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Justice Dept. Will Not Weigh In on Georgia State U. E-Reserves Case

The U.S. Department of Justice has decided not to file an amicus curiae brief in a high-profile copyright case involving Georgia State University and several publishers.

The case in question, Cambridge U. Press et al. v. Mark P. Becker et al., was brought against the university by Cambridge, Oxford University Press, and SAGE Publishers. It accuses Georgia State of committing widespread copyright violations by making some of the publishers’ content available on electronic reserve without licensing it.

Last May the U.S. District Court in Atlanta ruled that Georgia State had violated copyright in only five of the 99 instances the publishers listed, a decision that fair-use advocates hailed as a victory.

The publishers are appealing the verdict. Earlier this year the Justice Department requested more time to consider filing an amicus brief, a move that worried some academic librarians fearful that the government would throw its weight behind the publishers.

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