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E-Reserves Under Fire From Publishers 208

Posted by Soulskill
from the not-killing-enough-trees dept.
RackinFrackin writes "Publishers Weekly has a story about a copyright lawsuit lodged against several faculty members and a librarian at Georgia State University. The case, Cambridge University Press, et al. v. Patton et al., involves e-reserves, a practice of making electronic copies of articles available to students. From the article: 'Rather than make multiple physical copies, faculty now scan or download chapters or articles, create a single copy, and place that copy on a server where students can access it (and in some cases print, download, or share). Since the practice relies on fair use (creating a single digital copy, usually from a resource already paid for, for educational purposes), permission generally isn't sought, and thus permission fees aren't paid, making the price right for students strapped by the high cost of tuition and textbooks, as well as for libraries with budgets stretched thinner every year.'"
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E-Reserves Under Fire From Publishers

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  • by DaMattster (977781) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:40PM (#32569436)
    Sarcastically speaking, I feel so sorry for the publishers losing out. They charge such unnecessarily exhorbitant prices and change maybe a word or two or chapter organization resulting in a new edition to obsolete the old. Maybe it is high time professors fought back against this extortion.
    • by p14-lda (517504) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:47PM (#32569570) Homepage
      That is of course ignoring the professors who write the books for their courses and are happy to have new revisions every year to keep that part of their revenue in tact :)
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by spire3661 (1038968)
        In most other industries this would be considered illegal as a clear conflict of interest.
        • by DragonWriter (970822) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:11PM (#32569944)

          In most other industries this would be considered illegal as a clear conflict of interest.

          Outside of some areas of government work and a handful of tightly-regulated industries, "clear conflicts of interest" aren't illegal, and are, in fact, fairly common. Certain conflicts of interest may, while not illegal in and of themselves, be prohibted by particular contracts (particularly employment contracts), but most aren't even there (for instance, its a pretty clear conflict of interest to work for one company and to own stock in a competitor -- if its voting stock, there is a double conflict of interest -- but except in the case of an executive-level employee, this would rarely be prohibited.)

        • In most other industries this would be considered illegal as a clear conflict of interest.

          Care to cite the relevant statutory or case law to back this up? There is nothing inherently illegal about a conflict of interest. There are plenty of people who function in a number of positions despite conflicts of interest that exist and there is nothing illegal about it at all.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by uniquegeek (981813)

        The whole %0.5 of it, or whatever it is? Unlikely.

        My University had a God-like math professor who wrote many texts. He encouraged students to buy the book, photocopy it, and return it. He said he barely got anything for them, and he would rather have the students in his class to have the book and be able to follow along in the lecture. "$150 is just stupid, I have no say in it."

        • by Myopic (18616)

          Can it really be true that he had no say in it? I mean, not directly in normal circumstances, but the copyright belonged to him, right? Was it legal for him to tell you to copy it? If so, couldn't he have put that on the first page?

          I'm not nitpicking, I'm actually curious how all that shit happens. If one publisher refused to publish it, surely another would be willing.

          Anyway, today we are past that. We can have individual copies of books printed for low cost. Any professor who tries to make a similar excus

          • by twidarkling (1537077) on Monday June 14, 2010 @05:11PM (#32571824)

            Can it really be true that he had no say in it? I mean, not directly in normal circumstances, but the copyright belonged to him, right? Was it legal for him to tell you to copy it? If so, couldn't he have put that on the first page?

            I'm not nitpicking, I'm actually curious how all that shit happens.

            If it's anything like the University Press that I worked for, no, he couldn't put it on the first page, there's a standard copyright assertion/disclaimer that the place will use. No, it probably wasn't *strictly* legal for him to be saying that, and technically, it's not his copyright.

            That's right. It's not his copyright. The entire point of the contract that an author and publisher sign is a temporary assignment of copyright for specific purposes, generally the publisher holds it for the first run, and maybe some subsequent reprints, until the book is declared out of print, and then the copyright reverts to the author.

            This is pretty much necessary under current business practices, since deals for advertising, excerpting, and even designing and printing would all be kneecapped by having to return to the author constantly for written approval for every change and deal made. And since I've seen authors go incommunicado for literally months at a time, publishing would grind to a halt.

            eBooks will have to change the formula slightly, since the book will never need to technically go out of print, so it'll probably see a move to term-periods of copyright assignment. Say, a publisher gets it for 5 years or some such before reversion.

