April 17, 2008
Georgia State Sued for Course ePacket Practices
In a complaint filed Tuesday in United States District Court in Atlanta, Cambridge UP, Oxford UP and Sage Publications sued Georgia State University, asserting “systematic, widespread and unauthorized copying and distribution of a vast amount of copyrighted works” by the university through the library electronic course reserve system, Blackboard, departmental websites and individual course syllabi posted online. According to the suit, "hundreds" of Georgia State professors have posted "thousands of copyrighted works" without permission. In a February count of the university’s course reserves, the lawsuit asserts, over 6,700 works were available for over 600 courses, with "much (and likely most)" posted without proper copyright authorization.
The lawsuit suggests that copyright clearance procedures are not in place for course ePackets. The Copyright Clearance Center offers the clearance for digital distribution. J-STOR offers similar services for journal articles available online.
Will Basic Books v. Kinko’s be followed? It should since copyright law does not distinguish between online and print editions of publications. Read more about it: Insider Higher Ed and New York Times. [JH]
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