Tuesday, November 21, 2006
I would bet there will be a day soon where someone defines for universities more clearly than present what constitutes "fair use".
Book publishers say professors who post long excerpts of protected texts on the Internet without permission cost the industry at least $20 million a year. Cornell University, the Ivy League college in Ithaca, N.Y., agreed in September to regulate work its faculty puts on the Web, in response to a threatened lawsuit from the Association of American Publishers.
Professors are making material available free rather than requiring students to buy $100 textbooks. While faculty members from Harvard University to the University of Pennsylvania complain of a restricted flow of ideas, publishers say they must protect $3.35 billion in annual U.S. college textbook sales.
"We can't compete with free," says Allan Adler, vice president for legal and governmental affairs with the Washington-based publishers group, whose members include McGraw-Hill Cos. and Pearson Plc.