            As for if one publisher refused, another be willing? Not as likely as you think. Publishers in a field tend to talk to each other a lot, and find out things, and keep tabs on each other, and very few are willing to take on something that's going to be a clear loss in publishing, which with an author looking to give the book away, would probably do it. You'd be stuck doing self-publishing, and even for people who are subject matter experts, self-published books are a damn nightmare. Typos and awkward phrasing slip through, organization is horrible, there's usually no fact checking and source attribution checking, all because the person assumes they know the topic that well, and mistakes happen.

            A large, heavily illustrated book costs about $20 to get printed at a professional printer if you do a print run of 1,000+. It's not the printing that costs the money, it's the original research, follow-up research, and editing that cost the money. The advanced-level Ukrainian language text book that my Press printed took the author five years of in-class and at-home work to create before she ever brought it to us, and then it took nearly another two years to get it printed. It's also the stuff that no one ever thinks of that costs the big money too. The book had hundreds of images that had to be converted to print quality, some starting out as crappy web images, some as massive posters. That all needs to be done out-of-house usually too.

            Textbooks are fucking expensive to make, and the biggest bandits are usually the college bookstores to boot, especially when they buy back and resell used copies. If you're in a college town, check independent bookstores in your area. If you have the ISBN, you can usually get them to order it in (as far as I know, every University Press has a deal with at least one distributor, and most textbook publishers do too), and it'll usually be cheaper. Amazon is also a good bet, though shipping can be an issue.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Gadget_Guy (627405) *

            In the strange world of academia, the main way that you can show your worth is by being published by recognised journals and book publishers. Often it is a requirements of working at an institution. Self publishing and e-publishing would not be accepted for this. It seems that doing what is best for the students is secondary to building prestige for universities.

      • That is of course ignoring the professors who write the books for their courses and are happy to have new revisions every year to keep that part of their revenue in tact :)

        In my experience, most of the professors who write the books for their courses realize that high cost of books increases the amount of students who don't buy the book, don't borrow the book from someone else, and consequently annoy them with stupid questions which are answered in the books and do poorly on the tests. Thus, they have an interest in keeping costs low, encouraging re-use of old books, or not teaching from the books.

        An anatomy professor I know who lectures for a med school says there are some

      • in tact

        I'm pretty sure nobody from the publishers have ever been within 100 miles of tact of any kind.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by bigbigbison (104532)
        People always say this but I'm now a phd student and the only time I ever had a class where we used a professor's book was one class where the book was actually out of print so he just gave us photocopies of it. What subjects are people taking where this is happening?
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by supercrisp (936036)
        This comes up frequently. Does anyone who says this have ANY idea of how little royalties are for these books? Does anyone ever stop to consider that the prof who wrote the book might well believe that the book he or she wrote is the BEST book in the field? (Of course it may be crap, but the author is likely to be convinced of its value.) I regularly assign students to read things I've written--not books, mind you, but brief essays or other preparatory materials. The only difference is no money is changing
    • by Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:50PM (#32569618)
      Maybe you think they're exorbitant but many of us do not. I'm personally happy to pay $135 for a calculus book that I can turn around and sell for $30 when the semester is over since by then the entire field of mathematics will have been been rewritten. Publishers have to eat too, and beluga caviar with dodo eggs spread on the backs of beautiful hookers by chimp butlers don't come cheap!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by H0p313ss (811249)

        ...beluga caviar with dodo eggs spread on the backs of beautiful hookers by chimp butlers...

        I think you're doing it wrong.

        • by MagicM (85041) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:03PM (#32569826)

          Hooker caviar with chimp eggs spread on the backs of dodos by beluga butlers?

          • Not "Dodo eggs" it's "doo-doo." It's disgusting, but there are some things you can't train out of a chimp butler, and besides, the publishers who commit this highway robbery clearly have a few things wrong with them.

        • by game kid (805301)

          I think you're doing it wrong.

          No, Mordok is just enlightened. Dodos and their eggs exist. It's just that the New World Order (Obama, BP, and McDonald's) don't want us to see them.

          Same with the beautiful hookers: us commoners are stuck with the cheap ones that turn out to be FBI, CIA, or shemale. It's the NWO's fault!

          • by russotto (537200)

            Same with the beautiful hookers: us commoners are stuck with the cheap ones that turn out to be FBI, CIA, or shemale. It's the NWO's fault!

