Lawsuit on “Electronic Course Packs”
This story in The New York Times is alarming – does anyone know more about it? Though libraries, CMS’s, and e-reserves are not mentioned, it appears to have widespread implications.
Three prominent academic publishers are suing Georgia State University, contending that the school is violating copyright laws by providing course reading material to students in digital format without seeking permission from the publishers or paying licensing fees.
In a complaint filed Tuesday in United States District Court in Atlanta, the publishers â€” Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications â€” sued four university officials, asserting â€œsystematic, widespread and unauthorized copying and distribution of a vast amount of copyrighted worksâ€ by Georgia State, which the university distributes through its Web site.
The lawsuit, which may be the first of its kind, raises questions about digital rights, which are confronting many media companies, but also about core issues like the future of the business model for academic publishers.
If anyone has the inside scoop, please share it with us.
Update: The AJC writes a really confusing headline but adds some information about the library angle; Inside Higher Ed writes journalistic circles around the Gray Lady. The complaint is here. The Chron comments on the commentary and links to a fascinating take from Kevin Smith that argues libraries and faculty aren’t free-riders on publishers, it’s the other way around: publishers get free content from academia, then wants to be paid all over again when it’s used for courses.