The Copyright

You've heard about the expiration of the UofA's Access Copyright licence, right? It's been on ExpressNews and The Gateway, ya know. OK, here's the upshot, in bullet points (just like in class!)

There are a couple of important implications of all this. One affects coursepacks. As an instructor, I am not allowed to create a coursepack unless the UofA has a licence. (I could track down each copyright holder and negotiate with each directly, but, yeah, that's not going to happen. It's enough hassle to fill out the Access Copyright Log every term.) In January, I teach two classes that don't have textbooks--just coursepacks. So how will that work? In a clever bit of trickery, the coursepacks will actually be printed/published/assembled in 2010, so they are covered under the about-to-expire licence. Ha-HA! Take that, Access Copyright.

The second change is that required textbooks will not be available on reserve. A couple of key words in that last sentence are "required" and "reserve." Any recommended textbooks can remain on reserve. But if a textbook is required, it has to go on the regular shelves (or it will be sent back to whomever lent it to the library in the first place), so you can't take it out for an hour at a time to photocopy it, you naughty students! You can, however, er, take it out for three weeks and photocopy it. I mean, read it. In a typical 14-week class, though, only five students would be able to borrow the book. If students are fast "readers," more students could have access to the book, but even if it takes one day to "read" the book, only about 100 students could take it out. And my class is bigger than that.

Due to popular demand, I've put copies of textbooks for my courses on reserve. This term, it's been especially important for my perception course (PSYCO 267). I've assigned "Virtual Labs" that run off a CD-ROM that comes with every copy of the textbook. But if you bought the book used, it is probably missing the CD--and you can't buy the CD by itself. (You could buy the eTextbook which has access to the labs online, but that still costs about $70.)

In a stroke of good luck, however, I am onto a special opportunity provided by Nelson Education, the Canadian publisher of that book. An opportunity that could potentially save 60 PSYCO 267 students in my class next term quite a bit of money. And I might get the opportunity to do a study I've wanted to do for a long time, but on a much bigger scale than I ever hoped. But, I've probably said too much already...

Why aren't you studying?


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