Nonprofit Educational Use is Fair Use and Trumps Lack of Transformation

Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications sued Georgia State University (GSU) for copyright infringement.  GSU made scanned materials from plaintiff’s books available to students over the Internet without obtaining permission or paying plaintiffs.  The district court ruled that the fair use defense protected GSU in forty-three instances and that GSU infringed in five instances.  The Eleventh Circuit ruled that the district court erred in its fair use analysis and reversed and remanded the case.

Here, we are called upon to determine whether the unpaid copying of scholarly works by a university for use by students—facilitated by the development of systems for digital delivery over the Internet—should be excused under the doctrine of fair use.

(Opinion pdf page 5).

The central issue in this case is under what circumstances GSU must pay permissions fees to post a digital copy of an excerpt of Plaintiffs’ works to ERes or uLearn (GSU’s course content websites).

(Opinion pdf page 11).

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