The recent lawsuit between GSU and Oxford/Cambridge/SAGE is an interesting one and a "must follow" for libraries with Reserve systems. While this one will be based in the U.S. copyright framework, it should present some generic issues of interest to all. The key issue from my perspective is the evolution of print reserve collections to eReserves, with the creation of the coursepack "wrench" thrown in the middle of it all. My understanding of it all would be that if a professor wishes the convenience of a single printed coursepack for their students they pay the appropriate fees to do so - in essence they are paying to create a new derivative work. Some publishers will charge, others will not - Access Copyright will also be happy to act on their behalf in the Canadian context. If the professor is happy to present the disparate items in a non-coursepack context, such as a list in a reserve system, or in a CMS, then the need to pay fees or seek permission does not exist, in my opinion.
For me it all comes down to the Fair Dealing (or Fair Use in the U.S.) concept and the right of libraries to act on behalf of their patrons. If a student could make copies of a series of journal articles and book chapters without seeking permission (for their own private use), as they can do, then libraries can act for them in a Reserve or eReserve system. End of story. The courepack is a recent phenomenon that has introduced a wrench in the works because it provides an opportunity for publishers to define a "new work" and thereby insist on fees. I think it is a lost leader, as I always come down to the right of the individual student to make appropriate copies of material for their own private study and my role as a Library to act on their behalf. Publishers threatening lawsuits over the use of Reserve/eReserve systems is nothing more than an backdoor attempt to undermine the fundamental "fair use" rights of the individual, so I hope GSU does not back down.
See also AAP story.