Wednesday, August 12, 2020
 

Dear Professor: “You’ve Been Sued”


If you’re currently teaching and making course-packets and readers without consent of the authors, you better read this! Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press Inc. and Sage Publications Inc. have sued Georgia State University. The publishers brought suit to stop Georgia State professors from copying what they call a “legitimate 20%” from books and making them available for their students, free, via online course packets.

According to Law.com, the publishers are not seeking monetary or punitive damages. Instead, the publishers “want Judge Orinda D. Evans to issue a declaratory judgment saying that GSU’s copying violates the law. They’re also seeking an injunction preventing further unauthorized use of copyrighted material.”

“At the heart of this suit is what may well be a novel issue in copyright law: How much of a book or monograph that exists in paper form may be digitized by a nonprofit educational institution without running afoul of the fair use doctrine, which allows limited copying, without authorization, for educational and other purposes.”

UPDATE I: A keen reader points us to this important point which helps clarify a few things: “Such immunity does not extend to suits for prospective injunctive relief, however… Thus, plaintiffs may sue University employees in their official capacities for injunctive relief (i.e.- have a court force defendant to do or stop doing something). They are only barred by the 11th Amendment from bringing suits for money damages against the state or its employees in their official capacities, unless Congress has validly abrogated immunity pursuant to the 14th Amendment or the state has unambiguously waived its immunity.” More on this here.

Update II: Related to Update I, A California District Court has just “invalidated the Copyright Remedy Clarification Act as unconstitutional,” which in essence removes their immunity protection. Thus, the court ruled “that a State, employee of a State (acting within his or her official capacity) or instrumentality of a State cannot be held liable for copyright infringement.” Basically, we’re back to square one. More on this here.

 

Comments

No comments so far.
  • Leave a Reply
     
    Your gravatar
    Your Name
     
     
     

     
     
 
Legal

Clancco, Clancco: The Source for Art & Law, Clancco.com, and Art & Law are trademarks owned by Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento. The views expressed on this site are those of Sergio Muñoz Sarmiento and of the artists and writers who submit to Clancco.com. They are not the views of any other organization, legal or otherwise. All content contained on or made available through Clancco.com is not intended to and does not constitute legal advice and no attorney-client relationship is formed, nor is anything submitted to Clancco.com treated as confidential.

Website Terms of Use, Privacy, and Applicable Law.
 

Switch to our mobile site