to which he was scheduled to travel Report to ALA Council from Boston, p. 4–7 on January 13, Gordon‘s friends and colleagues came together to reflect how he influenced them both personally and professionally. At the gathering, common The Foundation has established a page on our Web themes emerged: this was a man of fierce intelligence, site, www.ftrf.org, which contains links to several remarkable leadership abilities, and an unwavering pages, including ALA‘s memorial resolution in commitment to his profession and ideals; a man whose Gordon‘s honor, tributes from his employer LSSI and eyes sparkled in the the Association of American Publishers, and obituaries middle of a fiery debate, from around the country. so his opponent knew he was enjoying every Gordon‘s wife, Irene, a longtime Foundation member minute—both because of herself, has asked that any gifts in Gordon‘s name be the discussion of inter- directed to the Gordon M. Conable Memorial Fund, esting ideas, and because established by Freedom to Read Foundation to advance he was able to spend time the causes to which Gordon was most devoted and for with a friend; a man who which he worked most passionately. In the first month cherished his family, of its existence, the Conable Fund raised over $6,500. whose warmth and good humor unfailingly extended If you would like to donate, please contact the FTRF everyone, whether longtime friend or new acquaintance. office at (800) 545-2433 x4226 or e-mail email@example.com. Alternatively, you can send a check, payable to the Gordon was a member and leader of many state and Freedom to Read Foundation, to the Gordon M. national organizations through the years. Certainly his Conable Memorial Fund, c/o Freedom to Read commitment to the Freedom to Read Foundation was Foundation, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. You total. He was an FTRF member for 30 years, president can also give online at www.ftrf.org. Notification of for seven, and also served as treasurer and vice gifts will be sent to Gordon‘s family. president. In 1996, Gordon received the Foundation‘s Roll of Honor award for his ―exemplary service to the At the Midwinter Meeting, John W. Berry, at the time cause of intellectual freedom.‖ vice president, was elected Foundation president; Candace Morgan was elected vice president. Subse- One of Gordon‘s most shining moments came in 1992, quent to Midwinter, former Trustee Eliza T. Dresang when as director of the Monroe County Library System was appointed Trustee through the 2005 Annual (MI) he withstood an intense controversy over Conference, when Conable‘s term was to end. Madonna‘s book Sex. His steadfastness during that difficult period made him a hero to many. Freedom to Read Foundation News Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No. 1 Page 2 Harriet Selverstone Slate for 2005 FTRF Pratt Institute SLIS New York, NY Election Announced Tom Teepen Thirteen candidates for the Freedom to Read Foundation Journalist Board of Trustees have been slated for the 2005 election Atlanta, GA by the Nominating Committee, composed of Trustees John W. Berry, Candace Morgan, and Ginnie Cooper, Mary Elizabeth (Ma’lis) Wendt The New York Public Library Chair. There are six vacancies on the Board to be filled. Bronx, NY Below is the list of candidates slated by the Nominating Committee. According to Foundation election rules, at least two, and no more than three, candidates must be nominated Candidates for Freedom to Read for each vacancy on the Board. Foundation Board, 2005–2007 Persons who wish to nominate candidates by petition John W. Berry should submit 25 signatures of current members of the NILRC: Network of Illinois Learning Resources in Foundation in support of each candidate. Names of Community Colleges petition candidates, and the required signatures to River Forest, IL support each, must be received by the Executive Direc- Therese Bigelow tor of the Foundation no later than March 21, 2005. Kansas City Public Library Kansas City, MO Ballots will be mailed April 1 to all persons holding paid memberships in the Foundation as of that date. Jonathan Bloom Weil, Gotshal & Manges LLP New York, NY Susan Brynteson Updates University of Delaware Library Arkansas “harmful to Newark, DE Mary Kay Dahlgreen Oregon State Library minors” display law ruled Salem, OR unconstitutional David Gunckel Sierra Vista Public Library On November 16, 2004, U.S. District Judge Thomas Mesa, AZ Eisele of the federal court in Little Rock, Arkansas, struck down the provisions of the Arkansas Code Anne Heanue criminalizing the public display of books that are Alexandria, VA inappropriate for younger minors but constitutionally James G. Neal protected as to older minors and adults. The Freedom Columbia