While I had not heard the term “Open Educational Resources (OER), I am familiar with using publicly or open-licensed content. We have actually been having a lot of conversations at work about how to distribute learning both to students and staff in a manner which is consumable. There is so much valuable content available, both in terms of scholarly open-journals, as well as lectures, quick-videos, etc… Our challenge right now is actually to cull through the content and find the content type which best suites the audience and context.
Searching through some of the databases I found a number of useful sources which would make a nice companion for some of the context I already have (e.g. http://ocw.mit.edu/courses/sloan-school-of-management/15-317-organizational-leadership-and-change-summer-2009/part-i/readings/). I was quite impressed with the sheer volume of content and found it a bit overwhelming. I know I only scratched the surface with a few searches.
I can see a lot of value in have relatively easy (and free or cheap) access to content, especially from highly regarded sources. Certainly having content which has been deemed appropriate at a peer-institution helps a lot with having confidence in the source material. However, one possible downside of this is instructors becoming over reliant on others to do their research and themselves losing touch with the source content. Another challenge I see with the copyright rules is making sure the rules are maintained as they are borrowed from one source to another. For instance, those who deliver content to both public (university) and private (professional workshops) need to make sure they are following the rules of the content.