            Back in Soviet Russia, many beautiful hookers available for decadent Western tourists. All KGB, but eh, who cares?

      • by mooingyak (720677)

        beluga caviar with dodo eggs spread on the backs of beautiful hookers by chimp butlers don't come cheap!

        Clearly you and I have different Beluga Caviar with Dodo eggs spread on the backs of beautiful hookers by chimp butler dealers.

    • by blair1q (305137)

      I just posted this in the last copyright discussion we had (Friday or so).

      Yes, that is what's happening. The producer of the material has priced it well above its free-market value, so the piratical market has produced its own copies.

      And yes, it's way past time that everyone told the producers of this material that their prices are too high.

      Because if the producer's price doesn't come in line with market value, the population is going to be induced to change copyright law and remove the producer's protecti

      • I agree with you about the downward pressure the market puts on textbook pricing, but the publishers have written their high profit margin into their business plans and stock prospectus, not to mention their personal mortgages and car loans.

        They will lose investors if they fail to meet their projections, so the cost of putting this case through the courts (even if it is without legal merit) is negligible compared to their losses if they cannot continue to charge exorbitant prices for their products.

        Consider

      • by GlassHeart (579618) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:09PM (#32569894) Journal

        You are, however, ignoring one problem on the other end. Copyright infringement is so cheap that it's not easy for publishers to compete, even if they were to price it "fairly". The iTunes Music Store is a successful example, but it was selling most of its songs at US$0.99 or so, which is cheap enough to make piracy seem like too much trouble. A textbook, even when reasonably priced, is not likely ever to be priced at a trivial sum.

        I think the bigger problem is that each textbook in question is a little monopoly in the class you have to attend, which allows the publisher of that textbook to charge high prices. If courses were required to designate at least two or three textbooks from different publishers as "official", then we might see some price competition. Or, if professors were banned from unnecessarily requiring the newest edition, competition from earlier editions would serve a similar role in the market.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Xonstantine (947614)

          Cost of summer Microeconomics class at the local juco: $110, including fees.

          Cost of new economics textbook for class at juco bookstore: $140.

          Something is seriously dislocated when the book costs more than the course.

          • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

            by John Hasler (414242)

            > Something is seriously dislocated when the book costs more than the course.

            Yes. The government is paying most of your tuition.

            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by Xonstantine (947614)

              Yes. The government is paying most of your tuition.

              You misspelled taxpayers.

              Speaking of which, I paid $5500 in property taxes last years (and a big chunk of that goes to the juco).

            • by toastar (573882)

              > Something is seriously dislocated when the book costs more than the course.

              Yes. The government is paying most of your tuition.

              No the course at the Co.Co is like $110, Pell Grants are like $250 a course.

              Going to Community College usually you get a check from the school to cover books and the such. Personally I prefer to spend my Gov cheese on hookers and blow, Just don't tell uncle sam I bought my books used.

        • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

          by Hatta (162192)

          You are, however, ignoring one problem on the other end. Copyright infringement is so cheap that it's not easy for publishers to compete, even if they were to price it "fairly".

          So, don't compete then. We don't need textbook publishers anymore.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by twidarkling (1537077)

            So, don't compete then. We don't need textbook publishers anymore.

            Yeah, you do. Maybe not dedicated companies, but you still need publishers for textbooks.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by QuantumRiff (120817)

          Why not? There is little change from one revision to the next. In fact, one large, often quoted cost of the textbooks is the shipping costs. Another is printing costs. Another is storage. (our college didn't like to buy back books that weren't used the very next term, since they didn't have anywhere to store them) How much do you think it costs to ship 500 calculus textbooks to a college? One would think with no expensive full color printing and binding, along with almost no distribution or warehouse cost

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by cxbrx (737647)
      From TFA:

      "Indeed, to the uninitiated, scholarly publishing is a curious enterprise. Simplified, it works something like this: universities or the government subsidize a professor's research. The professor, who is required to publish frequently for professional advancement, gives his research to a scholarly publisher, usually for little or no money. That publisher, who adds value through editing, peer review, and production, assumes the copyright, packages, and sells the research back to the university at a

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by operagost (62405)

        I had an expensive text book on "Quality" and the author misquoted John Kennedy.

