For Library staff who scan UVA course reserves, the latest ruling in the ongoing Georgia State University e-reserves case is welcome news. In Judge Orinda Evans’ latest ruling, strict limits on the amount that can legally be posted from a single work have been replaced by a subjective judgment on what amount might adversely affect sales of a published work.
In her initial 2012 decision the judge ruled that electronic reserves were indeed protected under the fair use doctrine as it applies to U.S. copyright law, but she set a limit of one chapter or 10% of a copyrighted title. Lawyers for the Association of American Publishers appealed the decision in 2014 and were rebuffed when the court ruled that the limits were too restrictive. Judge Evans’ latest ruling, that the effect that reserves might have on a book’s market value determines the amount that can be posted, means some posts could legally exceed the limits she set earlier.