Publishing group hires Qorvis for lawsuit messaging

WASHINGTON, DC: The Association of American Publishers hired Qorvis to handle messaging for three academic publishers' copyright lawsuit against Georgia State University.

WASHINGTON, DC: The Association of American Publishers hired Qorvis to handle messaging for three academic publishers' copyright lawsuit against Georgia State University.

The publishing trade association hired Qorvis on a monthly basis, according to Matt Lauer, Qorvis MD. The account's budget is undisclosed.

The AAP is supporting a federal lawsuit filed by Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, and Sage Publishing that alleges GSU officials are enabling professors to provide students with digital versions of copyrighted materials published by the three companies. The suit seeks an end to the alleged violations but does not seek monetary damages.

Qorvis is focusing its media relations effort on clarifying the complexities of the lawsuit, which Lauer said is the first to deal with the digital distribution of textbooks, to members of the press.

“The real purpose [of the hire] is to clarify as much as we can of a complicated lawsuit,” he said. “[Digital copyright law] is sometimes hard to comprehend in the concept of what is fair use and what is not fair use.”

Lauer said he believed media coverage of the lawsuit has been fair,so far.

“I think that people have understood the issue and given balance to both sides,” he said.

Judith Platt, AAP director of communications and public affairs for freedom to read and trade policy, declined to comment. GSU could not be reached for comment.

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