Publisher 'DRMs' Physical Legal Textbook About 'Property,' Undermines Property And First Sale Concepts

from the because-that's-what-publishers-do dept

We've talked in the past about just how badly certain industries would love to expand the restrictions created by DRM onto physical goods. And that's because, unlike what copyright system defenders like to claim, DRM allows companies to put restrictions on content that go way beyond what kind of restrictions can be placed on physical goods. For example: the right to resell something. In the copyright space, we've long had the first sale doctrine, which makes it possible for you to resell a physical book you own, without having to first get permission from the copyright holder. Of course, first sale has long been under attack, especially by academic publishers who absolutely hate the idea of a resale market. That's because they are monopoly providers -- professors assign the textbooks, and students need to buy them, leading to ridiculously inflated prices. Of course, what publishers still don't seem to grasp is that a healthy used market actually increases the value of the primary market, since buyers are more comfortable knowing they can at least make back some of the money at the other end.

But, the attack on first sale continues. Somewhat ironically, the next front in this battle is coming from the publisher Aspen, which publishes a very popular (in law schools) casebook on Property. It has started informing professors that with its next version, students will be required to give the book back at the end of the semester, and that the book cannot be resold. In "exchange" for this, it will grant students "lifetime" access to a digital version.

Law professor James Grimmelmann has explained what's going on here: Aspen is trying to do away with first sale rights. Basically, relying on a terrible appeals court ruling in Vernor v. Autodesk (which the Supreme Court refused to hear on appeal), Aspen is seeking to claim that you're merely licensing the textbook, rather than buying it:
The obvious goal is to dry up the used book market by draining the supply of used copies. But as Josh points out, it seems unlikely that every student will return the physical book. Rather, reading between the lines, Aspen may argue that the physical book is “licensed” rather than “sold” under the reasoning of cases like Vernor v. Autodesk. The result would be that first sale (the right of the owner of a book, or a DVD, or any other copy of a copyrighted work to resell it freely) would never attach, since the students wouldn’t be “owners” of their physical copies. If Stan Second-Year sells his copy of the new Dukeminier to Fran First-Year, he’d be a copyright infringer in the eyes of Aspen. So too might be Half.com or Barnes and Noble, if they participated in the transaction. Just to make sure that students know they’re only borrowing Aspen’s books and “agree” to those terms, it appears, students will have to purchase Connected Casebook access through Aspen’s website or a participating campus bookstore.
Grimmelmann goes on to point out that not only will this undermine the important and useful concept of first sale (and the resulting used market in these works), it will "result in the destruction of knowledge" in that it's likely that Aspen will simply destroy these books, rather than set up any sort of resale market itself. As for the claim that "well, at least they have 'lifetime' access to a digital version," Grimmelmann points out that given that such access is dependent on Aspen continuing to provide such access, the lifetime guarantee is not much of a guarantee at all.
Aspen promises “lifetime access” to the electronic versions, but we know from sad experience that gerbils have better life expectancy than DRM platforms.
He has also set up a Change.org petition, trying to get Aspen to reconsider its decision to ban the resale of textbooks, and basically "DRM" their physical books, wiping out first sale. Just the very fact that Aspen is undermining basic concepts of property on its "Property" casebook seems troubling enough -- but it shows how desperate publishers are these days to undermine basic concepts of property to prop up obsolete business models, built entirely on the basis of monopolistic pricing.

Reader Comments (rss)

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  1.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 11:42am

    Good idea, wrong method

    Forget the petition, the schools just need to tell the company that thanks to their actions, the school will now be looking for other sources for their course books, and then follow through with it.

    Suddenly going from decent profits to none will get their attention much better than some pathetic petition('Looks like a whole bunch of people signed the petition asking us to re-consider out choice regarding the book licensing.' 'Did they still purchase the books?' 'Yes.' 'Then why should we care?'), as well as serve as a pointed lesson to any other companies considered following their example.

     

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    Ninja (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 11:43am

    Give them a big middle finger and resell anyway. Simple as that. Or just pirate it. If it's not yours to do whatever you want then it's like lending from the library. Why not lend from the Internet?

     

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  3.  
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    silverscarcat (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 12:01pm

    Re:

    Even simpler...

    One person buys the books and then makes copies.

     

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  4.  
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    Mason Wheeler (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Monopoly economics are not market economics

    Of course, what publishers still don't seem to grasp is that a healthy used market actually increases the value of the primary market, since buyers are more comfortable knowing they can at least make back some of the money at the other end.

