Earlier this week, I wrote about a custom textbook for a course in art history from prehistory to 1800 that had been assigned to students at the Ontario College of Art and Design at a price of $180, which was to be delivered without any artwork in it, thanks to a dispute over copyright clearances.
After an uproar from students and parents, the school met with students and is revisiting its decision to publish and require this book. Sarah Mulholland from OCAD writes that "Dean Shailer has sent an update letter to students this morning with some very good news as a result of her meeting with the publisher yesterday afternoon, which followed the student forum discussion."
The dean's letter is on the school's website (PDF). Here's an excerpt:
I met later in the afternoon with reps from Pearson – including the President of the Higher Education Division of Pearson Canada, Steve O’Hearn – and from the U of T/OCADU Bookstore, as well as a number of other OCAD U faculty and staff. We laid out the concerns and asked for solutions. Pearson was highly responsive and proposed offering:
• Guaranteed end-of-term buy-back of the custom text (dollar amount to be announced next week); they want to take it out of circulation.
• Provision (free) of print copies of the Stokstad text (which contains the vast majority of missing images) to all students who have purchased the reader, to use as a print-based cross-reference; these would be the relevant volumes of the portable version of Stokstad (much easier to carry) – details on how this will roll out next week.
For next semester (LBST 1B05), we will have two possible scenarios that we’d like to poll students on. In any case there will be NO EMPTY BLOCKS OF WHITE SPACE. And for future offerings (next year and beyond): we will wait until March and further feedback from all of you before making any decisions. We’d like to present all this to interested students as soon as possible and are scheduling a second meeting for next Tuesday afternoon. If you cannot attend, please get in touch and let me know your thoughts.
Here's the notice of the followup meeting.
I write books. My latest is a YA science fiction novel called Homeland (it's the sequel to Little Brother). More books: Rapture of the Nerds (a novel, with Charlie Stross); With a Little Help (short stories); and The Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow (novella and nonfic). I speak all over the place and I tweet and tumble, too.