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Court Rules Against Kinko's

Copyright Regulations Tightened for Sourcebooks, Packets

By Jennifer E. Fisher

A U.S. District Court decision handed down last Thursday against the Kinko's Graphics Corporation now tightens the regulations governing commercial reproduction of copyrighted materials for classroom use.

Under the new ruling, copy centers like Kinko's must contact all copyright holders before making their works available in source-books and packets.

According to Adrianna Foss, Kinko's corporate communications director, Kinko's Copy Centers across the country are already complying with the ruling and will still be providing course packets.

"The ruling does not have a significant impact on [external] business because we already have the policy and procedures in place," Foss said. "We just need to gear up more people and by the fall term we will be ready to process everything."

The suit, Basic Books v. Kinko's Graphics Corporation, was filed by eight textbook publishers in 1989 to clarify the Fair Use clause of the 1976 Copyright Act. Prior to this ruling, commercial establishments only had to receive permission to reprint those materials that were not covered under the Fair Use clause. The district court's reinterpretation of the clause requires approval for all copyrighted materials.

"We will be asking professors to bring in their materials as early as possible," Foss said, "because we will be requesting permission on all materials."

According to Foss, Harvard's semester system will make implementation of the stricter guidelines relatively smooth and all the changes will be internal. Also, the decision will only effect "professor-publishing" and not requests for copies by individual students.

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