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Judge Denies Publishers’ Request for Relief in Georgia State U. E-Reserves Case

There was more good news for Georgia State University and more bad news for the publisher plaintiffs on Friday in a closely watched lawsuit over the use of copyrighted material in e-reserves. In May, Judge Orinda Evans of the U.S. District Court in Atlanta handed down a ruling that dismissed all but five of the copyright-infringement claims brought by Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers against the university. On Friday afternoon, Judge Evans issued an order denying the plaintiffs’ request for injunctive and declaratory relief for those five infringements. She ordered the defendants to make sure that the university’s copyright policies are “not inconsistent” with her May ruling. She also awarded Georgia State “reasonable attorney’s fees,” as well as other costs to be determined.

The court is “convinced that defendants did try to comply with the copyright laws,” Judge Evans wrote on Friday. “On balance, the court finds that defendants are the prevailing party in this case.” Representatives of the plaintiffs said they would review Friday’s order before commenting.

“The judge’s order is a validation that the university has acted in good faith within the bounds of fair use,” said President Mark P. Becker of Georgia State. “We are pleased to have helped set the bar going forward.”

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