Educational Fair Use Brief in Support of Georgia State University on Behalf of Amici Curiae Academic Authors and Legal Scholars

54 Pages Posted: 3 May 2013 Last revised: 5 May 2013

David R. Hansen

Duke University Libraries; University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law; University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Peter A. Jaszi

American University - Washington College of Law

Pamela Samuelson

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law

Jason Schultz

New York University School of Law

Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown University Law Center

Date Written: April 25, 2013

Abstract

For centuries, scholars and educators have excerpted the works of their colleagues, transforming them from individual, static monographs into dynamic pedagogical and intellectual tools for classroom learning. Such transformations reside at the heart of fair use, a core copyright law doctrine established to protect socially beneficial uses of works that increase public access and promote the progress of human understanding.

In this case, Plaintiff Publishers accuse GSU and its faculty of violating their copyrights through this practice. But, as the district court correctly found, such uses are fair, especially because they primarily use factual information to promote the purposes of education and teaching, the amount taken was reasonable in light of its purpose, and because Plaintiffs’ evidence of a cognizable copyright market harm was speculative at best. However, the district court erred when it incorrectly concluded that these uses are not transformative. Using an unduly narrow definition of the concept, it failed to consider how educators repurpose scholarly works in productive ways that bring new meaning to and understanding of the works used.

As scholars and educators who produce and repurpose such works, amici urge this Court to affirm that these uses constitute a transformative use under the first fair use factor, and to reaffirm the findings under the other factors that these uses are fair. A finding of fair use in this case not only furthers the underlying goals of scholarship and education - access to knowledge - but also the very purposes of the Copyright Act itself.

Keywords: copyright, fair use, educational fair use, academic authors

Suggested Citation

Hansen, David R. and Jaszi, Peter A. and Samuelson, Pamela and Schultz, Jason and Tushnet, Rebecca, Educational Fair Use Brief in Support of Georgia State University on Behalf of Amici Curiae Academic Authors and Legal Scholars (April 25, 2013). UC Berkeley Public Law Research Paper No. 2259697; Georgetown Public Law Research Paper No. 13-034. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2259697 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2259697

David R. Hansen (Contact Author)

Duke University Libraries ( email )

100 Fuqua Drive
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

215 Boalt Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States

Peter A. Jaszi

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

Pamela Samuelson

University of California, Berkeley - School of Law ( email )

Boalt Hall
341 North Addition
Berkeley, CA 94720-7200
United States
(510) 642-6775 (Phone)
(510) 643-2673 (Fax)

Jason Schultz

New York University School of Law ( email )

40 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012-1099
United States

Rebecca Tushnet

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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