03 Jun

Why Educational Institutions Should Have a License

As the country’s premier copyright society, we do our bit to ensure that people who should have a reprographic license, such as academic institutions and photocopiers, are well informed and aware of the same. While a few universities have in fact started taking IRRO and the reprographic license seriously, a majority of similar institutions stand unprotected from infringement claims that can be slammed on them anytime.

Many renowned universities have had to bear the brunt of not having a reprographic license. One of the most famous of these infringement cases involved Georgia State University. The matter was brought to court when Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press and Sage Publications sued Georgia State University for sharing excerpts of textbooks with students at no charge. The textbook content was shared in the form of ‘e-reserves’, free to download course materials that often included scanned pages from print textbooks.

Although the court ruled in favour of the university on grounds of fair use, such cases can be avoided simply with a valid reprographic license.

Another case of copyright infringement was at the Carrington College. In its complaint, the plaintiff, National Federation of Professional Trainers (NFPT) said that Carrington College was authorized to administer NFPT’s proprietary CPT credentialing exam in connection with the college’s Physical Therapy Technology program. However, Carrington made and distributed unauthorized copies of the CPT exam in violation of NFPT’s instructions and its exclusive rights of reproduction and distribution under the Copyright Act. The case is still pending in the court.

Closer home, infamous incidents like the DU Photocopy Case in India grabbed the attention of the entire literary world. These cases show completely different scenarios of copyright infringement that were imposed upon educational institutions, thus making the importance of having reprographic licenses evident.

Because of the widespread usage of content, it is absolutely necessary for educational organisations to comply with copyright laws and get a reprographic license. Licenses reduce the risk and potential cost of copyright infringement, give blanket cover, allow distribution of photocopies, scanning of material and making digital copies in a secured network, along with many other benefits.

The need of the hour is to go legal. Do the compliant thing, get licensed.