University Libraries to Read Foundation was a plaintiff in the case, Shipley, New York, NY Inc. v. Long, along with That Bookstore in Blytheville, the American Booksellers Foundation for Free Judith Platt Expression, the Arkansas Library Association, the Association of American Publishers Washington, DC Association of American Publishers, the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, the International Periodical Jordan Scepanski Distributors Association, and the ACLU of Arkansas. Zayed University Dubai, United Arab Emirates On January 11, 2005, Arkansas appealed Judge Eisele‘s decision to the 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. Freedom to Read Foundation News Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No. 1 Page 3 The Foundation‘s brief is in support of the defendants, New Litigation Warner Bros., and argues that in a creative environment that produces First Amendment protected material, the imposition of a test to determine whether FTRF files amicus in the offending language was ―necessary‖ to the creative output has the effect of stifling the speech of the Unabomber papers case producers and, ultimately, of distributors. The brief, which refers to a more extensive amicus brief In October, the Foundation partnered with the Society of submitted by the newspaper industry, focuses on the American Archivists (SAA) to file an amicus curiae effect the ruling would have on the book community, brief urging the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to specifically the ability of authors to create books with a reverse a lower court‘s decision allowing the ―free exchange of ideas and information during the government to withhold public access to the original creative and editorial process,‖ threatening to lead to ―a writings of Ted Kaczynski, who pled guilty to the diminution of works addressing sensitive topics.‖ ―Unabomber‖ crimes. The government has refused to release Kaczynski‘s original journals, which he desires to donate to the University of Michigan. The brief, filed by the ACLU of Northern California on behalf of FTRF FTRF joins amicus in and the SAA, asserted that the documents in question should be preserved and made accessible to scholars, Texas textbook appeal researchers, and the public, without taking a position on FTRF filed an amicus brief in conjunction with the the how this objective is achieved. American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression and the National Coalition Against Censorship in The case, Kaczynski v. United State of America, is support of author Daniel Chiras and a group of students currently pending before the Ninth Circuit. and parents who are fighting the Texas State Board of Education‘s decision to reject Chiras‘ textbook, Environmental Science: Creating a Sustainable Book organizations files Future. In refusing to adopt Chiras‘ text for use in Texas high-school environmental science classes, the brief in Friends case board said the textbook was ―anti-Christian‖ and ―anti- free enterprise.‖ The Freedom to Read Foundation has joined the Association of American Publishers, the American The plaintiffs appealed the decision of the District Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression, the Comic Court, which ruled that the school board could reject Book Legal Defense Fund, and the Publishers Marketing textbooks if it disagrees with the author‘s viewpoint Association in an amicus brief submitted to the when its viewpoint discrimination is ―reasonably California Supreme Court in the case Lyle v. Warner related to legitimate pedagogical concerns.‖ The brief Bros. The case, involving a sexual harassment claim by from the Freedom to Read Foundation argues that the a former employee of the company that produced the TV First Amendment limits the discretion of school boards show Friends, revolves around the question of whether with respect to curriculum decisions; the ideological the often vulgar language in the writers‘ room, used concerns alleged in the case at hand are not legitimate among the sitcom‘s writers during the creation of the pedagogical concerns; that the procedure the board show, created a hostile workplace environment. used was irregular and suggested constitutionally impermissible motives; and that manipulation of The initial lawsuit was dismissed but the state court of curriculum decisions for partisan purposes harms appeals ruled that the plaintiff could take the matter to a public education and distorts textbook publishing. jury, which could hear arguments on whether the writers‘ discussion was ―creatively necessary‖ for the The case, Chiras v. Miller, is pending before the Fifth show. Circuit Court of Appeals. Freedom to Read Foundation News Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No. 1 Page 4 It is especially disheartening that PBS so readily agreed Other News to cancel distribution of the program. PBS officials have not only demonstrated how vulnerable their professional decisions are to political pressure, they FTRF joins letter protesting also have violated their mission to serve ―all American children.