First it was online music sharing. Next came video uploads and digitized books. Now a new copyright battle over digitized content is raging, this time with an unlikely set of alleged pirates: college professors and librarians.

In case you hadn’t heard, college students these days consume a lot of their information online, and university faculty have tried to accommodate them by posting more course materials on college library Web sites. But academic publishers are crying foul in federal courts from Georgia to New York to California. Backed by trade groups and copyright enforcement houses, the publishers are litigating aggressively, while the universities—almost all of them public—are zealously defending the practice of putting some portion of course content online.

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