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The Case Against Georgia State University—Copyright Infringement Or


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The Case Against Georgia State University—Copyright Infringement Or

  1. 1. Linda K. Enghagen, J.D., Professor Isenberg School of Management University of Massachusetts at Amherst
  2. 2. <ul><li>The information contained herein along with the question and answer session are for educational purposes only. Neither is a substitute for legal advice and neither is to be construed as the rendering of a legal opinion. </li></ul><ul><li>Copyright © 2009 Linda K. Enghagen </li></ul>
  3. 3. Pre-Kinko’s Era Kinko’s Era Post-Kinko’s Electronic Era Toner <ul><li>University </li></ul><ul><li>Copy Shop </li></ul><ul><li>Student </li></ul>Paper <ul><li>University </li></ul><ul><li>Copy Shop </li></ul><ul><li>Student </li></ul>Time <ul><li>University </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Copy Shop </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Student </li></ul><ul><li>Faculty </li></ul><ul><li>Library </li></ul><ul><li>IT </li></ul><ul><li>Student </li></ul>Dime <ul><li>University </li></ul><ul><li>Student </li></ul><ul><li>Student </li></ul>Reproduction System <ul><li>Copy machine </li></ul><ul><li>Copy machine </li></ul><ul><li>Computers + software </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><li>Congress shall have [the] power… To promote the progress of science and the useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries… </li></ul><ul><li>Article I, Section 8, Clause 8 </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Plaintiffs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Cambridge University Press </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Oxford University Press, Inc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sage Publications </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Defendants </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Carl V. Patton, in his official capacity as GSU President </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ron Henry, in his official capacity as GSU Provost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charlene Hurt, in her official capacity as GSU Dean of Libraries </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>J.L. Albert, in his official capacity as GSU Provost for Information Systems and Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Members of the Board of Regents, in their official capacities </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>Sovereign immunity </li></ul><ul><ul><li>General Rule = can’t sue a state institution in federal court </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exception = when you are suing a state official in his or her “official capacity” and only asking for an injunction—not $ </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Individual faculty members identified in the suit not named personally </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Marketing Information Masters, Inc. v. The Board of Trustees of the California State University System, a public entity; and Robert A Rauch, an individual </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Board of Trustees = case dismissed! </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Robert A Rauch, an individual = allowed to proceed </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>According to the plaintiffs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“… systematic, widespread, and unauthorized copying and distribution of a vast amount of copyrighted works…through a variety of online systems and outlets utilized…for the digital distribution of course reading material…without the requisite authorization and appropriate compensation to the copyright owners of such materials.” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>~600 courses as of 02/29/08 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>>6,700 works posted to electronic course reserves most requiring permission that was not obtained </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e-reserves system not password protected </li></ul></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>Direct copyright infringement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Willful, intentional and purposeful scanning, copying, displaying and distributing in violation of plaintiffs’ rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Contributory copyright infringement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Facilitating, encouraging and inducing librarians and professors to scan, copy, display and distribute in violation of plaintiffs’ rights </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Vicarious copyright infringement </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing professors and other employees to scan, copy, display and distribute in violation of plaintiffs’ rights, e.g., failing to supervise </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Posting to unsecure sites </li></ul><ul><li>Posting without permission & payment </li></ul><ul><li>Posting semester-to-semester </li></ul><ul><li>Relying on overly generous institutional policy guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Failure to enforce those same overly generous guidelines </li></ul><ul><li>Creating free electronic course packs as a substitute for purchasing collections & anthologies </li></ul><ul><li>Encouraging and facilitating infringements </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>Judgment declaring “actions as complained of…constitute copyright infringement…” </li></ul><ul><li>Permanent injunction “enjoining Defendants… now or in the future, without seeking appropriate authorization…from copying, displaying or distributing electronic copies of any of Plaintiffs’ copyrighted works to…anyone…or from facilitating or encouraging others to do so…via the collection and assembly of course reading materials…through an e-reserves system, a course management system, a course web page, or any similar electronic distribution.” </li></ul><ul><li>Costs and reasonable attorneys fees </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Average cost to defend copyright infringement case = ~$1 mil </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Source: Fisher & McGeveran, “The Digital Learning Challenge: Obstacles to Educational Uses of Copyright Material in the Digital Age,” Research Pub. No. 2006-09, August 10, 2006, The Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard Law School. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><li>GSU admitted course reserves were unsecure </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software mistake discovered May/June 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mistake corrected by software vendor </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Thereafter password protected and available only to enrolled students </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Unsecured site = big mistake </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reason: all posted materials freely available to anyone who stumbles across them which weighs heavily against fair use </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Likely violates licensing agreements as well. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Mitigated by correction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>If really result of innocent error, not likely to be significant in lawsuit. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>GSU: works continue to be posted w/o permission & payment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asserts: allowed under fair use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publishers: “market failure theory” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Market failure theory = using works under the fair use doctrine is allowed only when the market fails to provide a “readily accessible, efficient, and economical licensing mechanism” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assert: market exists, so it must be utilized </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Existence of market = relevant not controlling </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Perfect 10 Case: Google search results generated thumbnail images of nude photos Perfect 10 sells </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Qualifies as a fair use </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc. : parody of “Oh, Pretty Woman” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Transformative use that resulted in harm to market, but copyright owners don’t control all markets. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><li>GSU: admits this continues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asserts: allowed under fair use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publishers: violates fair use </li></ul><ul><li>Closer to reality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>One time “rule” is found in fair use guidelines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Guidelines ≠ Law </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preambles to guidelines characterize standards as minimums, i.e., you can do at least this much </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Ignores that semester-to-semester use benefits different students each time (with the exception of students who are repeating a course) </li></ul></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>GSU: denies allegation but changed things after getting sued </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Now: focus on linking, fair use analysis with check list, access to training and legal advice, librarians can and sometimes do deny requests for copying deemed excessive </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publishers: exceeds legal boundaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“… endorses the unlicensed copying of up to twenty percent of a work – a benchmark that would countenance unlicensed excerpts of dozens or even hundreds of pages from a given work” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Changes may make GSU look better, but it doesn’t alter liability for past practice if that practice exceeded fair use. </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>GSU: denies allegation </li></ul><ul><li>Publishers: “electronic course reserves system contains numerous examples of works that violate even the University’s own lax policies” </li></ul><ul><li>If true—and GSU knew or should have known—and did nothing—then </li></ul><ul><ul><li>GSU has a problem </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>GSU: admits this continues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asserts: allowed under fair use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publishers: prohibited per Kinko’s and Michigan Documents Services cases </li></ul><ul><li>Cases aren’t on point </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Both involved commercial enterprises </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Court could have barred all anthologies—but didn’t </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Footnote 13 in Kinko’s </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“ Expressly, the decision of this court does not consider copying performed by students, libraries, nor on-campus copyshops, whether for-profit or not.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Michigan Documents revisited </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blackwell Pub. Inc. et al v. Excel Test Preparation, Coursepacks & Copies, Oct. 14, 2009. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>“… copyright law should not turn on who presses the start button on the copier” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  17. 17. <ul><li>GSU: admits this continues </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Asserts: allowed under fair use </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Publishers: by facilitating and allowing faculty staff and students to scan, copy, display and distribute works, GSU violates copyright law </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom line: encouraging and facilitating are problems only if the publishers are right that fair use doesn’t apply </li></ul>
  18. 18. <ul><li>We must be flexible in applying a fair use analysis; it ‘is not to be simplified with bright-line rules, for the statute, like the doctrine it recognizes, calls for case-by-case analysis…Nor may the four statutory factors be treated in isolation, one from another. All are to be explored, and the results weighed together, in light of the purposes of copyright law.”…The purpose of copyright law is ‘[t]o promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts,’ and to serve ‘the welfare of the public.’ </li></ul>