        On page 135, it should say, "We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard." Instead it reads, "We eat beluga caviar with dodo eggs spread on the backs of beautiful hookers by chimp butlers."

      • by winwar (114053)

        "In my experience, publishers no longer do any editing. I had an expensive text book on "Quality" and the author misquoted John Kennedy. How could this get by an editor? Authors submit camera ready text to academic publishers."

        It depends upon the textbook. For K-12 texts there is extensive editing. There are editors for content, style, grammar,etc. But that does mean error free. The editors are not paid well and are under incredible time pressures. I suspect as the textbooks get more advanced and the q

    • "Maybe it is high time professors fought back against this extortion."

      This may be the case, if professors weren't often the authors of the textbooks in the first place.

    • by winwar (114053)

      "Maybe it is high time professors fought back against this extortion."

      What extortion? The high cost of textbooks doesn't affect the professors or lecturers. And they certainly don't make any money from it (at least most don't).

      They could source an older version of the text. But those often don't exist or don't exist in sufficient quantity. In any case, there is nothing preventing students from going this route.

      They could elect not to use a text. In some courses this is largely impractical (yes, there r

  • by professorguy (1108737) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:43PM (#32569496)
    Does an educational publishing house exist to disseminate information to the people who will use it to improve our society? Or does it merely gobble up the maximum amount of money without regard to the impact on society?

    Well, I guess now we know.
    • by fifedrum (611338)

      Universities are in the exact same business as Exxon, BP or Haliburton. Parting you from your money. This includes university libraries and publishing houses.

      They compete just as fiercely for business as any corporation. So one university press has no interest in giving a competing university unlimited access to their products for free, this is not a big surprise.

      If only there was some regulation in this multi-billion dollar a year industry.

      • by chazzf (188092)
        Erm, Cambridge University Press has one of the largest academic publishing operations in the world and it's detached from Cambridge itself. This has nothing to do with competition between Cambridge and Harvard and everything to do with academics who don't know anything about copyright law.
      • The publishing houses are not, as far as I am aware, generally really attached to the universities anymore.

        Universities themselves aren't interested in profit, really. They don't want to hemorrhage money, to be sure. They'd rather accrue it, definitely. But without shareholders, there's not much incentive to make obscene profits off of their students. (In fact, the opposite is true: they'd rather keep fees lower and make students happier/open their student base up to the best students rather than the mo

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by uniquegeek (981813)

          I wouldn't say so. Everyone's told they must go to university or college to get a good job, so if the university has a captive audience, why wouldn't they charge what they can get away with?

          In my campus bookstore, they are selling some books at 5% or 10% over list price... plus they make sure you don't get the booklist until three days before classes start. No ISBNs on the list. They're sure not doing this for the convenience of students.

      • by toastar (573882)

        Universities are in the exact same business as Exxon, BP or Haliburton. Parting you from your money. This includes university libraries and publishing houses.

        They compete just as fiercely for business as any corporation. So one university press has no interest in giving a competing university unlimited access to their products for free, this is not a big surprise.

        If only there was some regulation in this multi-billion dollar a year industry.

        Please, Haliburton doesn't sell any products directly to the people, They would never survive the scrutiny. They Sell Overpriced Parts to Exxon and BP, So they can screw you harder then normal.

    • They are taught in business school that their business ethics are based on their need to enhance shareholder value.

      They absolutely must preserve profits and will only stop if legal issues or public outcry result in more cost than the profits they gain.

      The concept of 'common good' or any concern about the impact on society (as long as it doesn't cost them money) is secondary if it is there at all.

    • Does an educational publishing house exist to disseminate information to the people who will use it to improve our society?

      Absolutely [khanacademy.org]. It just doesn't look like a traditional scholarly institution.

  • ...is that textbook publishers are greedy bastards.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Only thing? I'd ask for my money back.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Anonymous Coward
        He majored in bitching about textbook costs.
    • by blair1q (305137)

      Then you missed the more important lesson:

      Most college kids aren't really all that smart.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      You know, when I was in school, my textbooks were always over $100 a piece - business textbooks - and some were less than 200 pages. Now, I'm pretty sure that there isn't much groundbreaking research being done in business where a textbook has to be updated every decade let alone every year. But yet, we had to have the latest edition. My group psychology textbook has shit from the 60s up to the 80s.

