This paper examines the changing status of the course reader as an instructional technology in higher education. It assesses the advantages of simply providing students bibliographic entries for assigned readings instead of readers. It evaluates this alternative in regards to intellectual property and fair use issues focusing on Cambridge University Press v. Becker (2012). A study of 110 courses readers demonstrates how 45 percent of the readings are freely available either through the university library or open access sources. Finally, the paper reviews a number of pedagogical benefits to having students work directly with scholarship within a dynamically hyperlinked environment.