‖ In doing so, PBS disserves its audience and Secretary of Education’s undermines viewers‘ right to make their own selections action on PBS show from a diverse menu of choices. The children who might have enjoyed the program and Below is the text of an open letter signed by the learned something from it are the real losers. Freedom to Read Foundation and others regarding new National Coalition Against Censorship Secretary of Education, Margaret Spellings. American Booksellers Foundation for Free February 1, 2005 Expression Feminists for Free Expression On her second day as Secretary of Education, Margaret First Amendment Project Spellings sent a letter to PBS in which she pressured the Freedom to Read Foundation network into canceling an episode of ―Postcards from PEN American Center Buster,‖ a children‘s program intended to teach about diversity. The program, which is about making maple Note: PBS officials claimed their decision not to syrup and dairy farming in Vermont, features a distribute the “Postcards from Buster” episode was household headed by two women. Their relationship is unrelated to Secretary Spellings’ letter. A number of not defined, nor is sexual orientation mentioned. local PBS stations aired the episode independently. Nevertheless, fearing that some ―parents would not want PBS president and CEO Pat Mitchell announced on their young children exposed to the lifestyles portrayed February 15 that she would not stay on after her in the episode,‖ Ms. Spellings suggested PBS refund contract expires in June 2006. federal money spent on the show and issued a warning to PBS about future support. Secretary Spellings has crossed a critical constitutional Report to Council line. The Supreme Court has recognized as ―a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, … that the 2005 Midwinter Meeting government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or Boston, Massachusetts disagreeable.‖ Nor can the Government ―leverage its power to award subsidies on the basis of subjective The Freedom to Read Foundation reports to the criteria into a penalty on disfavored viewpoints,‖ or American Library Association Council at each Annual employ the power of the purse ―to have a ‗coercive Conference and Midwinter Meeting. The following is effect‘… calculated to drive ‗certain ideas or viewpoints an edited version of the report presented at the 2005 from the marketplace.‘‖ Midwinter Meeting in Boston. The Education Secretary‘s role is not to represent It is with great sadness that I present this report in the exclusively the interests of only one group of parents place of our friend and colleague Gordon Conable, and impose one set of beliefs on everybody else, but to who was President of the Freedom to Read Foundation foster the best possible educational environment for all, and an ALA Councilor. Gordon died unexpectedly this including the children of gay parents. In a free society, past Wednesday, January 12, as he was preparing to parents can decide for themselves and their children attend this meeting. Gordon was an unsurpassed what is, and is not, acceptable viewing. Some parents champion of intellectual freedom, a wise and generous may applaud the segment, others may condemn it; the mentor to many, and a consummate librarian who was vast majority probably would not even recognize sexual a true leader of our profession. He gave many years of orientation as an issue. dedicated service to FTRF, serving as Treasurer, Vice- President, and seven years as President. Freedom to Read Foundation News Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No. 1 Page 5 Above all things, Gordon cherished and adored his wife, used to obtain information about persons not connected Irene, and his son, Edward. He absolutely beamed in any way to terrorism, espionage, or criminal activity; whenever he spoke of them. Our thoughts and prayers and the procedural rules governing the secret Foreign are with them. Intelligence Surveillance Court. The Foundation has established a fund in Gordon‘s We hope for similar success in Muslim Community name, which will be used to advance the causes to which Association of Ann Arbor v. Ashcroft, the facial Gordon was most devoted and for which he worked challenge to Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act, most passionately. Irene has asked that any gifts in which amends the business records provision of the Gordon‘s name be directed to this fund. