May 26, 2022

Appellate Court Reverses District Court Judgment in Publishers v. Georgia State U. Fair Use Case

Note; Since Our First Post About the Court’s Decision We’ve Updated With Several Items about the Court’s Ruling. All Links are in the UPDATE Section Below.

Duke University Scholarly Communications Officer Kevin Smith shares the breaking news and some initial analysis of today’s appellate court [U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Atlanta] ruling in a blog post titled, “A reversal for Georgia State” on the Scholarly Communications @ Duke blog.

From Smith’s Blog Post:

…the hot news right now is that the Court of Appeals has reversed the District Court’s judgment and remanded the case back for proceedings consistent with the new opinion. The injunction issued by the District Court and the order awarding costs and attorney’s fees to GSU have been vacated.

Smith’s post continues with some initial analysis and Smith writing that he will be posting more on the decision. The post also includes a link to the full text of the ruling that we’ve also embedded below.

Cambridge U. Press, Oxford U. Press, and SAGE filed the original lawsuit and the appeal. The district court decision was filed on May 11, 2012.

We will also share links to additional coverage with updates to this infoDOCKET post.

Updates and Reactions

UPDATE K: American University’s Brandon Butler on the GSU Ruling
Note: Brandon (formerly at ARL) has written an outstanding in-depth analysis of the decision and what it means for fair use going forward.  The post is titled “Transformative Teaching after GSU”.

UPDATE J: Reaction from ALA

UPDATE I: ARL’s Krista Cox Summarizes Ruling (via ARL Policy Notes)

UPDATE H: Reaction from SAGE

UPDATE G: Reaction From Oxford University Press

UPDATE  F: Reaction From Cambridge University Press

UPDATE E: Reaction to Court Ruling by Association of American Publishers

UPDATE D: GSU appeal ruling — the more I read, the better it seems (Scholarly Communications @ Duke/Kevin Smith)

UPDATE C: Appeals Court Overturns Important Fair Use Win Concerning University ‘E-Reserves’ — But Potentially For Good Reasons (via Techdirt)

UPDATE B 11th Circuit Rules On Georgia State Fair Use Case (via Copyright Librarian/Nancy Sims)

UPDATE A: Federal appeals court rejects Georgia State U.’s ’10-percent rule’ for determining fair use (via Inside Higher Ed)


Georgia State Copyright Case: What You Need To Know—and What It Means for E-Reserves (by Meredith Schwartz; Library Journal, May 17, 2012)
Schwartz’s report includes a link to the District Court decision

Opinion of U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit, Atlanta (October 17, 2014)

Cambridge University Press, et al. v. J.L. Albert, et al.

About Gary Price

Gary Price ( is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.