    In a free market, yes, that's absolutely true. But you just got done explaining how this is 1) a monopoly publishing system and 2) required by the professor, which means that the student does not have the choice not to buy the product. (Especially if the class is a required class for them and therefore "just don't take the class" isn't an option.)

    Free market economic principles are only valid in a free market. When monopolistic conditions exist, the market is not free, and free market principles go out the window, replaced by an entirely new set of rules: monopoly economics. And under these principles, a secondary market does nothing to improve the willingness of a student to buy your product, because they aren't buying it willingly in the first place; they're buying because they have no choice.

     

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  5.  
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    Nate, May 7th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    You know, if you had done a little research you would have discovered that this issue came up a century ago:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bobbs-Merrill_Co._v._Straus

    That is in fact the Supreme Court case which created the idea of the First Sale Doctrine. I seriously doubt this Wolters Kluwers bogus license is going to stand up in court.

     

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  6.  
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    Trevor, May 7th, 2014 @ 12:25pm

    Recent Law School Grad (Dec. 2012)

    Can Confirm. have YET to look at any law school case books since taking the bar. LexisNexis and Westlaw are so much better. I have been practicing for 11 months now.

    Therefore, lifetime access to a book I never need again is not an adequate replacement of the potential money I could recoup by reselling it.

     

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  7.  
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    kenichi tanaka (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 12:29pm

    Aspen needs to wake up to reality. Many campus bookstores rely on reselling used textbooks. Just what are trying to do? If I purchase a textbook with hard cash, I'm surely not going to be giving that textbook back unless the publisher is refunding my money at least 50%.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 12:33pm

    Are the pupils paying the same amount for one term access as outright purchases were?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 12:42pm

    It's kind of like how home owners don't actually own the land their house sits on. All they really do is lease that land from the state, and if they don't keep up with their lease payments (taxes), the state reclaims that land and anything sitting on top of it. Which includes your house.

    Just another attempt to strip people of their right to own property.

     

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    tebee (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 12:47pm

    Two questions occur to me

    What happens if I lose the book or have it stolen ? Do I get sued for breach of my licence conditions for not returning it ?
    If I mess up my ear and have to resit it, do I have to buy the textbook a second time the next year ?

    But it seems a monumentally bad idea to try to do this to bunch of people who are studying property law, I presume this book will touch on the first sale doctrine it some point. When they read that will they not question the basis on which they where sold it ?

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 12:47pm

    solution to a lot of textbook publisher shenanigans: a project to create cc-by-sa textbooks and get accurate versions certified as education materials.

    Have requirements that these be accepted alternatives for those unable or unwilling to buy the copyright restricted books

     

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  12.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 12:52pm

    Re:

    Though I can't recall the name or where it was being done(Europe somewhere I believe), I think something similar to that is already going on, it just needs to expand more so more schools know about it and use those books instead.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 12:57pm

    Re: Recent Law School Grad (Dec. 2012)

    Can Confirm. have YET to look at any law school case books since taking the bar. LexisNexis and Westlaw are so much better. I have been practicing for 11 months now.

    Therefore, lifetime access to a book I never need again is not an adequate replacement of the potential money I could recoup by reselling it.


    I kept all of my law books, and I reference them frequently--even reading cases that weren't assigned. But I'm not practicing as you are, so our experiences aren't necessarily comparable. I'd be bummed if I couldn't keep my books since I annotated and highlighted them.

     

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  14.  
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    Andrew F (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 12:57pm

    Re:

    In this case, especially easy. Law school casebooks are largely compilations of public domain materials (e.g. court opinions).

    Jonathan Zittrain has been working on this: http://h2o.law.harvard.edu/

     

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  15.  
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    Roger Strong (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    Lifetime Access...?

    It's normal to see college textbooks become obsolete after just two or three years. Students aren't allowed to use a calculus or Latin text book from the year before, because math or language has changed too much.

    Anyone want to bet that Aspen's "lifetime" access is only to the revision the students paid for, with upgrade fees for revisions published later during that "lifetime?"

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 1:03pm

    Re:

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Lifetime Access...?

    It's normal to see college textbooks become obsolete after just two or three years. Students aren't allowed to use a calculus or Latin text book from the year before, because math or language has changed too much.

