Sunday, April 20, 2008
A Debate on Electronic Course Materials?: Faculty are Urged to Sign Up for the Affordable Textbook Campaign; A University is Sued for Electronically Distributing Copyrighted Materials
The Law School Innovation Blog describes a campaign for affordable textbooks. The campaign is collecting names (online, of course) to promote online textbooks that students can access for free, or that could be printed in various formats at low cost.
With only a small number of exceptions, the cost of textbooks (especially in the legal field) has risen greatly in the past few years.
This campaign for affordable textbooks is not directed at law professors or legal writing professors, but all members of the academy.
Professors who sign up with the campaign promise to consider selecting open source textbooks when selecting books for their classes, and that they will "[g]ive preference to a low or no cost educational resource such as an open textbook over an expensive, commercial textbook if it best fits the needs of a class." They also state their intent to "[e]ncourage institutions to develop support for the use of open textbooks and other open educational resources."
The same posting about the movement for affordable textbooks on the Law School Innovation Blog also has a link to the Law Librarian Blog, noting that some publishers have filed a federal lawsuit the U.S. district court in Georgia against Georgia State University. The publishers allege “systematic, widespread and unauthorized copying and distribution of a vast amount of copyrighted works” by the Georgia State University. Here's a link to the complaint.
Hat tip to Joe Hodnicki at the Law School Innovation Blog and the Law Librarian Blog.