After another defeat, what will GSU publishers do in 2015? - Scholarly Communications @ Duke
"Back in October the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued its ruling in the Georgia State copyright infringement suit brought by three publishers and the Copyright Clearance Center to try to end reliance on fair use for course readings that are digitized and made available to students in a closed online forum. As has been widely reported, that decision looked like a win for publishers, in that it vacated the lower court decision that largely favored Georgia State University, and it remanded the case back to the District Court for further proceedings. But what looked like a win was very dissatisfying to the publisher plaintiffs — Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publishing. In the course of the opinion, all of the radical changes to copyright law that they hoped to advance with the lawsuit – the imposition of the 1976 Classroom Copying guidelines as a maximum limit rather than a safe harbor, the idea that the copy shop cases involving commercial course packs were appropriate precedents for in-house electronic reserves, a move from analysis of individual claims of fair use to a comprehensive impact analysis, and a statement that non-profit educational use did not necessarily favor fair use — were rejected by the Court of Appeals. The publishers were very unhappy with this decision, even though it gave them the outcome they desired in the specific conflict. They are looking for a radical realignment of fair use; the actual case is relatively unimportant, I think, compared to this desire to change the landscape so that many more licenses for educational institutions would be required. So they asked the entire 11th Circuit to rehear the case (en banc) instead of letting the decision of the usual three judge panel stand. Their petition for rehearing is a wish list of the principles they would like to have govern copyright in academia, which, of course, all point to paying those publishers more money. On Friday the 11th Circuit rejected this petition for an en banc rehearing, as well as the petition for rehearing filed by GSU. The Court did not comment on the rejection; they simply denied both petitions, thus leaving the opinion of the Appellate panel as the Court’s final word on the case. For libraries, this means we are still in the uncertain and murky position I describe back in October. For the publishers, there are a dwindling number of options left for them ..."