Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Going forward with Georgia State lawsuit

Kevin Smith discusses the latest ruling in the Georgia State copyright case (which concerns course reserves and fair use)in this post Going forward with Georgia State lawsuit.

He highlights three points that I will excerpt here (but, really, read the whole thing.)

First, ... Judge Evans includes a substantial discussion of the economics that underlie providing course materials to students. She acknowledges statements from several faculty depositions that they would not ask students to buy the books excerpted in e-reserves if that option were not available and also that they would not use many of the readings if a licensing fee were necessary. ... the upshot seems to be that a ruling against fair use would have significant negative social consequences and little real benefit for the plaintiffs. ...

Second, ... the Judge is following the Supreme Court precedent that says that a technology does not show “culpable intent” if it is “capable of significant non-infringing uses.” Since e-reserves and course management systems clearly are capable of such uses, the Judge declines to hold that merely making those systems available renders GSU liable for contributing to copyright infringement. So the plaintiffs will have to prove “ongoing and continuous misuse of the fair use” by producing evidence of “a sufficient number of instances of infringement.” The defendants — Georgia State — will then have the burden of proving fair use as to each alleged infringement. ...

Finally, .... This emphasis on the local practices rather than the policy itself will certainly make it easier for other campuses to learn from an eventual ruling and, if necessary, adjust their own implementations to meet whatever standards arise, but it decreases the likelihood that large and dramatic changes will be needed.

1 comment:

TR said...

I attended this today: http://www.academicimpressions.com/events/event_listing.php?i=972

Kevin Smith mentioned the Georgia State Case.