Electronic Reserves Higher Ed Internet Use Policy

Like the RIAA's dead business model that refuses to monitize the P2P model, you will see the print publisher model in the the very same position.

At the request of professors, college libraries used to hold certain hard copies of a book in reserve to provide access to students in a particular course. Now, electronic reserves let the library scan and post parts of works on an internal Web site for students using pass codes that expire at the course's end.
At colleges and universities throughout the country, professors have the general sense that when dealing with classroom reserve materials in an electronic medium, securing copyright clearances need not be treated the same way as if they were in hard copy. 
Well, not so.  In order to address the threat of legal action by publishers, Cornell University recently issued a set of guidelines for professors who are looking to place course materials on electronic reserve.
Some time back the Association of American Publishers (AAP) sent a letter to Cornell University officials regarding suspected copyright violations relating to classroom e-reserves.  According to an article that appeared on 19 September 2006 in the Chronicle of Higher Education, Allan Adler, the vice president for legal and governmental affairs for the publishing association, stated that publishers were concerned as there seemed to be a very general sense that when you were dealing with materials in an electronic medium, you didnt really need to treat them the same way you did if there were in hard copy.  But according to Adler, as a general principle, any professor posting articles online must use the same basic guidelines that apply to printed course packets.
In an effort to address the concerns, Cornell University and  officials from the AAP have developed a set of guidelines that was distributed to professors at the beginning of the September term. 
It should be noted that the agreement relates only to e-reserves  for classroom use and not e-reserves in general.  The guidelines  seek to provide guidance for professors in making decisions whether to place materials online. Cornell also developed and distributed a checklist for fair use analysis in general. Cornell has posted a policy and guidelines
While the Cornell agreement does not conflict with copyright and fair-use guidelines generated by other academic organizations, critics of the Cornell policy note that there are some ambiguities and contradictions in the university's new guidelines that could cause some confusion -- a distinction being drawn between classroom and non-classroom e-reserves being one example.

Cornell University Copyright Policy (June 28, 1990)

Guidelines for the Inclusion of Copyrighted Material on Course Web Pages, Patricia A. McClary: Associate University Counsel (August 1999) (PDF)

Olin/Uris/Kroch Library Course Reserve Policies

Reserves Policy at Mann Library

Web Page Guidelines: Content Ownership and Responsibility,
Office of Information Technologies


Professors Get an `F' in Copyright Protection From Publishers[1]
Book publishers say professors who post long excerpts of protected texts on the Internet without permission cost the industry at least $20 million a year. Professors are making material available free rather than requiring students to buy $100 textbooks. While faculty members from Harvard University to the University of Pennsylvania complain of a restricted flow of ideas, publishers say they must protect $3.35 billion in annual U.S. college textbook sales.  ``We can't compete with free,'' says Allan Adler, vice president for legal and governmental affairs with the Washington- based publishers group, whose members include McGraw-Hill Cos. and Pearson Plc.


The state board of education selected the history and social studies texts it would buy for its 4.2 million public-school pupils. Because Texas accounts for a hefty 8 percent of America's $4.5 billion textbook market, whatever flies in the Lone Star State usually lands on desks nationwide.

Textbook Sales Rise - The higher-education segment of the U.S. book publishing industry had 2005 sales of $3.35 billion, 5.3 percent higher than 2004, the publishers association says. Sales for the entire book publishing industry were $25 billion in 2005, an increase of 9.9 percent. The debate over the definition of ``fair use'' of copyright material for educational purposes is at least as old as the modern photocopying machine. Congress responded to the proliferation of photocopiers in 1976 by allowing for limited educational use of copyright materials without setting precise limits or resolving the dispute, says Crews, the Indiana University professor.

`This Cornell agreement is a major event,'' says Tracey Armstrong, chief operating officer at the Copyright Clearance Center, a nonprofit licensing (which makes a lot of profit) agent in Danvers, Massachusetts, that collects royalties from more than 1,000 universities on behalf of publishers. The deal is significant because it contains guidelines that may be used in future college agreements, she says. The conflict stems from the interpretation of ``fair use'' as allowed under laws passed by Congress. If people aren't aware of their FAIR USE RIGHTS you'll lose them. Cornell, like other large universities, offers hundreds of courses each semester, with professors using the Internet for making articles or excerpts from books available to students at no charge, Adler says. Each item would typically generate royalties of $10 to $30.
Reserved Electronic Postings  - Follow the Money: Illegal use of posted material is widespread, hurting publishers of novels, biographies, historical nonfiction and other works, as well as textbooks, says Patricia Schroeder, the president of the publishers association and a former Colorado congresswoman.
Sandra Kerbel, director of public services at the University of Pennsylvania's campus library, says the publishers' campaign reduces the free flow of ideas. Publishers should focus more on producing textbooks that better match teaching needs to reduce use of the Web for customizing course materials, she says.
At Harvard University, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chris Dede, a professor of learning technologies at the Graduate School of Education, says the Internet may let faculty members publish their own material and cut the book industry out of the picture.  ``If publishers push too hard, faculty may just decide they no longer need a middleman who collects all the profits in each direction,'' Dede says.

Steal This Book

Google's Monetization of Libraries
and the libraries involved have at their core a mission and philosophy of open access to information, even if their economic and organizational missions are very different.  This conflict can be seen as a conscious attempt to push the boundaries of copyright law outward, by organizations that are well-informed about the legal issues but determined to build a more open information model.  They are saying “sue us.”