Ars Technica is featuring a story today about a pending lawsuit against Georgia State University by publishers over the university’s use of course e-reserves. In academia, students might have some books to buy for each course, but professors might also give students some readings via handouts (okay by fair use doctrine). With the advent of personal computers and the Internet, universities have increasingly shifted toward a model of providing hosting for professors’ course reading handouts. So, instead of having the university or the professor pay for handouts, each student may download the readings to his or her computer and then them on-screen or print them out to read. Due to some professors giving students more and more materials to read rather than purchase or pay a licensing fee for a course packet (essentially an anthology of readings put together by the professor), some publishers have decided to sue one university in particular, Georgia State University, for their extensive e-reserves for students. The judge presiding over the case has already dismissed certain claims, but the publishers made an amended claim of contributory copyright infringement, which has yet to be resolved. This case could maintain the status quo or restrict options that professors have to put materials in the hands of students who otherwise might not or cannot purchase the readings that they need. Read the full coverage here:
Campus copyright: publishers sue over university “e-reserves”.