      Then there's the cost. Why do much? Yet, graze in the computer programming section of any book store and you'

    • by MBGMorden (803437)

      Very much so, but you COULD avoid their prices if you were willing to deal with a little inconvenience. Namely, buy the older edition of books. If a class required "Fundamentals of XYZ, 8th Edition" I typically hit Half.com looking for the 7th Edition. Tons of used copies of that at $10-20 compared to the $125+ they were asking for the new edition at the book store (which if it was the first year of publishing, wouldn't have used copies AT ALL).

      Sure, if the professor pulled out the book for a read-a-long

      • I did that through undergrad. The only time that would come back on me would be when professors would assign problem sets directly from the texts. Then the only thing I could do was to 1) Find a pirated copy of the current version or 2) Make friends with someone who had the current version.
    • Wow, you missed the much more imprtant lesson....those who run colleges and universities are greedy bastards.
      Ove the last 30 years textbook prices have risen at a rate faster than inflation, over the same time period college tuition has risen faster than textbook prices.
  • Relevant TED Talk (Score:5, Informative)

    by slifox (605302) * on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:45PM (#32569532)
    I just watched a very good and quite relevant TED talk by Lawrence Lessig, about fair use and the freedoms that are being eroded by excessive copyright legislation

    I encourage you to watch it too, even though it's a bit long (20min).

    Re-examining the remix
    http://www.ted.com/talks/lessig_nyed.html [ted.com]
    • by Weezul (52464)

      I'm envisioning one quite & easy solution for GSU's lawsuit, just dump all the journals by the plaintiffs.. and get Emory, Georgia Tech, UGA, etc. to dump them too. Universities are not faceless stupid buyers of music and movies. If you make legitimately holding your IP toxic, they'll dump your ass, and make their students and faculty obtain the IP directly from the authors (or free preprint servers).

  • by Microsift (223381) on Monday June 14, 2010 @02:46PM (#32569546)

    They are basically acting like a publisher. Compare to Basic Books v. Kinko's

    • They are basically acting like a publisher. Compare to Basic Books v. Kinko's

      As the article points out, the fact that this is George State University adds an additional wrinkle. The university is a state institution, and the constitutional doctrine of state sovereign immunity protects states from prosecution under federal law; copyright is a federal statute.

      • [...] the constitutional doctrine of state sovereign immunity protects states from prosecution under federal law [...]

        I never thought the day would come when I'd be happy to read those words. What with the government using sovereign immunity, among other things, to protect prosecutors who fabricate evidence and use it at trial [scotuswiki.com], I'd forgotten that the doctrine can be used for good as well.
      • But it does not prevent federal courts from enjoining state officials from violating the law, nor does it prevent suits from proceeding against individual state officials in their own person. So the individuals who did the actual copying could be found liable, and the officials could be enjoined from continuing to violate copyright law.
      • Actually copyright is exempted from sovereign immunity. So the case would be evaluated on fair use principles which is basically a big balancing test to determine if the use was only enough to satisfy legitimate goals. So if the E-Reserve system in question was making whole books available for a 10 page reading assignment, which students were then printing off and sharing with friends, or worse, reselling, the publishers might have a case. Without the school making a profit off the reserves, and so long as
    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:02PM (#32569802)

      Look up fair use. There's a lot of factors that go in to if use is fair, but most of them are such that educational use is often fair use. You probably have the widest latitude of all when it comes to using material for educational purposes.

      Also the e-reserves system is one well founded in history. Schools would allow a professor to place a book on reserve for students. The students could then go and check out the book and copy the relevant section for the class. The whole point of the reserve system was that the book was held at the library for use for copying for a class, people could not check it out generally and take it home.

      This has gone on for a very long time and been seen as fair. All e-reserves do is update this to the 21st century. The relevant material is digitized and students can access it if they are in the appropriate class.

      Publishers need to stop being so fucking greedy when it comes to schools.

      • by melikamp (631205)

        Publishers need to stop being so fucking greedy when it comes to schools.

        By now it's pretty clear that traditional scientific publishers won't stop until they are completely ejected from the academic circles. They are going to learn the hard way that they cannot charge $150 for an undergrad calculus textbook, not when Wikibooks is as good as it is already. They will continue to suck the blood of institutions who continue using their materials, and they will get more and more aggressive in defending their copyrights. They won't change their business practice simply because they c

    • Yes, the school may have violated the journals copyright, but an academic journal does not actually do any work, none, zilch, zero. All the work is done by authors, editors and referees who are paid by universities. And therefore the publisher will ultimately lose.

