Swiss libraries' copy service remains legal

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Swiss libraries' copy service remains legal

Postby Monzambano » 18 Dec 2014 14:56

Some good news - the Swiss Federal High Court has ruled that the university libraries' photocopying service does not infringe publishers' copyright.
The libraries have a service where I can specify an article in a publication the library subscribes to, pay a fee, and the library scans in the article and sends it to my computer as a .pdf. It's a fantastic service, I can do that from my desk at 1 am and have the article to review and cite often by close of business.
The publishers argued that the libraries' service infringed their copyright, and that researchers should use the service the publishers offered to buy their articles on-line (for their customary extortionate fee). The Commercial Court of Zurich at first agreed.
The Swiss Federal High Court has now cashiered the Zurich Commercial Court's ruling, so the service remains active. The Federal Court pointed out that photocopying (which carries a copyright charge) is legal, and the publishers didn't have a leg to stand on. Hooray!
The publishers have a nerve - their subscriptions are so bloody expensive that only publicly funded libraries can afford them. If they want to compete, make the price of an electronic copy reasonable.
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