60 F.3d 913 (2nd Cir. 1994), 1479, American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc.

Docket Nº:1479, Docket 92-9341.
Citation:60 F.3d 913
Party Name:35 U.S.P.Q.2d 1513 AMERICAN GEOPHYSICAL UNION, et al., Plaintiffs-Counterclaim-Defendants-Appellees, v. TEXACO INC., Defendant-Counterclaim-Plaintiff-Appellant. In re TEXACO INC., et al., Reorganized Debtors. ACADEMIC PRESS, INC., et al., Petitioners-Appellees, v. TEXACO INC., Respondent-Appellant.
Case Date:October 28, 1994
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

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60 F.3d 913 (2nd Cir. 1994)

35 U.S.P.Q.2d 1513




TEXACO INC., Defendant-Counterclaim-Plaintiff-Appellant.

In re TEXACO INC., et al., Reorganized Debtors.

ACADEMIC PRESS, INC., et al., Petitioners-Appellees,


TEXACO INC., Respondent-Appellant.

No. 1479, Docket 92-9341.

United States Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

October 28, 1994

Argued May 20, 1993.

Amended Dec. 23, 1994.

Further Amended July 17, 1995.

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Thomas A. Smart, New York City (Milton J. Schubin, Michael Malina, Richard A. De Sevo, Kaye, Scholer, Fierman, Hays & Handler, New York City; Joseph P. Foley, Texaco, Inc. White Plains, NY, on the brief), for appellant.

Stephen Rackow Kaye, New York City (Jon A. Baumgarten, James F. Parver, Christopher A. Meyer, Karen E. Clarke, Susan L. Hochman, Proskauer Rose Goetz & Mendelsohn, New York City, on the brief), for appellees.

(Susan G. Braden, Rueben B. Robertson, Ingersoll and Bloch, Wash., D.C., submitted a brief for amicus curiae Amer. Library Ass'n).

(Ritchie T. Thomas, James V. Dick, Susan Neuberger Weller, Squire, Sanders & Dempsey, Washington, DC, submitted a brief for amici curiae Ass'n of Research Libraries, Amer. Ass'n of Law Libraries, Sp. Libraries Ass'n, Medical Library Ass'n, Amer. Council of Learned Societies, Nat'l Humanities Alliance, and Ass'n of Academic Health Sciences Library Directors).

(Lawrence E. Abelman, Jeffrey A. Schwab, Norman S. Beier, Nancy J. Mertzel, Abelman, Frayne & Schwab, New York City, submitted a brief for amici curiae Amer. Auto. Mfrs. Ass'n and Chemical Mfrs. Ass'n).

Before: NEWMAN, Chief Judge, [*] WINTER and JACOBS, Circuit Judges.

JON O. NEWMAN, Chief Judge:

This interlocutory appeal presents the issue of whether, under the particular circumstances of this case, the fair use defense to copyright infringement applies to the photocopying of articles in a scientific journal. This issue arises on the appeal of defendant Texaco Inc. from the July 23, 1992, order of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York (Pierre N. Leval, Judge) holding, after a limited-issue bench trial, that the photocopying of eight articles from the Journal of Catalysis for use by one of Texaco's researchers was not fair use. See American Geophysical Union v. Texaco Inc., 802 F.Supp. 1 (S.D.N.Y.1992). Though not for precisely the same reasons, we agree with the District Court's conclusion that this particular copying was not fair use and therefore affirm.


The District Court Proceedings. Plaintiffs American Geophysical Union and 82 other publishers of scientific and technical journals (the "publishers") brought a class action claiming that Texaco's unauthorized photocopying of articles from their journals constituted copyright infringement. Among other defenses, Texaco claimed that its copying was fair use under section 107 of the Copyright

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Act, 17 U.S.C. Sec. 107 (1988). Since it appeared likely that the litigation could be resolved once the fair use defense was adjudicated, the parties agreed that an initial trial should be limited to whether Texaco's copying was fair use, and further agreed that this issue would be submitted for decision on a written record.

Although Texaco employs 400 to 500 research scientists, of whom all or most presumably photocopy scientific journal articles to support their Texaco research, the parties stipulated--in order to spare the enormous expense of exploring the photocopying practices of each of them--that one scientist would be chosen at random as the representative of the entire group. The scientist chosen was Dr. Donald H. Chickering, II, a scientist at Texaco's research center in Beacon, New York. For consideration at trial, the publishers selected from Chickering's files photocopies of eight particular articles from the Journal of Catalysis.