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act to permit the FBI to obtain all types of business records, including library Building on Gordon‘s contributions and those of so records, without a showing of probable cause. The many others, the work of the Foundation continues. I District Court heard oral arguments on the govern- am pleased to report on the Foundation‘s activities since ment‘s motion to dismiss the plaintiffs‘ complaint in the 2004 Annual Conference: December 2003. We are still awaiting a decision. THE USA PATRIOT ACT AND LIBRARY FTRF joined with other civil liberties groups in PRIVACY AND CONFIDENTIALITY opposing portions of the Intelligence Reform Act of 2004, which would have expanded law enforcement‘s The right to read and access information in the library ability to demand records without government review. anonymously, without government interference, is a While some of the provisions FTRF opposed were bedrock of intellectual freedom. FTRF remains steadfast eliminated from the legislation, troubling provisions for in its efforts to defend this right by opposing portions of national standards for driver‘s licenses were retained the USA PATRIOT Act and other laws threatening and adopted as law. readers‘ rights to privacy and confidentiality. This year, we anticipate a full debate over Section 215 In one key challenge to the USA PATRIOT Act, John and other provisions of the USA PATRIOT Act as the Doe and ACLU v. Ashcroft, we saw a judgment in 2005 sunset date for Section 215 draws closer. The favor of the plaintiff, an Internet Service Provider (ISP), ALA Intellectual Freedom Committee is urging who challenged an FBI-issued National Security Letter everyone to sign the Reader Privacy Petition (NSL) ordering the ISP to turn over certain user records. encouraging the amendment of Section 215; it is On September 29, Judge Marrero of the Southern available online at www.readerprivacy.org. District of New York ruled that the NSL provision in Section 505 of the act, which permits the FBI to compel PRESERVING THE FREEDOM TO READ: the production of information without judicial review, is NEW LITIGATION an unconstitutional infringement on the rights assured by the Bill of Rights. His decision is stayed pending the The Freedom to Read Foundation works to safeguard government‘s appeal. FTRF will continue to support the everyone‘s freedom to read, view, and listen by plaintiffs as amici, joining ALA and ABFFE. participating in lawsuits brought to defend First Amendment rights and the right to freely access The Foundation, in partnership with the ACLU, information. Since the Foundation last reported to challenged the FBI‘s refusal to respond to a Freedom of Council, it has joined in the following lawsuits: Information Act request concerning the Bureau‘s use of Section 215 of the USA PATRIOT Act in ACLU v. Kaczynski v. United States of America: (See p. 2) Department of Justice. The District Court in Washing- ton, D.C., ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, and in June, Chiras v. Miller: (See p. 3) the FBI began to release relevant records and docu- ments. These include a memorandum showing that the FTRF also is monitoring The Center and Hernandez FBI invoked its Section 215 authority a few weeks after v. Lingle, a lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of a Attorney General Ashcroft stated publicly that those library user in Hawaii who was ejected from the library powers had never been used; internal FBI memos by a security guard for viewing the website advising agents that the USA PATRIOT Act could be www.gayhawaii.com. The guard relied upon a state Freedom to Read Foundation News Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No. 1 Page 6 trespass statute that gives public officials broad powers September 6, the Texas Supreme Court issued its to ban individuals from using public spaces. FTRF is opinion in favor of the newspaper. FTRF joined in an not currently a party to this lawsuit. amicus curiae brief supporting the defendants. CONTINUING LITIGATION The Foundation is also involved in these actions: The Foundation is involved in several other lawsuits FCC petition for reconsideration: This petition addressing First Amendment rights. I am pleased to before the Federal Communications Commission report the Foundation‘s success in the following cases: (FCC) asks the agency to reconsider and reverse its decision to impose penalties on NBC for airing an Ashcroft v. American Civil Liberties Union (formerly allegedly indecent comment made by the singer Bono ACLU v. Reno): On June 29, the U.S. Supreme Court during the 2003 Golden Globe Awards. FTRF is one upheld the injunction barring enforcement of the of several organizations that joined together to file the Children‘s Online Protection Act (COPA), a law that petition after the FCC reversed its original order, which proposes restrictions on Internet content deemed had concluded that Bono‘s comment, taken in context, ―harmful to minors.