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Copyright Basics for GW: Legal Cases

UCLA Case - Streaming Video

In December 2010, after a year of discussions, the Association for Information and Media Equipment filed suit against UCLA for allegedly streaming copyrighted video content without permission on course websites.   In October 2011, the case was dismissed, primarily on procedural grounds.  

Google Book Project & Hathi Trust

On April 18, 2016, the Supreme Court declined to review the case Authors's Guild vs Google, leaving standing the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit which had found that Google's activities were within the scope of Fair Use.   A separate case, American Association of Publishers vs Google was settled earlier in 2012.  

Georgia State Case - Electronic Reserves

In April 2008, Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and Sage Publications filed suit against Georgia State University's for systematic use of copyrighted materials in its E-Reserves system.  Georgia State has clarified and tightened its e-reserves policies.  In September, the court granted a motion for summary judgement and the case is moving forward on the issue of contributory infringement.  The case was decided on May 11, 2012.  See below for links to the case and analysis. 

Revised Decision, March 2016

Publishers Again Appeal GSU Copyright Case - August 2016



Historical Cases

Basic Books Inc. v Kinko's Graphics:  In this case Kinko's was found liable for systematically copying works for classroom use by students.  

Princeton University Press v. Michigan Document Services, Inc.:  In this case Michigan Document Services was found liable for systematically copying works for students.

American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc.:  Texaco was found liable for copying and distributing copyrighted works amongst their stafff. 

Addison-Wesley Publishing v. New York University: This case was settled by the University who agreed to instruct their faculty to follow photocoyping guidelines. 


Contact Information

Debbie Bezanson's picture
Debbie Bezanson
Gelman Library

George Washington University

2130 H Street, NW

Washington, DC 20052

GW Libraries • 2130 H Street NW • Washington DC