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
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.