Copyright and the Historian: How CUP v. Becker Affects You

Perspectives Online is featuring an important article on a recent landmark copyright case by Michael Les Benedict, emeritus professor of history at The Ohio State University, and a member of the AHA Task Force on Intellectual Property.

This case, Cambridge University Press v. Becker, is one that directly affects how teaching historians go about their work, and should be read by anyone who has ever assigned or plans to assign, a course reading through their library’s e-reserve system.

Benedict helpfully places Becker, decided in May 2012, within the context of past decisions on copyright rulings and the even larger debate over the meaning of copyright in the U.S. Constitution. He analyzes not only what this ruling means presently, but also looks at where the debate and the legal struggles will move next. He concludes by recommending that educators and librarians get involved immediately in working toward a solution that meets the needs of all parties involved, rather than wait for a “devastating court loss” to radically transform how they serve their students.

Read the entire article here.

Readers will also be interested in Benedict’s pamphlet recently published by the AHA, A Historian’s Guide to Copyright.

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