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Book sellers protest new operating agreements

The business world in Illinois and beyond has expanded in recent years. The Internet has created the opportunity to increase income exponentially for those with products to sell. Some business owners offer hard copy products; others market items in digital forms. This modern sales territory has created a number of legal issues, including those recently mentioned in a lawsuit filed by two independent books stores. They say that new operating agreements required by a particular law are in violation of their constitutional rights.

The American Civil Liberties Union has joined the book stores and one publisher in challenging a new law that affects the way book sellers do business online. The book store owners reside in a state outside Illinois. A recent law there requires companies whose inventory includes books that may be considered harmful to minors to require all website visitors to confirm that they are age 18 or older before being granted access to those products.

The law seeks to protect minors from viewing inappropriate content online. Those who violate the law may be fined as much as $10,000. However, the American Civil Liberties Union, the publisher and two book stores involved in the recently filed lawsuit have requested that the Act be declared unconstitutional in light of the First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments.

The book sellers claim the law also denies parents the right to determine what viewing material is appropriate for their children. Business owners in Illinois who have concerns about similar issues regarding laws that attempt to regulate their operating agreements or other online commerce may want to discuss the issues with a business and commercial law attorney in the area. Doing so would typically provide a business owner with clarification on the legal aspects of the issues at hand.

Source:, "ACLU, bookstores challenge Louisiana's new age-verification law", Vimbai Chikomo, Dec. 11, 2015

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