Today, the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision on Georgia State’s copying of excerpts of scholarly works into its electronic reserve system. The 11th Circuit largely agreed that the copying of texts into the e-reserves system tended towards fair use, but found that the district court applied the fair use factors improperly.
The following can be attributed to Sherwin Siy, Vice President of Legal Affairs for Public Knowledge:
“We’re relieved to see that the 11th Circuit recognizes that the educational use of the e-reserves system lends itself to a fair use. Furthermore, the 11th Circuit correctly noted that the mere existence of a license for a particular use doesn't mean that the use is unfair.
“Although the 11th Circuit has reversed the district court’s fair use decision, it seems clear that the decision, like others before it, will allow many beneficial uses like the e-reserve system to fall within the scope of fair use. Copyright, after all, is meant to promote the progress of knowledge and learning, and protecting beneficial uses like a system that gets knowledge into the hands of students is exactly the sort of thing that the law should be doing.”
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