Ten Leading Publishers File Suit for Alleged Copyright Infringement by Two Massachusetts Copy Shops
Press release from the issuing company
BOSTON--Nov. 15, 2005-- Ten leading publishers today filed copyright infringement suits in two separate actions against copy shops serving academic institutions in Boston and western Massachusetts.
In Boston, Julesan, Inc., which does business as Gnomon Copy, has been sued by Elsevier, Ltd., Pearson Education, Inc., Princeton University Press, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., SAGE Publications, Inc., Thomson Learning, Inc., the University of Chicago Press, the American Psychological Association and Houghton Mifflin Company. The publishers allege that Gnomon routinely duplicated and distributed copyrighted materials in the form of print coursepacks (compilations of excerpted materials) used at Northeastern University without obtaining copyright permission from the publishers directly or through Copyright Clearance Center.
In western Massachusetts, Shafiis' Inc., which does business in Northampton as Copycat Print Shop, has been sued by Harvard Business School Publishing, Elsevier, Ltd., Princeton University Press, John Wiley & Sons, Inc., SAGE Publications, Inc. and the American Psychological Association. The publishers allege the company has obtained only partial permissions in the development of coursepacks used at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.
Like many college-area copy shops, the two businesses engage in a substantial business selling coursepacks that typically include journal articles, book excerpts and other materials selected by course instructors as required reading for their classes. To comply with copyright law, copy shops must get permission to distribute the materials they reproduce and pay royalty fees to the copyright holders. Most coursepack licensing is done through Copyright Clearance Center (www.copyright.com), a not-for-profit company located in Danvers, MA, that provides permission services for more than 1,000 U.S. colleges and universities.
"This is one of the largest groups of publishers ever to come together in a joint legal action against copyright infringement by copy shops," said Attorney William Strong of Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, a Boston law firm that represents the publishers in both law suits. "This demonstrates how seriously publishers treat infringement and how aggressively they need to protect their copyrights. Businesses must recognize that permission is required for academic course materials that contain copyright-protected content."
"These law suits are a significant action not only for the publishers involved but for the publishing industry as a whole," said Roy Kaufman, Legal Director, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. "They demonstrate that competing publishers can combine forces and form a united front against infringement. We also are showing solidarity with the many copy shops that do respect the intellectual property of publishers and authors. We will do our utmost to preserve a level playing field for them."
The suit against Gnomon was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Boston. The suit against Copycat Print Shop was filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in Springfield.
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