Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Colleges Shouldn’t Have to Deal With Copyright Monitoring; Chronicle of Higher Education, 5/17/16

Pamela Samuelson, Chronicle of Higher Education; Colleges Shouldn’t Have to Deal With Copyright Monitoring:
"Colleges have a big stake in the outcome of the lawsuit that three publishers, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications, brought against Georgia State University officials for copyright infringement. The lawsuit, now in its eighth year, challenged GSU’s policy that allowed faculty members to upload excerpts (mainly chapters) of in-copyright books for students to read and download from online course repositories.
Four years ago, a trial court held that 70 of the 75 challenged uses were fair uses. Two years ago, an appellate court sent the case back for a reassessment under a revised fair-use standard. The trial court has just recently ruled that of the 48 claims remaining in the case, only four uses, each involving multiple chapters, infringed. The question now is, What should be the remedy for those four infringements?...
Appellate courts generally defer to lower-­court fact-finding, especially when the findings are as extensive as in the GSU case. As an author of book chapters (for which I have never been paid, but which I would like students to read) and as a faculty member who posts some in-copyright materials on course websites, I’m rooting for GSU on the coming appeal. If the overwhelming majority of the university’s uses were fair, it doesn’t make sense to impose substantial and costly compliance measures on it. Colleges, students, faculty members, and academic-book-­chapter authors will win if the publishers lose once again."

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