Less than a month after Judge Orinda Evans declared Georgia State University to be the prevailing party in the four-year long lawsuit brought against GSU by three scholarly publishers–Cambridge University Press, Oxford University Press, and SAGE–which hinged on alleged copyright infringement in e-reserves and course management systems, the plaintiffs have announced that they will appeal the ruling. This appeal rather frustratingly comes as little surprise to those who have kept tabs on this long-running case, as it has been clear throughout that the publishers’ interpretation of fair use is fundamentally different than that of GSU, which correlates to the interpretation of many academic libraries, and ultimately that which Judge Evans thoroughly examined in her ruling.
For the publishers, who articulate their dissatisfaction and disagreement in a statement released yesterday announcing the decision to appeal, there is little to lose and potentially much to gain in an appeal. As Brandon Butler, the Association of Research Libraries director of public-policy initiatives, was quoted as saying in the Chronicle of Higher Education’s coverage, “the plaintiffs’ situation [is similar] to that of gamblers who have little left to lose. ‘They’ve been gambling all day, they’re way, way in the hole, they can make one last gamble and win everything back.’”
Interesting times ahead, it seems.