Thursday, October 28, 2010

Blog post: Who infringed at Georgia State?

This copyright lawsuit involving Georgia State was mentioned yesterday by a librarian who visited one of my classes.  Peter Hirtle wrote in his blog post:
We have a ruling from the court over the motions for summary judgement in the lawsuit over Georgia State's ereserve program.  Kevin Smith gives an excellent analysis of the order in Going forward with Georgia State lawsuit.  The bottom line is that the court did not find Georgia State guilty of direct and vicarious copyright infringement, as the plaintiffs requested.  The only issue that will go forward is whether Georgia State contributed to the copyright infringement of others through its implementation of its 2009 policy.
In reading Kevin Smith's blog post, this text stands out to me:
Perhaps more importantly, Judge Evans was impressed by declarations from multiple professors about how they use e-reserves. She quotes at length one professor’s explanation that she uses e-reserves only in cases where she is assigning so little of a work that students would not buy the text if it were assigned. Judge Evans also cites approvingly several professors’ declarations to the effect that if they had to pay a royalty to use e-reserves, they would stop using the system.
Being able to put text on reserves is important. Because many campuses have gone to an e-reserve system, the rules about what can be put on reserves are more strict. This means that professors are justifying what they put on reserves and only putting on reserve as much as necessary.  Universities are also putting into place systems that limit access to those reserves to only the students who should have access. 

In my very personal view of the situation, I believe that publishers who are trying to further restrict access or seeking additional fees are doing nothing but making it more difficult for professors to teach the next generation.  We should want to ensure that students have access to the best information.  However, if publishers are going to make that more difficult to do, then our students' education will suffer.

No comments: