Thursday, May 23, 2013
By OFW Editor:
Carlos J Cortes
Published: August 21, 2012
Academic publishers have had what in my opinion is an unfair ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia on the injunctive and declaratory relief in the copyright infringement lawsuit against Georgia State University.
The publisher plaintiffs had this to say about the ruling:
“The District Court’s decision is marred by a number of serious legal errors. The fair use exception cannot be stretched beyond recognition simply because course materials are delivered in a digital format by an educational institution. The ruling excuses copyright violations by GSU and endorses unauthorized copying and distribution of academic works well beyond what the law allows and what universities across the country consider reasonable.
The decision devalues academic scholarship by treating such work as ‘factual’ compilations."
You can read the full article by Andi Sporkin at the
Association of American Publisher’s website.
Assuming that whatever happens to academic writing has nothing to do with fiction would be an error. “Fair Use” has become the preferred excuse of many publications to bypass author's permission.
The Copyright Law, on its Section 107 sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair.
1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes.
2. The nature of the copyrighted work.
3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole.
4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work.
But these four factors are vague and the fact remains that nothing can be simpler to avoid copyright infringements. The safest and sensible course would be to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material.
When people spend their lives writing inanities in Facebook or Twitter, is it too much to ask for a simple e-mail to the copyright owner requesting permission?
You can peruse the full text of the “Fair Use” doctrine at the
Copyright Office’s website.
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