The problem of illegally downloaded books is a growing one. This article in The Guardian discusses this trend.
Faculty frequently ask if sharing a scan of a chapter or article via Canvas is an acceptable use of copyrighted material. USF Policy (0-105) states that all faculty, staff, and students are responsible for their appropriate use of copyrighted materials, and provides a few guidelines to make it easy for faculty to evaluate their use of materials. It reminds us that a copy must only represent a small amount of the original work, that faculty should consider the four part fair use test if providing course readings under the fair use provision, copying should not be a substitution for the purchase of a book, should not include workbooks or test booklets, should include a copyright notice, and it recommends obtaining permissions if a reading is to be used over multiple semesters. As examples of what constitutes a small amount it elaborates: “a single chapter of a book, an article, or a few photos from a larger collection.” The USF Libraries’ Course Reserves service uses a system that automatically checks the length of requested readings for amounts in excess of one chapter/article or ten percent of a total work.
Science reports that scholarly publishing giants Elsevier and the American Chemical Society (ACS) have filed a lawsuit in Germany against ResearchGate, a popular academic networking site, alleging copyright infringement on a mass scale. The move comes after a larger group of publishers became dissatisfied with ResearchGate’s response to a request to alter its article-sharing practices.
See the article, “Help Us Celebrate the Public Domain” in Digital Dialogs posted by Copyright and Intellectual Property Librarian LeEtta Schmidt about the upcoming celebration of the public domain in January 2019 and vote for what will be digitized and made available in our online collections.