‖ The Court concluded that the was not indecent or obscene. The petition also urges plaintiffs are likely to prevail on their claim that COPA the FCC to set aside new rules imposing more stringent unconstitutionally burdens free speech, holding that punishment on broadcasters for indecency. The petition ―content-based prohibitions, enforced by severe criminal remains pending before the FCC. penalties, have the constant potential to be a repressive force in the lives of a free people.‖ The Court returned United States v. Irwin Schiff, et al.: After the federal the case to the District Court of Eastern Pennsylvania for government successfully sought a temporary a trial to determine whether COPA is the least restrictive restraining order against Irwin Schiff and his publisher, means of achieving the government‘s goal of protecting Freedom Books, forbidding them to publish Mr. children from seeing sexually explicit materials online. Schiff‘s book, The Federal Mafia: How Government Illegally Imposes and Unlawfully Collects Income Video Software Dealers Association, et al. v. Maleng: Taxes, the Foundation filed an amicus brief opposing On July 15, Judge Robert Lasnik struck down the the court‘s use of prior restraint against the book in Washington State law barring the sale or rental to minors order to defend the principle that the First Amendment of any video game containing depictions of violence protects even fringe opinions or beliefs. On August 9, directed against ―public enforcement officers,‖ ruling the the Ninth Circuit handed down a decision affirming the law was an unconstitutional restriction on speech. FTRF lower court‘s order, that Schiff‘s book is deceptive participated as an amicus curiae in the lawsuit with commercial speech and, therefore, not protected by the other members of the Media Coalition. First Amendment. Center for Democracy and Technology v. Pappert Yahoo!, Inc. v. La Ligue Contre Le Racisme et (formerly Center for Democracy and Technology v. L’Antisemitisme: French courts assessed monetary Fisher): The Center for Democracy and Technology penalties against Yahoo! and filed criminal charges succeeded in their legal challenge to a Pennsylvania against its CEO for allowing the sale of Internet statute that allowed a Pennsylvania district attorney or auction items and the posting of book excerpts on its the state‘s Attorney General to order ISPs—including Web site related to the Nazi regime. Such activities libraries—to block access to specified Web sites. On violate French law but are fully protected speech under September 10, the District Court struck down the law, the U.S. First Amendment. Two French organizations finding that it had resulted in the blocking of access to initiated the legal action against Yahoo! in France and more than one million wholly innocent Web sites while won the initial lawsuit. Subsequently, Yahoo! filed having little effect on the approximately 400 child suit in the U.S. to obtain a ruling on the validity of the pornography sites targeted by the law. French court‘s order in light of its users‘ First Amendment rights. After the District Court judge New Times, Inc. v. Isaacks: This defamation lawsuit ruled that the First Amendment barred any enforcement sought damages from an alternative newspaper in Dallas of the French court‘s order in the U.S., the two French after it published a satirical article critical of the groups filed an appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court officials‘ actions in jailing a 13 year-old boy. On of Appeals. That court reversed the ruling on the Freedom to Read Foundation News Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No. 1 Page 7 grounds that the District Court lacked jurisdiction over the government decided not to seek an appeal before the French parties. the U.S. Supreme Court. The decision upholding free expression rights is now final. FTRF has now joined in an amicus curiae brief supporting Yahoo!