Blogger Brent Ashley recently shared the somewhat shocking story of his daughter’s experiences at OCAD University in Canada. Ashley’s daughter is taking a class called “Global Visual and Material Culture: Prehistory to 1800.”
For this class, she was required to purchase a textbook for this class which costs a whopping $180. Now anyone who has been to university in the last few years or has children that have, know that the prices of textbooks are verging on the ridiculous, however in the case of Ashley’s daughter, it gets even worse.
She was required to pay $180 for this art textbook, that didn’t have ANY PICTURES. To see the pictures referenced, students would have to follow along online. Apparently the reason for this, so the students were told, is because the publisher couldn’t get the copyright permission sorted in time for the print run.
An art textbook, completely lacking in art!! The mind doth definitely boggle!
Recent court rulings in Canada would suggest that the type of images that would have used in the text, would be given “fair dealings” protections for use of education. However it seems that the terrifying fear of preposterous copyright claims has defeated common sense once again!
The students in the class started a petition, complaining about what they called a “sham” and who would blame them. The dean of the university responded with a letter to the students, it read:
“The book is complete as printed and is not missing pictures because we didn’t get copyright clearance in time. If we had opted for print clearance of all the Stokstad and Drucker images, the text would have cost over $800.”
The letter also states that the book combines 3 necessary texts for the course, which would have cost the students more if bought separately.
But something definitely isn’t right here, is it a copyright issue or isn’t it? As Ashley points out:
“I’d be interested to know how this wasn’t an issue with the book last year (or any previous year for that matter), and which Renaissance painter rose from the dead to claim copyright.”
(Via Tech Dirt)