U.S. Courts Restrict Rights to Photocopy Anthologies (Great Events from History II: Business and Commerce Series)
Article abstract: The ruling in Basic Books, Inc. v. Kinko’s Graphics Corp. greatly restricted the commercial creation of photocopied “course packs” by requiring copy shops to obtain permissions in advance.
Summary of Event
Kinko’s Graphics Corporation operates photocopy shops, customarily situated near colleges and universities, around the United States. In the 1980’s, Kinko’s started a business it called “Professor Publishing,” whereby it assembled custom-made anthologies by photocopying preexisting materials, usually excerpts from books. These anthologies were created at the request of professors and sold to professors’ students as a supplement to, and sometimes in place of, other course materials.
Kinko’s profited handsomely from this endeavor, in part because it often failed to obtain, or even seek, permission from copyright holders to copy the published material that went into its course packs. In May, 1989, some of these copyright holders sued Kinko’s in federal court for copyright violation, claiming that the photocopy chain had illegally reproduced “substantial portions” of their works. The efforts of these plaintiffs, eight publishing houses, were orchestrated by the Association of American Publishers. Their suit was aimed at two of Kinko’s New York City stores, one serving professors and students at Columbia University and the other those at New York University and The...
(The entire section is 2166 words.)
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