Recent ruling on copyright, fair use and “e-reserves”

Large academic publishers Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Sage Publications sued Georgia State University in 2008 over what they saw as a blatant over-use of “e-reserves” that deprived them of licensing revenue. The final ruling of that case was published Friday, May 11, 2012 and was decided (mostly) in GSU’s favor.

The judge broke down the argument into four “factors”:

1. “The purpose and character of the use”: academic and nonprofit
2.  “The nature of the copyrighted work”: “informational” not “creative”
3. “The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the…whole”: the stickiest point, and defined by percentage
4. “The effect of the use upon the potential market”: minimal; copyright in this case was to encourage new academic works

via ars technica, or for those wanted to read the entire 350-page ruling, click here (pdf).

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