As almost any current or former college student knows, course packs are copied collections of readings that serve as part or all of a class syllabus. Often the packs' readings fall under fair use and can be copied for free; other times publishers demand licensing fees. Unsurprisingly this arrangement has led to a number of fights with publishers, and as course packs become digitized, the conflict is only growing more intense.
Just last year the American Association of Publishers forced Cornell University to scale back its electronic course pack system to only allow certain students to access each pack, and only for limited periods of time. Several other schools are getting letters from the AAP demanding similar changes to their electronic course pack systems.
In this episode of the PK's In the Know Podcast we talk with James Neal, a member of the Section 108 study group and Director of Columbia University's libraries, about the future of course packs on- and off-line.