There was a recent US copyright case involving Georgia State University and three publishers, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press and Sage Publications.  The publishers alleged the university of copyright infringement for having copies on e-reserves.  The judge ruled in favour of Georgia State U and held five of the 75 alleged instances to be fair use.  Ariel Katz stated on his blog that the case has stronger implications for Canada - "... allegations of copyright infringement by educational institutions are extremely rare, but also because the reasons for the plaintiffs' failure are highly relevant to Canada."

The judge held that nonprofit educational uses of works typically meet the purposes of use and nature of work used criteria under fair use.  Also, the judge proposed a 10 percent rule to guide decisions on the amount criteria under fair use.  In response to the case, some academic librarians have cautioned using a quantitative limit as an iron rule to guide all decisions since fair use is unique in each case and is very "context sensitive."  Fair dealing in Canada is also very context based as the CCH case has defined the six criteria for assessing fair dealing.

Here are some articles if you are interested in reading more:

Sam Cheng
Copyright Officer
Nova Scotia Community College
Institute of Technology Campus
5685 Leeds St., PO Box 1153
Halifax, NS B3J 2X1

Tel: 902-491-7477
Cel: 902-719-6049

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