College To Do Away With Fair Use

from the can't-get-sued dept

The latest silliness from our college campuses is this bit of news from Ithaca College, where they’re planning to tell professors that fair use no longer exists when it comes to course packs (the photocopied excerpts from various sources that many professors use to give students short excerpts from a variety of sources). While most such course packs do involve some approved material, much of it is often used on a fair-use basis – but university administrators are afraid of getting sued. Thus, they’re going to tell professors that they need to license every last bit of content they use. This means that (a) professors will ditch a lot of materials, because they don’t have time to get approval from everyone or because the publisher wants too much money to include a single paragraph and (b) the course packs will be much more expensive with less useful stuff for students. In some cases, professors will simply put the materials on library loan, where students will go and photocopy it anyway – basically adding an “annoyance” factor to the process. It’s a great lesson we’re teaching the students of today when they don’t get to read certain materials because it’s just too damn expensive.

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Comments on “College To Do Away With Fair Use”

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OldYeller says:

Nature needs balance...

I guess it should be exptected that for every forward-looking educational program like MIT’s Open Courseware, you have to have an equally reactionary, backwards policy like this, just to keep the universe in balance.

Of course this gives credibility to the RIAA’s et al, who just love to hold up situations like this as examples of ‘good citizenship’ in the treatment of copyrighted material.

Does Ithica have a Law School? Shame on them if they do.

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