    What is much more common is that the contents and examples are shuffled about a bit, so that the same content is presented in a slightly different fashion, requiring that students have the same edition so that when an instructor refers to a page or example in the book, they are all looking at the same thing.

     

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  18.  
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    Paul Alan Levy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Actually it IS the right method

    In law schools,it is the professor, not the law school, that selects the casebook

     

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  19.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Lifetime Access...?

    'Calculus or Latin'? Math and a dead language are probably not the best examples of 'changing' subjects, as those are usually fairly solid, the reason for 'needing' new books is generally as the AC above notes, where the publisher will shift the exact same content around so that books/teacher's manuals from different years won't be compatible.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    What is much more common…

    I recall only a few classes where the professor was writing the textbook, and each new quarter had to get the latest draft bound by the copy shop.

    Curiously enough, 300-level Multivariable Calculus was one of those classes. I still own that book. It's spiral-bound, with a clear plastic cover.

     

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  21.  
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    John Fenderson (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    Given that he chose two topics that don't change at all, I had assumed he was being sarcastic...

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 1:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    … two topics that don't change at all…

    You mean Latin and Latin? Those two topics? Maybe you were thinking of Latin and Ancient Greek.

     

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  23.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Actually it IS the right method

    Still, the idea remains the same, refuse to do business with them and go with a different company. The petition will only work after all if the ones signing it follow through, as if they sign, yet buy anyway, then it was nothing more than a waste of their time.

    Unless the professors are getting some sort of kickback, or provided another reason to only get books from that one company, not having to deal with any bureaucracy in making that decision would, if anything, seem to make it easier.

     

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    PRMan, May 7th, 2014 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Even easier (I've been told), upload it to Wikileaks and the Pirate Bay.

     

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  25.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    Likely, it can just be hard to tell sometimes.

     

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  26.  
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    PRMan, May 7th, 2014 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    My professor had us buy an ancient Greek book that was first published in 1910. It was great.

     

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  27.  
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    DB (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 1:50pm

    As noted above, taking their claimed "licensing" at face value could prove interesting in the case of theft, loss or simply misplacing the text.

    Presumably the publisher intends to sue Amazon/FleaBay/seller for selling stolen property if a used copy comes up for sale. But not every used copy will be stolen property, and not every locale has laws that support such a suit.

    One situation is that insured personal property is lost, the insurance company pays off the claim, and the property is later recovered. In most states insurance companies have clear title to the property. Sure, they'll often work with the insured to sort things out, but long ago they put laws in place to protect their interests. They paid for the property. It's now theirs. Sure, it might have some ridiculous text inside. But that's not their problem. It looks like a book, smells like a book, and quacks like a book. It's a book. They know how to liquidate books. Just like stolen furniture, or paintings, or silverware that was recovered: you sell it.

     

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  28.  
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    Skeptical Cynic (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 2:00pm

    This is just another sign of the assault on Property rights in general

    Any regular reader of Techdirt has read article after article of Property rights being eroded in both the digital and physical realms. This is just another case where a power wants to limit your right to what you own.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Actually it IS the right method

    Since educational purposes are explicitly sanctioned as fair use, it seems to me that appropriating the content to create a free to use aggregate source for the material for the students would be an appropriate response.

     

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  30.  
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    Roger Strong (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    Math and a dead language are probably not the best examples of 'changing' subjects, as those are usually fairly solid,

    Good point. Wheelock's Latin is only on their 7th edition in the last 50 years. Three editions since 1992. The Cambridge Latin Course is only on it's fifth edition since 1970. Latin for Americans is on only its 9th edition. Other subjects are replaced much more often.

    I forget which edition my Calculus book was, but it was nowhere near the first, and we couldn't use the previous year's edition.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 2:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    I forget which edition my Calculus book was…

    How much computing power were students expected to use? In class? In the math lab? At home?

    Good grief, did your university even have a computing center? Did they let undergraduates anywhere near the mainframes?

     

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  32.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 2:12pm

    Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    It's well known that even with subjects where the material doesn't change, publishers rearrange the book every few years simply so that none of the page references match anymore making it a different book on the same material where it would be very difficult for a student to use an older edition in the class that was different than what everyone else had even though it may contain exactly the same material.

     

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  33.  
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    Roger Strong (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    Sharp PC-1401s. 4K RAM. 0.0005Ghz clock speed. 16 character display.

    We were doing circuit design using Nodal analysis and Mesh analysis. Each problem could take three full pages of scribbled calculations to get a result. Which in turn meant a high probability of a mistake at some point. And little chance of finishing an exam before the deadline.

