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Office of Academic Affairs

Post Office Box 751 Portland, Oregon 97207-0751 503-725-3422 tel 503-725-5262 fax

TO: AllPortlandStateUniversityFaculty FROM: RoyKoch,Provost DavidReese,AssistantGeneralCounsel RE: CopyrightLawandCoursepacks DATE: September8,2010 Earlierthisyear,PortlandStatebecameinvolvedinalawsuitbroughtbyagroupof publishersagainstTheSmartCopy,acopyshopusedbysomePSUfacultymembersfor coursepackpreparation.ThelawsuitallegedthatcertaincoursepackspreparedforPSU facultymembersincludedmaterialswithoutcopyrightclearance.Forthecoursepacksat issue,TheSmartCopydidnotusetheCopyrightClearanceCentertoclearthecopyrights. Instead,TheSmartCopyreliedonwrittenassurancesfromfacultymembers,containedat thebottomofthecopyordersheets,statingthatcopyrightshadbeenclearedandthat thefacultymemberswouldindemnifyTheSmartCopyintheeventofanylawsuitalleging infringement.TheSmartCopyandPSUjointlysettledthelawsuit.Aspartofthe settlement,inadditiontopayingdamagestotheplaintiffs,TheSmartCopyagreedthatit willalwaysusetheCopyrightClearanceCenterforcopyrightcomplianceandnolonger relyonrepresentationsmadebyfacultymembersandtheUniversityagreedthatitwill remindfacultyoftheirobligationsundercopyrightlawandthepotentialconsequencesof failingtocomply. Copyrightinfringementlawsuitsarebothcostlyanddamagingtothereputationofthe institution.FacultymembersdonothavetheauthoritytobindtheUniversitytoan agreementtoindemnifyacopyshoporanybodyelse.Suchactionsarebeyondthescope orauthorityofemployment.Inlawsuitsofthisnature,itislikelythatindividualfaculty memberswillbepersonallynamedasdefendants.Inthefuture,youshouldassumethat theUniversitywillnotdefendorindemnifyindividualfacultymemberswhosignsuch agreementsandthenincurliabilityduetocopyrightinfringement.Itislikelythatsuch facultymemberswillbepersonallyresponsiblefortheirlegaldefensecostsandany liabilityarisingfromtheallegedinfringement.Federallawprovidescopyrightholderswith abroadrangeofpotentialremedies,includingactualdamages,statutoryminimum damages,andrecoveryofcostsandattorneysfees.

Itistheresponsibilityoffacultymemberstoensurethatcoursepacksarepreparedina mannerthatconformstocopyrightlaw.Beforeusingacopyshop,facultymembers shouldensurethatthecopyshopcomplieswithcopyrightlawbyclearingcopyrights throughtheCopyrightClearanceCenter.ThePortlandStateBookstoreandCleanCopy haveaGuidetoCoursepackCreation,whichincludesinformationabouttheirmethodof clearingcopyrights.Itisavailableathttp://digital.lib.pdx.edu/resources/CC Coursepack_Guide2007_lowres.pdf.Ifyouhaveadditionalquestionsregardingcopyright lawandtheclassroomuseofcopyrightedmaterials,thereisagreatdealofuseful informationonthePSULibrarysCopyrightInformationwebpage, http://www.lib.pdx.edu/copyright/.