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Georgia State University E-Reserves Case: Eleventh Circuit Endorses Flexible Approach to Fair Use

Georgia State University LibraryGSU Library
image © Jason Puckett
On Friday, October 17, 2014, the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued its ruling in the Georgia State University (GSU) case concerning the use of excerpts of academic books for electronic course reserves. The Eleventh Circuit reversed and remanded the decision to the district court. In doing so, the court upheld the importance of the flexible application of fair use. Importantly, the Eleventh Circuit did not rule on whether each of the uses by GSU were fair uses or not, but instead found fault with the district court’s methodology, which used bright-line rules and an arithmetic approach (i.e., if three of the four factors favor fair use, then the use is fair). Assuming that litigation goes forward rather than the case being settled, the district court will need to revisit its fair use analysis, but could potentially again find that GSU’s uses were fair use for most of the works at issue.

For a more detailed analysis of the October 17 ruling, see “In Georgia State University E-Reserves Case, Eleventh Circuit Endorses Flexible Approach to Fair Use,” on the ARL Policy Notes blog.


Videos Show Value of Code of Best Practices in Fair Use

greg-cram-fair-use-code-videoGreg Cram on NYPL’s use of the CodeToday, October 21, 2014, ARL released three videos on the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries, a clear and easy-to-use statement of reasonable approaches to fair use of copyrighted material, developed by and for librarians who support academic inquiry and higher education. With generous support from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the new videos capture how the Code has assisted many communities by providing helpful guidance about the scope of best practice when fair use comes into play.


Video: "Code of Best Practices Interview: Peter Jaszi and Brandon Butler"

American University law professors Peter Jaszi and Brandon Butler discuss the development and roll-out of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries. (16 minutes)


Video: "Code of Best Practices Interview: Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide"

American University professors Peter Jaszi and Patricia Aufderheide discuss the development of the Code of Best Practices in Fair Use for Academic and Research Libraries. (11 minutes)


Video: "Code of Best Practices in Fair Use at the New York Public Library"

In this four-minute video, Greg Cram of the New York Public Library discusses NYPL's application of the principles of fair use.


Infographic Shows How Libraries Are Champions for Academic Freedom and Balanced Copyright

infographic-academic-freedom-balanced-copyright-2014-croppedView/download the full infographic Today, October 10, 2014, ARL released a new infographic that tells the story of how libraries are champions for academic freedom and balanced copyright policies. The infographic explains the threat of unbalanced copyright to academic freedoms, including the freedom to research, to teach and learn, and to publish.


Libraries are Champions for Academic Freedom and Balanced Copyright (infographic)

cropped-infographic-academic-freedom-balanced-copyrightThis infographic by ARL illustrates the benefits of a balanced copyright system and the roles research libraries play in maintaining the balance of Copyright & IP.

Infographic downloads:


Library Copyright Alliance Urges Lawmakers to Update Statutory Damages Safe Harbor

boats in a calm harborimage © Mario LapidOn July 23, 2014, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA)—the American Library Association (ALA), Association of Research Libraries (ARL), and Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)—filed a statement (PDF) with the US House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet for the subcommittee’s July 24 hearing on copyright remedies. The LCA statement focuses on problems with statutory damages. The statement notes that the existing safe harbor requiring a court to remit statutory damages when a library, archive, educational institution, or public broadcasting entity believed and had reasonable grounds to believe that its use of material constituted fair use applies only to the reproduction right. The statement recommends an update to reflect the digital era so that this safe harbor applies to any type of use, including uses implicating performance, display, distribution, or derivative work rights. 

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