Originally Posted by thibaulthalpern
No, there is no copyright fee as far as I understand. The printers say the fee for the course reader is the printing and labour fee. That's all. I don't know where you're based in but in the U.S. where I'm based in, there is freedom to copy within copyright laws which means for educational purposes and also not to copy complete books. Readers produced are usually articles (which can be copy in whole) or chapters and portions from books. No copyright fee. Where copyright does become more of a hassle in my situation is when the book itself has photographs that I'm reproducing. In those cases, the printer needs extra time to contact the publisher who then contacts whoever holds the copyright to the photograph to ask for permission to reproduce the photograph.
Odd. While copying is free when done by the student himself, teachers are only allowed to compile readers that adhere to specific rules about article length (10k words usually, although it varies), and are required to pay royalties (well, the students are). If articles are assigned, they're usually put on blackboard, or linked to in some online repository that the library has access to (in order to avoid said royalties). I'm not really sure how or why, but apparently copyright holders got a foot in the door, so students now have to pay when they don't do the copying themselves. (pretty inconsistent, really).
Anyway, it's not usually only one book per course, but it will be only one book at a time, so it's not necessary to have two books open at the same time (as per your example).