The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled today in favor of Valancourt Books, a small Virginia publisher and AAP member company, in an important copyright case that rejects the Government’s argument that depositing books with the Library of Congress without compensation and under threat of substantial penalties is a condition of copyright protection. In reversing the lower court, the Appeals Court also rejected the Government’s position that abandoning one’s copyrights within the current legal framework is a viable alternative to avoiding the deposit requirement. The opinion found “mandatory deposit” (section 407 of the Copyright Act) unconstitutional as applied to physical books. In the case, the Library made repeated demands for copies of Valancourt titles under the pain of fines despite Valancourt’s objections that they would be costly to provide. The Court did not address the publisher’s First Amendment claim because it was unnecessary to do so. AAP’s amicus curiae brief in support of Valancourt was cited in the opinion.
HomeServices of America, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate, today announced that it has acquired The Long & Foster Companies, Inc., the largest private residential real estate company in the United States by sales volume. The acquisition includes Long & Foster’s family of companies, including Long & Foster Real Estate and its market-leading affiliated business lines in mortgage, settlement services, insurance, and property management. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.
Headquartered in Chantilly, Virginia, Long & Foster Real Estate is the largest independent residential real estate brand by volume and the second largest independent brand by units according to the 2017 REAL Trends 500 report. The company has approximately 11,000 agents in over 230 offices serving buyers and sellers in major markets across the Mid-Atlantic and beyond, including Virginia, Maryland, the District of Columbia, West Virginia, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Delaware, and New Jersey. In 2016, Long & Foster Real Estate had nearly $29 billion in sales volume and more than 81,000 home sale transactions; Prosperity Mortgage originated $3.3 billion in home loans, representing nearly 12,000 mortgages; Long & Foster’s settlement services companies closed over 20,000 title and escrow transactions; and Long & Foster Insurance issued approximately 8,300 property and casualty insurance policies.
Founded in 1968 by Wes Foster and Henry Long, Long & Foster’s family of companies has grown to become one of the nation’s foremost real estate and financial services companies. The Long & Foster name is synonymous with providing clients the highest level of customer service, local expertise, and resources, all delivered by a team of knowledgeable agents using the firm’s renowned innovative technologies and data-driven insights.
Wes Foster will remain with the company as Chairman Emeritus. Jeff Detwiler, Long & Foster’s current president and chief operating officer, will assume the role of chief executive officer and, together with the existing team of enterprise and business line leaders, will oversee growth initiatives and continue to manage day-to-day operations.