Saturday, October 24, 2015

Affordable College Textbook Act

Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Al Franken (D-MN) have (re-) introduced the Affordable College Textbook Act which, among other things, introduces a grant program for pilot programs to expand the use of open textbooks.  The bill is, in part, motivated by the high cost of college textbooks.

Nicole Allen of the SPARC alliance, whom some of you may know, helped to draft the language of the bill.  It may sound trite, but contact your senator and encourage the prompt passage of this bill.

Competitive grant programs, like the one proposed in the bill, are yet another way of encouraging academics to engage in open textbook authorship.  The peer review process of competitive grant processes provide the kind of recognition that tenure and promotion committees can understand.


  1. Looking at the text of the bill, I see that

    "The term `open license' means a worldwide, royalty-free, non-exclusive, perpetual, irrevocable copyright license granting the public permission to access, reproduce, publicly perform, publicly display, adapt, distribute, and otherwise use the work and adaptations of the work for any purpose, conditioned only on the requirement that attribution be given to authors as designated. [emphasis added]"

    If I'm reading that correctly, it rules out both ShareAlike and NonCommercial clauses.

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