This is an important piece by Zick Rubin in the Chronicle of Higher Ed. I urge you to read the whole thing — though it is a bit wordy, I have to admit — because it’s very important about how you approach content. I just posted about plagiarism on the web a couple of days ago. This is a topic that is always worth another go.
Copyright law is admittedly amorphous—in the first fair-use case, back in 1841, Justice Joseph Story called it “the metaphysics of the law”—and the publishers have filed an appeal. So it’s possible that the law will change.But, in the meantime, Judge Evans’s decision is the leading case on this issue, and the Copyright Clearance Center, having supported the test case against Georgia State, should respect the court’s decision. At the least, it should inform copyright owners of the decision and give them another choice: a blank for “this looks like fair use to me.” That’s what I faxed back to the center this year, even though I had to write it in.