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Re: Georgia State University electronic course reserves copyright case nearing resolution?

What would you think of a university that acted as follows:

1)adopted an extreme policy that was way more radical than 
anything else in place at other universities, based on a pet 
theory of a law professor at another school in the same state 
system whose views were not widely shared among fellow experts;

2)when sued, dropped that policy entirely (because evidently the
state's attorney general considered it to be indefensible in 

3)substituted in its place a policy that superficially resembles 
the policies adopted by many other universities;

4)hired an "expert" to prepare reports to submit to the court who 
had written the policies at some other universities from which 
the new policy was copied;

5)proceeded to do very little beyond announcing the new policy's 
existence to help faculty understand and apply it carefully;

6)mandated a procedure for implementing the new policy that was 
completely mechanical in nature and contrary to the spirit of 
the law it was meant to comply with;

7)petitioned the court, on sovereign immunity grounds, to
quarantine all evidence from past bad behavior under the old 
policy from consideration by the court in determining the 
outcome of the suit;

8)limited the evidence admissible to just the behavior over a 
short span of three semesters, claiming that the new behavior 
revealed much more compliance with the law (without owning up 
to the fact that courses are rarely repeated every semester at 
most universities);

9)left the faculty bearing the entire responsibility for 
interpreting the law and entire liability for misapplying it; 

10)provided no funding at all to assist faculty in paying the 
costs of adopting materials for class use.

This is a basic summary of the way Georgia State University has 
acted in this case. However good a job its legal team may have 
done to avoid having GSU pay any penalty for past bad behavior or 
allowing the university to be held liable for present 
irresponsibility in carrying out the new policy, I submit that 
GSU's example is reprehensible morally in the extreme and 
represents a combination of hubris, stupidity, and faulty 
management that no other university should emulate.

Since the LJ story cites Kevin Smith's blog, please go to it and 
read my response:


Also, readers interested in this case may want to read my article 
on it in the current (February) issue of Against the Grain where 
I take on Ken Crews's reports preparing in support of GSU.

Sandy Thatcher

>"Both Sides Angle for Victory In Key E-Reserve Copyright Case"
>An excerpt:
>"In a significant development...both sides in a contentious legal
>battle over electronic course reserves used in an academic
>library at Georgia State University (GSU), Atlanta, have asked
>the court for summary judgment in their favor."
>Bernie Sloan