Tonight: Join us to celebrate Education Week’s 2021 Leaders To Learn From. Register to attend the gala.
Law & Courts

Copyright Ruling Spurs Questions Over Photocopying

April 24, 1991 1 min read

A recent court ruling against the unauthorized photocopying of published materials for college anthologies could create confusion over what constitutes educational “fair use” of copyrighted works, an expert on the issue is warning.

“This kind of ruling can be another nail in the coffin for copying for educational purposes because it frightens the librarians and those who have custody of the copy machines,” said Michael Cardozo, a Washington lawyer who is a member of the Educators’ Ad Hoc Committee on Copyright Law.

“The librarians fear they will be sued,” Mr. Cardozo added.

In a case brought by eight publishers against the Kinko’s Graphics Corporation, Judge Constance Baker Motley of U.S. District Court in Manhattan ruled March 28 that Kinko’s infringed on the publishers’ copyrights by publishing without permission professors’ anthologies of book excerpts for sale to college students.

Five anthologies compiled by professors at New York University, the New School for Social Research, and Columbia University were cited in the publishers’ lawsuit, which focused on Kinko’s, a chain of some 560 copy shops nationwide that has outlets near many colleges and universities.

Judge Motley rejected Kinko’s claim that the photocopying should be considered fair use for educational purposes under federal copyright law, ruling the chain had a profit-making motive to copying the anthologies. The judge ordered Kinko’s to stop producing the anthologies without permission and to pay the publishers $510,000 in damages, plus court and lawyer costs.

Kathlene Kars, assistant director of copyright for the Association of American Publishers, which coordinated the lawsuit, said the group did not perceive a major problem with unauthorized copying for anthologies at the elementary and secondary level.

Legal experts said it was unclear whether production of an anthology on a school campus for cost, thus eliminating the profit angle, would eliminate the need to obtain permission for each copied work.

“If the ultimate use of the copying is for nonprofit educational purposes, then it should be considered fair use,” Mr. Cardozo said.--mw

Related Tags:

A version of this article appeared in the April 24, 1991 edition of Education Week as Copyright Ruling Spurs Questions Over Photocopying


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Law & Courts Webinar
The Future of Criminal Justice Reform: A Sphere Education Initiative Conversation
America’s criminal justice system is in crisis and calls for reform are dominating the national debate. Join Cato’s Sphere Education Initiative and Education Week for a webinar on criminal justice and policing featuring the nation’s
Content provided by Cato Institute
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Student Well-Being Webinar
Equity, Care and Connection: New SEL Tools and Practices to Support Students and Adults
As school districts plan to welcome students back into buildings for the upcoming school year, this is the perfect time to take a hard look at both our practices and our systems to build a
Content provided by Panorama Education
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Classroom Technology Webinar
Here to Stay – Pandemic Lessons for EdTech in Future Development
What technology is needed in a post pandemic district? Learn how changes in education will impact development of new technologies.
Content provided by AWS

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

Law & Courts Appeals Court Weighs Idaho Law Barring Transgender Female Students From Girls' Sports
The three-judge federal court panel reviews a lower-court ruling that blocked the controversial statute and said it was likely unconstitutional.
4 min read
Image of a gavel.
Marilyn Nieves/E+
Law & Courts Federal Appeals Court Backs Socioeconomic-Based Admissions Plan for Boston 'Exam Schools'
The court denies an injunction to block the plan for next year and says considering family income in admissions is likely constitutional.
3 min read
Image shows lady justice standing before an open law book and gavel.
iStock/Getty Images Plus
Law & Courts U.S. Supreme Court Wary About Extending School Authority Over Student Internet Speech
In arguments, the justices looked for a narrow way to decide a case about the discipline of a cheerleader over a profane Snapchat message.
7 min read
Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington on April 23, 2021.
Members of the U.S. Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the court on April 23. The justices heard arguments Wednesday in a major case on student speech.
Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP
Law & Courts Supreme Court to Weigh When School Board Censure of a Member Violates the First Amendment
The justices will decide an issue that has become more salient as a few board members rant inappropriately on social media.
5 min read
Image of the Supreme Court.