Friday, October 16, 2009

A Legal Blast From the Past: Course-Pack Company Loses Copyright Lawsuit; Chronicle of Higher Education, 10/15/09

Eric Kelderman, Chronicle of Higher Education; A Legal Blast From the Past: Course-Pack Company Loses Copyright Lawsuit:

"Norman Miller, who owns the company Excel Test Preparation, Coursepacks & Copies, in Ann Arbor, Mich., might have benefited from knowing more about James M. Smith and his company, Michigan Document Services, which also operated in Ann Arbor.

In 1996 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled against Mr. Smith's company, saying it had infringed on publishers' copyrights by providing course packs and anthologies of excerpted materials to students at his copy shop.

The ruling affirmed a 1991 federal-court decision against Kinko's Copy Centers for similar infractions and seemed to settle the matter, legally, that a for-profit entity could not reproduce such material under the "fair use" provision of the law without getting permission or paying copyright fees to the publishers.

The U.S. District Court in Ann Arbor referred to that decision in its ruling Wednesday against Mr. Miller, who was being sued by a group of five publishing companies: Blackwell Publishing, Elsevier, Oxford University Press, Sage Publications, and John Wiley & Sons."

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