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15 MAY 2012

Cambridge University Press responds to US ruling on infringement case

Cambridge University Press has responded to a US judge’s long-awaited ruling in the case it brought, along with Oxford University Press and Sage Publications Inc., in 2008.

The three publishers sued Georgia State University (GSU), claiming that GSU's use of unlicensed book excerpts in its e-coursepack materials violated US copyright law.

The University has been held liable for five copyright infringement claims, after a ruling on 11 May by U.S. District Judge Orinda Evans.

Peter Davison, Corporate Affairs Director at Cambridge University Press, said: "The Judge's ruling recognises that GSU's copyright policy is flawed. It also makes it clear that the existence of a convenient and economical licensing solution (such as that offered by the Copyright Clearance Centre) would make the reproduction and distribution on the scale that Georgia State University has engaged in unacceptable without such a licence.

"We acknowledge the demand from researchers, librarians and other users of copyright material for clear and reliable guidance about the levels of copying and distribution that may be undertaken within the "fair use" limits of US law. However, we are sceptical that a single quantitative figure can usefully be applied to cover all cases.

"In particular, we are disappointed at the failure of the Court in this case to recognise that GSU's conduct amounted to systematic and industrial-scale unauthorised reproduction of our authors' works. Such large-scale use cannot, in our view, be held to be "fair".

"We will continue, together with our trade association, the Association of American Publishers, and with collective licensing bodies, to seek a workable policy in this area, for the scholarly community.

"We do not believe that the current ruling represents such a workable policy, as we believe it distorts precedent and prevailing law, and we look forward to working with our partners to resolve this issue."

Tuesday, 15 May 2012


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