University Presses Welcome New Cornell Guidelines on Use of Digital Course Content

September 20, 2006: The Association of American University Presses welcomes the announcement by Cornell University and the Association of American Publishers of appropriate guidelines for the use of electronic reserves in classroom readings. Electronic reserves systems present particularly thorny copyright dilemmas to all parties: faculty selecting appropriate course materials, libraries whose systems are supporting e-reserves, and publishers and authors who produce educational and scholarly content. We trust that the spirit of open dialog between Cornell and the publishers of AAP, as well as the promising solution they have arrived at, will serve as a model for the treatment of electronic "reserves" practices at campuses around the country.

The newly issued Cornell guidelines are a positive follow-up to the "Campus Copyright: Rights and Responsibilities" guide to policy considerations created in 2005 by the Association of American Universities, the Association of Research Libraries, AAP, and AAUP. That publication recognized the continuing difficulty of developing workable copyright guidelines for electronic reserves systems, which can differ in practice greatly from both traditional library print reserve systems and permissioned coursepacks.

Peter Givler, Executive Director of AAUP, applauded the announcement: "Hooray for Cornell and the publishers! This is a wonderful example of what can be accomplished when people who disagree agree to listen to each other and talk it out. As for the guidelines themselves, they're built on a brilliantly simple principle: if you would have had to clear permission to use copyrighted work in the world of printed coursepacks, you need to clear permission to use it in the new world of electronic reserves and course management systems. That's logical, it's easy to understand, and it clarifies a basic rule of the road for everybody. My hat is off to everyone involved in developing the Cornell guidelines. They should be the national standard."

"This is welcome news for all of us who try to navigate copyright issues on the twenty-first century campus," said Penelope Kaiserlian, president of AAUP, and director of the University of Virginia Press, "As publishers working within and for universities, university presses welcome the clear and reasonable guidelines that Cornell University has offered as a result of its discussions with AAP. I hope these guidelines will become a model for other universities developing policies for the management of copyrighted materials in the digital age."

AAUP is an association of 129 not-for-profit scholarly publishers, located across the country and the world. More than 80 of these presses are units of universities and many pursue campus partnerships with their libraries and scholarly centers. Founded in 1937, AAUP supports the work of its members through professional development, cooperative services, and public advocacy for their common mission.

Download the Cornell Guidelines: icon.pdf

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