A number of academic publishers are suing Georgia State University over its e-reserve practices, Ars Technica reports. E-reserves are electronic compilations of course material that professors put together for students to download in circumstances where they would not be using enough material to make it worthwhile for the students to buy entire books.
Colleges tend to claim that e-reserves fall under fair use, whose doctrine explicitly mentions making multiple copies of material for classroom use. However, publishers hold that the extent of some of these course packs crosses over into outright copyright infringement.
The outcome of the Georgia State University case could potentially have a very far-reaching impact—e-reserves are widely used by all universities, and precedents set by this case could affect all of them.