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Court Cases

Strong Fair Use Decision Issued in Bouchat v. Ravens

baltimore-ravens-playing buffalo-billsimage © Lauren SwiecickiIn a long-running legal dispute between Frederick E. Bouchat and the Baltimore Ravens along with the National Football League (NFL), a federal appeals court has ruled that the use of the former Ravens logo by the Ravens and the NFL was fair use. The case involved the incidental use of copyrighted logos in films about historical events—football games, in this instance.

 
 

Google Books Case Dismissed—Victory for Fair Use and Libraries

screenshot of Mrs Dalloway in Google BooksGoogle BooksOn November 14, Judge Denny Chin of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled that the digitization of millions of books from research library collections was a fair use and dismissed the Authors Guild case against Google and its Library Project, saying that the project “advances the progress of the arts and sciences, while maintaining respectful consideration of the rights of authors and other creative individuals, and without adversely impacting the rights of copyright holders.” In his decision, Judge Chin cited a November 2012 amicus brief (PDF) submitted by the Library Copyright Alliance (comprised of the Association of Research Libraries, the American Library Association, and the Association of College and Research Libraries). The Authors Guild has stated that they disagree with the decision and plan to appeal.

 
 

GSU Copyright Case: Post-Argument Panel to Be Held, Webcast Nov. 19

Georgia State University LibraryGSU Library
image © Jason Puckett
In 2012, the North Georgia District Court ruled largely in favor of Georgia State University (GSU) in the ongoing copyright lawsuit initiated by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers. The decision was the first US federal court decision specifically addressing fair use and electronic reserves. Plaintiff publishers appealed on many points of the ruling.

 
 

Libraries Applaud Dismissal of Google Book Search Case

screenshot of Mrs Dalloway in Google BooksGoogle BooksAfter eight years of litigation, the US District Court for the Southern District of New York today upheld the fair use doctrine when the court dismissed Authors Guild v. Google, a case that questioned the legality of Google’s searchable book database.

 
 

Fisher v. University of Texas Amicus Brief (Oct. 2013)

On October 31, 2013, ARL joined more than 40 associations in signing this amicus brief in support of the University of Texas in its appeal of the ruling in Fisher v. University of Texas. The case challenges the affirmative action admissions policy of the University of Texas.

pdf amicus-fisher-v-university-of-texas-31oct13.pdf

 
 

ARL Joins ACE, Other Higher Ed Groups in Amicus Brief on Diversity in Admissions

image © Scott LengerOn August 30, ARL joined the American Council on Education (ACE) and 47 other organizations in submitting an amicus brief (PDF) to the US Supreme Court in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action. In the brief, the amici urge the Supreme Court to overturn Michigan’s ban on considering race in college and university admissions. 

 
 

Higher Ed Associations Reaffirm Commitment to Diversity after Fisher v. UT

US Supreme Court buildingClick to view PDF of ad
image © Scott Lenger
ARL and 36 other members of the Washington Higher Education Secretariat placed an advertisement (PDF) in yesterday's New York Times declaring that diversity in higher education remains a national priority. Last week, the US Supreme Court issued a decision in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin et al., a closely watched case challenging the University of Texas’s consideration of race as part of its admissions policy. The Supreme Court held that the Fifth Circuit had not applied the correct level of scrutiny to the policy and sent the case back to the Fifth Circuit for review. In its decision the Supreme Court maintained the legal principle that the educational benefits of a diverse student body are a compelling governmental interest.

 
 

Supreme Court Sends Fisher v. UT Austin Back to Lower Court

us-supreme-courtimage © Mark FischerIn a decision issued Monday, June 24, the US Supreme Court avoided a final ruling in a closely watched case challenging the University of Texas’s consideration of race as part of its admissions policy. Instead, the court held that the Fifth Circuit had not applied the correct level of scrutiny to the policy.

 
 

LCA Files Amicus in HathiTrust Case, Joins Flood of Support from Higher Ed, Disability Groups, Nonprofits

hathitrust-logo-croppedHathiTrustOn June 3, the Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed an amicus brief (PDF) in support of HathiTrust and its partners as they defend their district court victory on appeal in the Second Circuit. LCA consists of three major library associations—the American Library Association, ARL, and the Association of College and Research Libraries—that collectively represent over 300,000 information professionals and thousands of libraries of all kinds throughout the US and Canada.

 
 

Library Copyright Alliance Supports Georgia State University in Amicus Brief

georgia-state-university-libraryGSU Library
image © Jason Puckett
The Library Copyright Alliance (LCA) filed a “friend of the court” brief (PDF) late yesterday in support of Georgia State University (GSU) in the appeal of Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al. In its brief, LCA argues that GSU’s e-reserves policy is consistent with widespread and well-established best practices for fair use at academic and research libraries, and that these uses have no negative effects on scholarship. LCA was represented by Jonathan Band and attorneys from the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The case is on appeal with the US Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit.

 
 
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