      All universities should immediately cancel all journals subscripts to Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications. Academics and students will easily obtain all the articles from either free preprint servers or by

      • by Weezul (52464)

        Btw, if you're a university student, you should write your professors a simple email explaining the situation, and recommend that they put pressure on the library to cancel the journals printed by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications.

  • I think it's up to those of us who do "Information Technology" all day every day to educate people on why this is bad.

    Ultimately they and their ilk would stop all uncontrolled dissemination of information for their own private profits. That would be bad for all of humanity, and must be successfully opposed.

    It probably will cost some people their jobs in the process. I understand that and I still say it should be done anyway.

    I'm pretty sure the future which includes greater human education and kn
    • by numbski (515011)

      I'd agree with you, but your forced use of fixed-width font distracted me enough to want to complain about that instead. :P

  • Since the practice relies on fair use (creating a single digital copy, usually from a resource already paid for, for educational purposes)

    Please stop acting as if there's a hard and fast rule for what is and what is not fair use. There isn't, and pretending otherwise is deliberate ignorance. Fair use is determined by putting all the facts in a pot and stirring them around, and the facts are different every single time. Here's the actual law: link [cornell.edu], which says you can't know whether the use is fair until you stir at least four mandatory ingredients into the stew.

    Creating a single copy of a work is not fair use by itself. Making a back-up is

    • by Trepidity (597)

      In this case, the subsequent section [cornell.edu] adds another potential defense. It explicitly authorizes libraries to make single copies of copyrighted works and give them to users who request them, subject to some requirements like plastering prominent copyright notices on the copies. I've used it before to get a copy of a journal article through inter-library loan: my library didn't subscribe to the journal I needed, but through ILL, they asked a library who did to scan it, and then forwarded me the PDF.

      The practice

      • Posting one copy that everyone can download is NOT fair use. The library has a physical book: fair use is that one person at a time can hold that book, and can write notes about that book into a notebook; then the physical book can be passed along to someone else for their turn. When photocopies became simple (yes, I'm old enough to remember when they weren't), making a photocopy and pasting it into your book became considered fair use just like hand-writing your notes. None of this is the same as having
        • Posting one copy that everyone can download is NOT fair use.

          Didn't you read the earlier poster's comment? There are no bright lines as to what is or is not a fair use; any otherwise infringing use can be fair, it depends on the circumstances.

          The library has a physical book: fair use is that one person at a time can hold that book, and can write notes about that book into a notebook; then the physical book can be passed along to someone else for their turn.

          Well, the notes might be fair use, but the actual l

      • by bws111 (1216812)

        Where does it say that a library can make single copies and give them to users who request them? It specifically says a library can make 'no more than one copy' - it says nothing about making copies for any user. Furthermore, section (g) says that the protection is only 'for isolated and unrelated' reproduction, and specifically excludes 'systematic reproduction or distribution'.

        • by Trepidity (597)

          I was looking at subsection (d): "...a copy, made from the collection of a library or archives where the user makes his or her request or from that of another library or archives, of no more than one article or other contribution to a copyrighted collection or periodical issue...".

  • I did RTA, and I didn't see the name of the E-Reserves product Georgia is using, but I am betting it is the same one they sort-of open sourced a few years ago, and that I am currently maintaining at my own institution. I am in the middle of building a new E-reserves system because the one that Georgia State created is in a bit of a need of a rewrite in order to work on newer versions of PHP.

    This is a big deal. Institutions often pay incredible amounts of money to provide library catalog services, and re
  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:06PM (#32569864)
    Screw Cambridge University Press. I just lost my assitantship(read: tuition waiver) because we don't have enough funding in my department. If we had to pay even to read every single copy of an article, most of the graduate departments would be gone. In any case, how is this any different from making copies out of a physical book in a library? If they are going to go after us, they should be going after every single library that holds their books and also owns a copier, since apparently that is costing them fees as well. Where they say "Rather than make multiple physical copies, faculty now scan or download chapters or articles", they really mean "Rather than BUY multiple physical copies, faculty now scan or download chapters or articles". Oh, yeah, and remind me never to publish with Cambridge University Press.
    • If we had to pay even to read every single copy of an article, ... they should be going after every single library that holds their books and also owns a copier

      No, you don't have to pay individually if you pass around the magazine and share the one copy that the library paid for. That's why schools have libraries, so that people could share books. But if someone's going to make copies, it should be the copyright holder.

