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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Ruling Handed Down in GSU Copyright Case

A ruling in the copyright infringement suit against Georgia State University was announced May 11, with the judge rejecting 95% of the specific readings challenged by the publishers that took GSU to court.

The judge also outlined the ways institutions can continue to cite the “fair use” doctrine when making electronic copies of material for use in classes and rejected publishers’ contentions about how to regulate e-reserves. However, she also imposed strict limits about how much of a book may be covered by fair use and that a publisher may have claims against university e-reserves if that publisher offers reasonably priced systems for getting permission to use book excerpts online.

Examinations of the decision started almost immediately. Kevin Smith, the scholarly communications officer at Duke University, blogged about the decision mere hours after it was released. Posts also appeared on the Inside Higher Education web site from editor Scott Jaschick and Barbara Fister, a librarian at Gustavus Adolphus College, before the sun was up on Mother’s Day morning. The Chronicle of Higher Education also chimed in.

Appeals appear to be certain, but in the meantime, neither side goes away completely happy with the decision.

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