    And so it was strongly suggested to us - after the course started - that we all buy Sharp PC-1401s from the college book store. We copied a BASIC program around to do the analysis.

    After that exam they taught us calculus. The same questions could be solved with about 1/20th the work and time. Which raised the question, "Why didn't you just teach us calculus to begin with?"

     

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  34.  
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    Andrew D. Todd, May 7th, 2014 @ 2:48pm

    Creating Free Textbooks: Most of the Work Has Already Been Done (to Anonymous Coward, #10)

    A legal casebook is not like other textbooks. Perhaps it is closer to a course packet. A casebook consists, overwhelmingly, of copies of judicial opinions, in court cases, which have their own unique citations. There is no copyright in judicial opinions, because they are government documents. Casebooks exist because it was not expedient to have a hundred or two hundred law students all chasing after the same page of the same volume of the same law report series in the law school library. People would begin using razor blades to slice out pages, and similar pleasantries.

    In smaller disciplines, such as Anthropology, where I started, where there are fewer students chasing after the same book, it is normal to send students out to find and photocopy their basic reading for the week. It's good training to make students find stuff where it is, and look around to see what else is there, rather than narrowing their compass to a purchased textbook. Of course, in such fields, the students rapidly specialize to the point that a professor only has one student every five years or so who is interested in reading a given text. When I had to get a long-out-of-print book via interlibrary loan, I made one copy for myself, and a second copy for my professor, nd the professor said, regretfully, that it was a pity we couldn't just deposit a third copy in the university library.

    However, in the case of Law, with the internet, the limitation of numbers does not apply, and the opinions are widely published on government websites, Findlaw, Cornell University Law School's site, etc. The publisher is not allowed to change around what, say, Judge Learned Hand, said, fifty to a hundred years ago.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Learned_Hand

    A new edition of a textbook has new cases, but there are never very many of these. I don't see why someone couldn't learn law with a really old casebook, twenty or thirty years old, a brief outline/syllabus, and access to the internet. All a law professor has to do is to write a standard citation code on the blackboard instead of a page number, and stand back and let Judge Learned Hand speak for himself. As a trained academic scholar, I taught myself copyright law from an old textbook which I found for about four dollars in a Salvation Army store.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 3:41pm

    'you're merely licensing the ********, rather than buying it'.

    now who started this piece of crap and why has nothing been done to stop it spreading?
    i suggest it was another section of the 'entertainments industry' and was allowed to continue, unchallenged, because of the usual 'i'll scratch your back, if you'll scratch mine!' meaning that if the industries were allowed to carry on with this, before long it would become the norm, meaning that nothing that was bought, was actually only licensed or leased, not purchased. if this thinking/practice is extended to everything, as i am sure other industries/services will want/try to do, it will be fine until one of the original starters gets caught up with it and doesn't like it. could be interesting!!

     

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  36.  
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    madasahatter (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 4:08pm

    Re: Monopoly economics are not market economics

    A better example of a free market in technical/academic books is buying a technical book on Amazon for say Groovy. The buyer can select from a variety of books and select the ones they want using whatever desirred criteria.

     

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  37.  
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    Kronomex, May 7th, 2014 @ 4:16pm

    What's next, microchipping all books like they do with dogs and cats? How about printing books with ink that after the allotted usage time frame fades of self combusts. This greed by corporations is now beyond a joke and nothing will be done, except for polite tut-tutting from sock puppet governments, to reign them in. I have to go now a book I purchased twelve months ago to the day is starting to smoke.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 4:39pm

    Re: Good idea, wrong method

    Unfortunately, colleges are just as bad the publishing companies.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 4:42pm

    It was ridiculous when software companies started doing this. Then video game consoles...if I buy it, it's mine. I refuse to give any more money to companies like Adobe who stopped selling their products and now have 'subscription fees.' It flies in the face of common sense for the consumer.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re: Good idea, wrong method

    Unfortunately, colleges are just as bad the publishing companies.

    Some colleges (or at least parts of some colleges) are trying to do something about this.
    http://www.library.ucla.edu/libraries/affordable-course-materials-initiative-description

     

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  41.  
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    Rekrul, May 7th, 2014 @ 7:59pm

    Re:

    If I mess up my ear and have to resit it, do I have to buy the textbook a second time the next year ?