In a comprehensive opinion, reported at 802 F.Supp. 1, the District Court considered the statutory fair use factors identified in section 107, weighed other equitable considerations, and held that Texaco's photocopying, as represented by Chickering's copying of these eight articles did not constitute fair use. The District Court certified its ruling for interlocutory appeal under 28 U.S.C. Sec. 1292(b) (1988).

Essential Facts. Employing between 400 and 500 researchers nationwide, Texaco conducts considerable scientific research seeking to develop new products and technology primarily to improve its commercial performance in the petroleum industry. As part of its substantial expenditures in support of research activities at its Beacon facility, Texaco subscribes to many scientific and technical journals and maintains a sizable library with these materials. Among the periodicals that Texaco receives at its Beacon research facility is the Journal of Catalysis ("Catalysis "), a monthly publication produced by Academic Press, Inc., a major publisher of scholarly journals and one of the plaintiffs in this litigation. Texaco had initially purchased one subscription to Catalysis for its Beacon facility, and increased its total subscriptions to two in 1983. Since 1988, Texaco has maintained three subscriptions to Catalysis.

Each issue of Catalysis contains articles, notes, and letters (collectively "articles"), ranging in length from two to twenty pages. All of the articles are received by the journal's editors through unsolicited submission by various authors. Authors are informed that they must transfer the copyright in their writings to Academic Press if one of their articles is accepted for publication, and no form of money payment is ever provided to authors whose works are published. Academic Press typically owns the copyright for each individual article published in Catalysis, and every issue of the journal includes a general statement that no part of the publication is to be reproduced without permission from the copyright owner. The average monthly issue of Catalysis runs approximately 200 pages and comprises 20 to 25 articles.

Chickering, a chemical engineer at the Beacon research facility, has worked for Texaco since 1981 conducting research in the field of catalysis, which concerns changes in the rates of chemical reactions. To keep abreast of developments in his field, Chickering must review works published in various scientific and technical journals related to his area of research. Texaco assists in this endeavor by having its library circulate current issues of relevant journals to Chickering when he places his name on the appropriate routing list.

The copies of the eight articles from Catalysis found in Chickering's files that the parties have made the exclusive focus of the fair use trial were photocopied in their entirety by Chickering or by other Texaco employees at Chickering's request. Chickering apparently believed that the material and data found within these articles would facilitate his current or future professional research. The evidence developed at trial indicated that Chickering did not generally use the Catalysis articles in his research immediately upon copying, but placed the photocopied articles in his files to have them available for later reference as needed. Chickering became aware of six of the photocopied articles when the original issues of Catalysis containing the articles were circulated to him. He learned

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of the other two articles upon seeing a reference to them in another published article. As it turned out, Chickering did not have occasion to make use of five of the articles that were copied.


I. The Nature of the Dispute

The parties and many of the amici curiae have approached this case as if it concerns the broad issue of whether photocopying of scientific articles is fair use, or at least the only slightly more limited issue of whether photocopying of such articles is fair use when undertaken by a research scientist engaged in his own research. Such broad issues are not before us. Rather, we consider whether Texaco's photocopying by 400 or 500 scientists, as represented by Chickering's example, is a fair use. This includes the question whether such institutional, systematic copying increases the number of copies available to scientists while avoiding the necessity of paying for license fees or for additional subscriptions. We do not deal with the question of copying by an individual, for personal use in research or otherwise (not for resale), recognizing that under the fair use doctrine or the de minimis doctrine, such a practice by an individual might well not constitute an infringement. In other words, our opinion does not decide the case that would arise if Chickering were a professor or an independent scientist engaged in copying and creating files for independent research, as opposed to being employed by an institution in the pursuit of his research on the institution's behalf.

Fair use is a doctrine the application of which always depends on consideration of the precise facts at hand, see Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc., --- U.S. ----, ----, 114 S.Ct. 1164, 1170, 127 L.Ed.2d 500 (1994); Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. v. Nation Enterprises, 471 U.S. 539, 549, 105 S.Ct. 2218, 2225, 85 L.Ed.2d 588 (1985); Wright v. Warner Books, Inc., 953 F.2d 731, 740 (2d Cir.1991); H.R.Rep. No. 1476, 94th Cong., 2d Sess. 65-66 (1976) ("no generally applicable definition [of fair use] is possible, and each case raising the question must be decided on its own facts"), and in this case the parties have helpfully circumscribed the scope of the issue to be decided by tendering for the District Court's decision the facts concerning the copying of eight particular articles. Our concern is whether the copying of these eight articles, as representative of the systematic copying that Texaco encouraged, was properly determined not to...

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