‘s petition for rehearing or rehearing The State of Arizona has decided to appeal the en banc before the entire panel of judges serving on the decision of the District Court awarding summary Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. As detailed in earlier judgment in favor of FTRF and other plaintiffs in reports, the FTRF board believes that the free expression ACLU v. Goddard, which challenges the constitution- and intellectual property rights affected by the lawsuit— ality of the state‘s ―harmful to minors‖ Internet content both at home and abroad—must be rigorously defended. law. The case is pending before the Ninth Circuit [Update: On February 10, the Ninth Circuit ordered a Court of Appeals. rehearing en banc. Oral argument is scheduled for March 24, 2005.] FUNDRAISING AND MEMBERSHIP DEVELOPMENT STATE HARMFUL TO MINORS LAWS & INTERNET CONTENT LAWS The Foundation Board members are intensifying our efforts to increase membership, including encouraging The Freedom to Read Foundation has participated as a more ALA chapters, state school media associations, plaintiff in several lawsuits challenging state laws that and students to join the organization. criminalize the distribution or display of materials deemed ―harmful to minors.‖ I am pleased to report our Challenges to the freedom to read are growing, and the success in Shipley, Inc. v. Long (formerly Shipley, Inc. Foundation needs your support more than ever. To v. Huckabee). (See p. 2) become a member of the Freedom to Read Foundation, please send a check to: On October 5, the District Court granted summary judgment to the government in Athenaco, Ltd. v. Cox, Freedom to Read Foundation a lawsuit challenging a Michigan statute that makes it 50 E. Huron Street unlawful for any person to allow minors to examine Chicago, IL 60611 sexually explicit material that is ―harmful to minors.‖ Other organizations joining FTRF as plaintiffs include You also can use a credit card to join the Foundation. ABFFE, the Association of American Publishers, the Call (800) 545-2433 ext. 4226 or visit us online at Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, and several Michigan www.ftrf.org to use our secure online donation form. booksellers. The court based its decision on statements made by the state‘s attorneys, who claimed that the Respectfully submitted, statute should be narrowly interpreted and would have limited effect on free expression. FTRF and its partners John W. Berry have not filed an appeal. President, Freedom to Read Foundation The Foundation joined with several other plaintiffs to file ABFFE v. Petro, a lawsuit challenging Ohio’s amendment to its ―harmful to juveniles‖ law that affects both print and Internet content. On September 27, the District Court sustained in part and overruled in part Freedom to Read Foundation News (ISSN 0046-5038) is both parties‘ motions for summary judgment. The issued quarterly to all members of FTRF. Regular member- parties are now waiting on an expanded opinion ship in the Freedom to Read Foundation begins at $35.00 explaining the court‘s judgment. per year. Contributions to the Foundation should be sent to: Freedom to Read Foundation, 50 E. Huron St., Chicago, IL 60611. You also can join by phone at (800) 545-2433 x4226 FTRF and its co-plaintiffs won in PSINet v. Chapman or online at www.ftrf.org/joinftrf.html. All contributions are when the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on June 24 tax-deductible. upheld the permanent injunction forbidding enforcement of Virginia’s Internet content law. After the Fourth The Freedom to Read Foundation is the First Amendment Circuit rejected the government‘s petition for rehearing, legal arm of the American Library Association. Freedom to Read Foundation News Vol. 29, No. 4–Vol. 30, No. 1 Page 8 American Library Association Office for Intellectual Freedom LAWYERS FOR LIBRARIES SOUTHEAST REGIONAL TRAINING INSTITUTE Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center May 4, 2005 Atlanta, GA Co-sponsored by SOLINET and in conjunction with the SOLINET Annual Membership Meeting, May 5-6, 2005. Lawyers for Libraries Southeast Regional Training Institute is the sixth in an ongoing series of Continuing Legal Education institutes intended to ensure that libraries throughout the United States will have access to committed, informed attorneys who can provide clear guidance and expertise when dealing with First Amendment issues. The topics to be addressed include: Privacy & confidentiality The USA PATRIOT Act Internet filtering Challenges to library materials Minimizing liability These sessions—conducted by some of the preeminent attorneys in the field of library First Amendment law—provide a wonderful opportunity for attorneys and trustees to learn the laws, legal precedents, and practical strategies they need to help libraries. Librarians are welcome, but must be accompanied by an attorney. Cost: $395/person; $745 for two Single/double at Georgia Tech Hotel: $149/night Visit www.ala.org/lawyers, call (800) 545-2433 x4226, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register or for further details. For more on the SOLINET Annual Member Meeting, visit www.solinet.net/events or call (800) 999-8558.
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