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A group of publishers is suing two printing companies for allegedly copying materials without permission for teachers at the University of Massachusetts and Northeastern University. In separate lawsuits filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Boston and Springfield, Mass., the 10 publishers say the copy shops violated federal copyright laws by failing to get the OK to reproduce their materials. One complaint accuses Gnomon Copy in Boston of 69 counts of copyright infringement. The lawsuit says the business printed up coursepacks — which are compilations of excerpted materials — for teachers at Northeastern. But Gnomon allegedly never got the clearance it needed from the publishers, which include the American Psychological Association, Elsevier, Houghton Mifflin, Pearson Education, Princeton University Press, Sage Publications, Thomson Learning, the University of Chicago and John Wiley & Sons. “I don’t know what they’re talking about,” said Julie Knapp, Gnoman’s owner. The other lawsuit targets CopyCat Print Shop in Amherst, alleging the store didn’t get permission from Harvard Business School Publishing, Elsevier, Princeton University Press, John Wiley & Sons, SAGE Publications and the American Psychological Association to produce coursepacks for UMass instructors. The complaint names Reza Shafii and his wife Jennifer Shafii as the defendants in the lawsuit, but Reza Shafii said he doesn’t own the Amherst shop. He said he owns six other CopyCat shops in western Massachusetts, but they produce very few coursepacks. Ray Shafii, a relative of his, owns the Amherst store, but is not named in the lawsuit. Ray Shafii did not immediately return a telephone call seeking comment. The lawsuits ask a judge to order Gnomon and CopyCat to stop copying materials published by the plaintiffs, and seek reimbursement for unspecified monetary damages. When a copy shop produces a course pack, they’re supposed to get permission from the publishing companies and pay them a fee, said William Strong, the lawyer representing the publishers. Those arrangements can be handled by the Danvers, Mass.-based Copyright Clearance Center, an independent organization that contacts individual publishers for copy shops. Strong said it’s hard to calculate how much money his clients have lost, but guessed the amount could be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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