This in from Boyoung Chae of the Washington SBCTC via the Open WA newsletter:
Best-selling organic chemistry textbook becomes open access
Brace yourselves, chemistry students and fans of the field: John McMurry’s best-selling textbook, Organic Chemistry, is about to become free. McMurry spotted a clause in his 30-year-old contract with the publisher that allowed him to grab the copyright, and he’s publishing a new digital edition on non-profit courseware provider OpenStax. McMurry will donate his payments from OpenStax to a cystic fibrosis charity in memory of his son.
Then additionally Chemistry World reports that:
“…the aim isn’t to make publishers go out of business, McMurry says. Cengage will still make money from McMurry’s book through the supporting online material. ‘We like to have them continue selling that because a lot of students want that,’ McMurry says. He explains publishers still do add value. ‘I would not want to see them disappear, but they’re not going to make anywhere near as much money in the future.’”
Now that the book is openly licensed, it will be nice to see if the WA State Board (or a college or non-profit) takes the initiative to supplement the book with openly licensed study materials. Through H5P perhaps?