Legal Battle Brews Over Texts on Electronic Reserve at U. of California Libraries

The Chronicle Of Higher Ed Reports (sorry, subs only) Publishers are objecting to an electronic reserve system at the University of California in which libraries scan portions of books and journals and make them available free online to students.

In recent months, lawyers for the Association of American Publishers have sent letters to the university that object to the use of electronic reserves on the San Diego campus. The publishers say that the use of electronic reserves is too extensive, violating the “fair use” doctrine of copyright law and depriving them of sales.

“They clearly had a lawsuit in mind when they started contacting our office,” said Mary MacDonald, a lawyer for the university system. “Their position was that the ‘evidence’ showed that we weren’t following fair-use guidelines, that this was a national issue, and that the set of facts gave them a good platform from which to take legal action.”