    This is a printed textbook. You read it with your eyes. I don't see why a messed up ear would need you to "resit" it.

     

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  42.  
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    My Name Here, May 7th, 2014 @ 9:01pm

    cool story bro

    But if you can't afford it, you should do without. If you can't pay, you don't deserve to be smart.

    Mike Masnick just hates it when copyright law is enforced.

     

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  43.  
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    Deranged Poster (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 9:11pm

    Re:

    50% do you pay the Library 50% of full cover price to borrow one of their books, if so you really need to learn that borrowing books is Free. not 50% of cover value.

     

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  44.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 9:47pm

    Re: cool story bro

    Ah the good old elitist idea of 'Only the rich and well off deserve the opportunity to better themselves with education, the rest of you peasants deserve only to obey your betters'.

    Oh yeah, that mindset will get you so much sympathy from the general public and those with basic decency... /s

    Removing first sale right is in no way an 'enforcement of copyright', in fact it's showing a pretty healthy contempt for the law by bypassing it using private contracts, but hey, I suppose you just can't get that warm and fuzzy feeling without at least one strawman and/or ad hom in your posts, now can you?

     

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  45.  
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    Sacredjunk, May 7th, 2014 @ 10:54pm

    Re:

    I guess there would be a huge deposit amount for the book and you get back maybe 80 - 90% of that amount when you return it

    The remaining 10 - 20% is the amount which was the original price of the book

     

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    Anonymous Coward, May 7th, 2014 @ 11:24pm

    Go to the police and charge them with theft. Because that's what this attempt is.

     

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  47.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 7th, 2014 @ 11:55pm

    Re: Re:

    I believe the point being made is that if the books are mandatory purchases, as they would be for a collage course, and it's also mandatory that you return them after a period of time(Why? Because 'screw you', that's why), then they better be offering to refund some of the purchase price in exchange for getting the book back.

    However, unless I missed something, that is not part of the offer. Rather, in exchange for a perfectly good text-book, you get nothing more than a 'lifetime' access pass to an ebook version of it, which will undoubtedly be rendered useless for any future courses you might take on the same subject due to the frequent shuffling of the exact same content to force people to buy the 'updated' versions, and which will be lost as soon as they decide they don't want to support the servers hosting it anymore sometime down the line.

     

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  48.  
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    Bergman (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 12:04am

    Re: Good idea, wrong method

    Of course, the company won't conclude that the lack of business is the fault of their bad business model.

    No, they'll blame piracy instead.

     

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  49.  
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    Cody Jackson (profile), May 8th, 2014 @ 4:41am

    Don't really see the difference

    How is getting a lifetime subscription to the electronic version any different than just keeping the book?

    Assuming the student wants to keep the book rather than sell it, especially if they highlighted it or made notes in it, then how is the electronic version any better? Unless the ebook is updated on a regular basis but, if it's a casebook, I can't see a lot of changes being necessary.

    Plus, I don't really see how this is enforceable. It's a physical book. If you don't give it back at the end of the year, there is nothing the publisher can do about it. And if the student sells it personally, i.e. not through the campus book store, who's going to know that it even occurred?

    Basically, it's not going to stop the used-book sales but it makes the publisher look like a buffoon and lose any respect they may have had.

     

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    Pragmatic, May 8th, 2014 @ 5:33am

    Re: Monopoly economics are not market economics

    Free market economic principles are only valid in a free market. When monopolistic conditions exist, the market is not free, and free market principles go out the window, replaced by an entirely new set of rules: monopoly economics.


    What Mason Wheeler said. Read and heed it, people.

    The same goes for oligopolies, monopsonies, cartels, and other distortions. Which is why I am currently blue in the face from declaring that there's no such thing as a free market.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  51.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 8th, 2014 @ 5:49am

    Re: Creating Free Textbooks: Most of the Work Has Already Been Done (to Anonymous Coward, #10)

    As a trained academic scholar, I taught myself copyright law from an old textbook which I found for about four dollars in a Salvation Army store.

    As a Pirate Party supporter, I taught myself copyright law for free via the internet - mostly Techdirt. I actually started out on the side of the maximalists because their view was more prevalent and they still own the narrative. It was only through reading TD and Pirate Party ebooks and websites that I learned that there's another side to the story and that the **AAs are the bad guys.

    I changed my mind when I realised the importance of the public domain, that it is being robbed by extending copyright length, and that artists and creators aren't always the copyright holders.

