As the use of technology in higher education has evolved, new legal issues have cropped up and old ones have been revisited, particularly in the area of intellectual property. One of the most closely watched challenges—and one with the potential to shape the application of copyright laws in the digital age—involves the use of copyrighted materials in universities’ electronic reserves.

Do universities’ academic missions justify them to provide free content to students? Must they obtain permission and pay royalties? If some material can be provided for free, how can a university decide how much is too much?

Last month in Atlanta, a federal judge ruled that Georgia State University’s use of copyrighted materials in electronic reserves was largely lawful, and its copyright policy generally effective in preventing violations. For the vast majority of claims brought by a trio of academic publishers, the judge concluded that the fair use doctrine protected GSU’s decision to allow students to access excerpts of textbooks online through the university’s Electronic Reserves System.

The opinion provides a road map for universities, explains the court’s application of the four-factor fair use test, and establishes a new quantitative standard for the posting of materials.

Ballard Spahr attorney Richard W. Miller represented GSU. In this webinar, he will discuss the ruling and its implications for educational institutions and their fair use policies.  


12:00 PM - 1:00 PM  ET |  Webinar


Richard W. Miller, Associate, Intellectual Property Litigation Group