Leading Publishers File Suit for Copyright Infringement of Digital Content
Austin-based BISI Inc. Sued by University of Chicago Press, Princeton University Press, Elsevier Inc., Pearson Education Inc., John Wiley & Sons Inc. and SAGE Publications
DANVERS, Mass., February 10, 2004—Six leading publishers have filed a copyright infringement suit against Samuel Odunsi and Austin-based BISI Inc., the owners and operators of Netpaks, Abel's Copies and Speedway Copying. The University of Chicago Press, Princeton University Press, Elsevier Inc., Pearson Education Inc., John Wiley & Sons Inc. and SAGE Publications allege that these facilities routinely duplicated and distributed copyrighted materials without obtaining permission from the publishers directly or through Copyright Clearance Center. The publishers' complaint was filed recently in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas in Austin.
While recent enforcement activities in the text publishing industry have focused on print coursepack distribution, the allegations against Odunsi include copyright infringement of electronic content.
Netpaks, Abel's Copies and Speedway Copying are all located near the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. Like many college-area copy shops, they engage in a substantial business selling coursepacks that typically include journal articles, excerpts from books, 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 fairly compensate the respective copyright holders. Usually, this is done through Copyright Clearance Center, the copyright licensing and compliance company. In this situation, the suit alleges that not only were Abel's Copies and Speedway Copying illegally distributing print coursepacks, Netpaks offered online versions of the content without obtaining copyright permission. Both photocopy and electronic coursepacks were sold to students for a profit.
"It makes no difference whether the content is reproduced and distributed as photocopies, or as digital copies accessed and transmitted via the World Wide Web," said Allan Adler, vice president for Legal and Governmental Affairs for the Association of American Publishers. "Businesses must recognize that permission is required for commercial distribution of copyright-protected content, regardless of format." The Association of American Publishers is the principal trade association for the U.S. book publishing industry. The protection of intellectual property rights is among the association's primary concerns.
This lawsuit is being coordinated by Copyright Clearance Center as part of the company's ongoing enforcement and education programs that promote copyright compliance. A not-for-profit organization, Copyright Clearance Center helps businesses, academic institutions, copy shops, print centers and other users of copyrighted materials comply with copyright law through its range of print and digital licensing solutions. Royalties collected are distributed to the publishers, authors or other copyright owners who have engaged Copyright Clearance Center as a rights licensing agent.
About The Association of American Publishers
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) is the national trade association of the U.S. book publishing industry, representing over 300 member companies and organizations that include most of the major commercial book and journal publishers in the United States, as well as many small and non-profit publishers, university presses and scholarly societies. AAP members publish hardcover and paperback books and journals in every field of human interest. In addition to publishing print materials, many AAP members are active in the developing market for e-books, while also producing computer programs, databases, Web sites and a variety of multimedia works for use in online and other digital formats.
About Elsevier Inc.
Elsevier Inc. is a U.S.-based unit of the international Elsevier science and medical publishing business (www.elsevier.com), headquartered in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Elsevier is the world's leading scientific, technical and medical information provider and publishes over 1,600 journals as well as books and secondary databases. Elsevier's two parent companies - Reed Elsevier PLC ("REL") and Reed Elsevier NV ("REN") - are listed on the London and Amsterdam Stock Exchanges. Both Reed Elsevier PLC (NYSE: RUK) and Reed Elsevier NV (NYSE: ENL) are also listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
About Pearson Education, Inc.
Educating 100 million people worldwide, Pearson Education is the global leader in educational and computer publishing. With such renowned brands as Pearson Prentice Hall, Pearson Longman, Pearson Addison Wesley, Pearson Benjamin Cummings, Pearson Scott Foresman, Que, Sams, Peachpit, and many others, Pearson Education provides quality content, assessment tools and educational services in all available media, spanning the learning curve from early childhood through college and beyond. Pearson Education is part of Pearson (NYSE: PSO), the international media company. Pearson's primary operations also include the Financial Times Group (publisher and distributor of business and financial business worldwide) and the Penguin Group (publisher of an unrivalled range of fiction and non-fiction, bestsellers and classics, children's and reference works for audiences in over 100 countries). More about Pearson and Pearson Education's Internet sites can be found at www.pearson.com and www.pearsoned.com.
About SAGE Publications
SAGE Publications is a leading international publisher of journals, books and electronic media for academic, educational and professional markets. Since 1965, SAGE has helped inform and educate a global community of scholars, practitioners, researchers and students. SAGE Publications, a privately held corporation, has principal offices in Thousand Oaks, California and in London, England.
About John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
Founded in 1807, John Wiley & Sons, Inc. provides must-have content and services to customers worldwide. Its core businesses include scientific, technical and medical journals, encyclopedias, books and other online products and services, professional and consumer books and subscription services, and education materials for undergraduate and graduate students and lifelong learners. Wiley has publishing, marketing and distribution centers in the United States, Canada, Europe, Asia and Australia. The company is listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbols JWa and JWb. Wiley's Internet site can be accessed at http://www.wiley.com.
About University of Chicago Press
The University of Chicago Press, a not-for-profit university publisher founded in 1891, publishes ground-breaking books and cutting- edgejournals in the humanities, sciences, and social sciences for a global community of scholars, researchers, professionals, and educated readers. Often ranked as the largest university press in the United States, Chicago has developed an internationally-respected list of academic, professional, and writing reference books, as well as a premier list of Chicago regional titles. Through its Chicago Distribution Services division, the Press also distributes books for more than two dozen not-for-profit scholarly presses and maintains the Chicago Digital Distribution Center with its unique digital printing center adjacent to the warehouse and the BiblioVault repository for book files. A complete list of books and journals published by Chicago can be found at: www.press.uchicago.edu.
About Princeton University Press
Princeton University Press is an independent not-for-profit publisher with a fundamental mission to disseminate scholarly works of the highest quality. The Press was founded by Charles Scribner in 1905, and has close connections to Princeton University. In promoting its mission in the evaluation and the widest distribution of academic material, the Press makes its publications available through libraries, bookstores, digital libraries, and other channels. Also, the Press has established editorial offices in the United Kingdom and licenses to foreign publishers. The Press maintains one of the largest title lists among US university presses through both traditional and on-demand technologies, with more that 3,500 titles available. For a complete list of works, see our searchable online catalog at pup.princeton.edu.
About Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.
Copyright Clearance Center is the world's largest licensing agent for text reproduction rights and provider of licensing services for reproducing copyrighted materials in print and electronic formats. A not-for-profit organization founded in 1978, Copyright Clearance Center provides rights management for more than 1.75 million works represented by more than 9,600 publishers and hundreds of thousands of authors and other creators, either directly or through their representatives. In addition, the company provides more than 10,000 corporations and subsidiaries (including most of the Fortune 100), as well as thousands of government agencies, law firms, document suppliers, libraries, academic institutions, copy shops and bookstores, with comprehensive licensing services. Copyright Clearance Center can be found at www.copyright.com.
Copyright Clearance Center and the Copyright Clearance Center logo are registered trademarks of Copyright Clearance Center, Inc.