    What really swayed me was the sure and certain knowledge that copyright is not for the little people, it's for the big corporations. We're given the illusion that enforcing it more harshly will benefit us. As I pointed out yesterday, it doesn't. We ourselves have no long-term investment in this and receive no dividends from it.

    The best we can expect from increased copyright terms is double-digit sequels to crappy movies because we've finally run out of public domain stuff to utilize and the studios can't use anything else due to licensing issues.

    RE: the article, Kirtsaeng was a terrifying case because it would have raised the specter of perpetual copyright. These guys are committing theft by claiming that you're buying their book when believe me, they'll yank it right back by forcing you to pay for updates or continued access at the first opportunity. If you're only renting, you should be allowed to pay rental prices.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:03am

    Re: Re: Monopoly economics are not market economics

    "there's no such thing as a free market"

    Because it is not allowed to exist.
    Free exchange of property and ideas???? --- Oh Noes!!!!!! ---I am being cheated out of my cut, damn it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  53.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:07am

    Re:

    Remember this warning from Doc Searls, and how he was laughed at for tinfoil-hatting?

    https://blogs.law.harvard.edu/doc/2012/02/29/edging-toward-the-fully-licensed-world/

    The man saw it coming!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    Were you learning math, computer science or engineering?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:10am

    Re: Re: cool story bro

    Now, now, That One Guy, property rights are not for peasants such as us. Tug your forelock if you can't afford to buy a hat to raise to our corporate overlord.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:12am

    Re: Don't really see the difference

    I hope someone does this and it goes to court. The publisher will be forced to admit that the students don't own the book so there was no sale; they were duped into paying through the nose for a temporary license and an ebook that they probably can't copy for use in other formats.

    Needless to say, any updates will have to be paid for.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 6:16am

    Re: Re: cool story bro

    Although I think the op was being sarcastic, it does hit upon a common flaw found in the rich entitlement class. This class of people thinks there is a need for unwashed masses to worship their existence and tell them how great they are whilst happily slaving away.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    identicon
    Just Another Anonymous Troll, May 8th, 2014 @ 7:44am

    I think I will by this... But the money I pay will also be DRM'd. After one year they have to give it back, but they get lifetime access to my bank account statements!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 8th, 2014 @ 9:07am

    Re: Lifetime Access...?

    Calculus changed too much? Perhaps the problem set at the end of the chapter. Latin changed too much? It's a dead language.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    -, May 8th, 2014 @ 3:13pm

    Pirate it

    Just copy the book already...sheesh.

    When laws are written by criminals, the only sensible thing to do is break the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 1:55am

    Re: Re: Recent Law School Grad (Dec. 2012)

    This!!!

    actually since I highlighted and wrote in margins (sometimes doodling..but thats another story) and I know nearly all other Law students have, are, and will always do this then this becomes an interesting legal conundrum..

    Does the act of highlighting and annotating then create a transformative work? Have I by the sweat of my brow slogging through the boredom that is property law contributed to creating a new and wondrous work from my usage of this 'licensed' (what a load of twaddle) physical thing?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), May 9th, 2014 @ 1:58am

    Re:

    And just where do you reside that you have never heard of Freehold title?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2014 @ 4:39am

    Re:

    You are a fucktard, you know that, horse with no name?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 9th, 2014 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re:

    I live in America, and in America if you don't keep up with your property taxes, they take your property and everything built on top of it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  65.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 10th, 2014 @ 8:17am

    wowza

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  66.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), May 12th, 2014 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Lifetime Access...?

    My professor had us buy an ancient Greek book that was first published in 1910. It was great.
    More like a waste of money. Can you say "Public Domain"? I.e., you could have just DLed the book without legal troubles.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  67.  
    icon
    Sheogorath (profile), May 12th, 2014 @ 5:44pm

    Re: cool story bro

    Actually, Mike Masnick likes it when copyright law is enforced. What Mike Masnick just hates is when copyright law is used as a club and/or abused in other such ways. "Learn your opponent before you strike." - Mr Miaggi.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  68.  
    identicon
    oh THAT Brian!, May 19th, 2014 @ 9:31am

    What if ...

    I were to sell my access to the permanent textbook?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  69.  
    identicon
    Kim Ella Cruz, May 22nd, 2014 @ 1:55am

    Great post!

    You had a great post, very informative. Thanks for sharing. In case you need help with real estate, read these Montana Cabins

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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