Senators Dick Durbin and Al Franken recently introduced a new bill — the Affordable College Textbook Act — to assist students with textbook costs. The purpose of the bill is to overcome the rising cost of textbooks by providing states with an incentive to experiment with open educational resources. If the bill is passed, it would direct the Secretary of Education to fund the creation of college textbooks and materials that would be made available for free under open licenses. These licenses would allow students and instructors to access, reproduce, adapt, and distribute the newly created textbooks and materials for any purpose, with the sole requirement that authors of the work are acknowledged.

The bill is currently being reviewed by a congressional committee.

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