Students enrolled in the Ontario College of Art and Design's Global Visual and Material Culture: Prehistory to 1800 are required to buy a $180 "custom textbook." Despite exclusively covering material that is, by definition, in the public domain, and despite a Canadian Supreme Court ruling that establishes a broad "fair dealing" exemption for educational materials, this year's textbook contains no pictures, because the school and the copyright holders (whatever that means in the context of material from "prehistory to 1800") can't agree on licensing.
In other words, this is a blisteringly expensive art book with no art in it. It will not serve as any kind of lasting visual reference. It's hard to see how it will serve any use at all. And it's mandatory.
Students have taken up a petition to protest the "preposterous" situation.
Copyright and the pictureless Art History textbook
(Image: blank book opene, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from pandora_6666's photostream)
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