Now, lest anyone who might read this blog feel that I am picking on one particular party (coughcoughGOOGLEcoughcough) too often, it needs to be pointed out that publishers have their own share of "highly questionable" assumptions that librarians tend to get up in arms about.
Case in point: last month, after a 4-year legal tussle between the Association of American Publishers and Georgia State University (Cambridge vs. Patton, for you legal wonks out there), a judge handed out a decision that left the publishers holding the short end of the stick (this link points to another story that is well worth reading; there is a link to the 340-page decision itself, if you REALLY want to read it all) concerning academic libraries and the use of copyrighted material in electronic reserve systems. It looked as though Judge Evans handed out a fairly balanced opinion on the whole, affirming some long-held assumptions about "fair use" while questioning some others. While this decision, strictly speaking, applies ONLY to Georgia State,
it is widely looked upon as a model that can be used to set standards
for digital copyright issues in the larger community as well.
Another site with an excellent set of links to and about the case is to be found at the Conference on College Communication and Composition on the NCTE website here.
But stay tuned. The AAP made it clear that they did not concur with the judge's ruling, and I am sure that we will be seeing a more detailed response in their proposed response to the injunction.