      Yes, there WERE lawsuits about libraries introducing copiers, for precisely this reason. Printing used to be complicated and expensive in small quantity; early photocopies were poor quality and expensive, or very expensive for high quality. Th

    • Universities pay a copying levy on their photocopiers, or they did when I went to university.

  • Amendment 28 : The right of a corporation to earn the same or more profits as last year shall not be infringed by congress or reality.

  • by chazzf (188092)
    Well, it's a quandary. Publishers want to sell books. Academics and students want to use those books for free, and with a volume of use that would make ever purchasing the book unnecessary for all but a handful of them. I'm sure this will seem a reasonable position to some folks here, but I think it's clear which side is asking for the moon. Incidentally, if you RTFA it's clear Georgia State was operating well beyond what might be considered "fair use" (which Georgia State more or less admitted by tighteni
    • by Cwix (1671282)
      Your absolutly right, we need to get those students to give us more money.. I mean can you believe that some of them graduate with no student loans... ohh lordy lord.
  • Oh, crap! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tetsujin (103070) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:28PM (#32570204) Homepage Journal

    "E-Reserves" in dangr? Must I now cut back on utilization of a particularly common glyph in Anglican writing? If too much unthoughtful inclusion of this glyph occurs, will total lack of futur supply occur? How can communication work with such a handicap? Can you and I sumday go back to normal utilization of this glyph without killing its supply?

  • Simple solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Monday June 14, 2010 @03:30PM (#32570262)
    Open source all course materials and stop fucking around with for-profit publishers.
  • by blind biker (1066130) on Monday June 14, 2010 @04:07PM (#32570838) Journal

    Publishers know one thing: don't fuck with tenured professors. These guys have contributed a lot of material (both as articles and as books) to the publishers, from which they gain usually very little to nothing. But the profs have the attitude that they'll send a copy of the article to any scholar that asks for it. Some even have automated e-mail systems which send the article in an automated e-mail. And publishers always let them do that, because they know what is the true source of their bread and butter, and know better than piss them off. Ask any tenured prof if they are worried that the publishing hose will come after them for distributing copies of their articles; their attitude is "Bring it on, make my day."

    Senior scientists HATE giving up copyrights to the text and every picture they publish in the article, to the journal, without getting anything in return - not to mention that they are the authors of the whole article, and must even carefully format it according to the capricious guidelines of the journal! Oh yeah, and the peer-review is done by other unpaid scientists. People are furious and anger is boiling. Does this publishing house really want to stir this nest of angry wasps? The UC boycott of NPG [slashdot.org] didn't come out from a vacuum. Cambridge University Press could find itself on the receiving end of something similarly unpleasant. Yes, they are very prestigious and with a long tradition - but so does Nature Publishing Group.

    If the situation blows up to a sufficient degree, we might see a revolutionary change towards copylefted, openly accessible scientific papers and notebooks. Public Library of Science is moving in that direction, and I can only hope that the movement/trend picks up momentum and steamrolls the greedy publishing houses and journals.

    • After reading my own post, I must say I made several blush-worthy typos and horrible sentences. Better hit the Preview button from now on.

      Wow, this is embarrassing. But I hope people get the gist of what I was so clumsily trying to say.

  • by supercrisp (936036) on Monday June 14, 2010 @05:42PM (#32572216)
    Well, there goes my ability to save my students trips to the reserve room. Like many others, I slap things on Blackboard (POS) or other CMS. Now that'll no doubt be prohibited. And here's the comparison. I had to sign away the rights to my dissertation in order to graduate. Why? Digitizing. Oh sweet irony! The library has a corp come in to do the digitizing of dissertations. That costs, so the library signed a deal where the corp gets the right to disseminate the material with little or no money coming back to me or the school. They digitize my work and then get to sell it to others for to cover their costs. Forever. If I become well-known, and my work becomes valuable (I should be so lucky!), they'll have my work to peddle in perpetuity. What's the point of comparison? The sore feeling in my bottom, and your bottom, and the bottoms of students and faculty across the nation.

Sigmund Freud is alleged to have said that in the last analysis the entire field of psychology may reduce to biological electrochemistry.

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