I N T E R O F F I C E M E M O R A N D U M
Date: 04-Apr-1991 08:06am EST
From: Corinne H. Smith
Dept: Audio Visual Services
Tel No: (814) 863-3104
TO: Remote RSCS/NJE Network User ( _BITNET%SCREEN-L@UA1VM )
Subject: Copyright again
I disagree with the "call to copyright civil disobedience,"
not just from legal standpoint but also from the liability
implications. In the cases I've read about, it's the entire
institution that is taken to court, not the individual involved.
In 1989, the Burlington, VT, school system was sued for having
a video library where less than 10% of the collection consisted
of legally-acquired copies. The school lost and had to destroy
their unlicensed titles; they also had to develop a schoolwide
There used to be a "loophole" which made states and their entities
immune from damages in the case of copyright infringement. New
legislation (H.R. 3045, the Copyright Remedy Act) has eliminated
that loophole. Thus, the copyright holders now have nothing
holding them back from investigating the practices of state-owned
institutions. Would you really want to be the one who forces
a lawsuit on your university?