Washington Hotline

Carrie Russell, Kevin Maher


GSU wins e-reserves case, but not clarity on digital copyright policy

After 12 years of litigation, one may have forgotten about Cambridge University Press et al v Patton et al, also known as the Georgia State University (GSU) e-reserves case, where three publishers (Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage) sued GSU over their e-reserves policy. Teaching faculty and students preferred access to materials through digital networks. The further away they moved from course packs, where permission fees had been dutifully collected, the greater the drop in publishers’ revenue. Plaintiffs in the case deemed GSU’s policy too lax and encouraging of an “anything goes if it’s for the classroom” approach to copyright.

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