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Academic Publishers Ask The Impossible In GSU Copyright Suit

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the they'd-settle-for-infinity-minus-one dept.

Education 221

Nidi62 writes "A Duke University blog covers the possible ramifications of a motion in the copyright case against Georgia State University. Cambrigde, Oxford, and Sage have proposed an injunction that would first enjoin GSU to include all faculty, employees, students. All copying would have to be monitored and limited to 10% of a work or 1000 words, whichever is less. No two classes would be allowed to use the same copied work unless they paid for it, essentially taking fair use out of the classroom. Along with this, courses would be allowed to be made up of only 10% copied material, the other 90% must be either purchased works or copies that have been paid for by permission fees. And, if this isn't enough, the publishers also want access to all computer systems on the campus network, to monitor compliance and copying. 'This proposed order, in short, represents a nightmare, a true dystopia, for higher education....Yet you can be sure that if [these] things happen, all of our campuses would be pressured to adopt the "Georgia State model" in order to avoid litigation.' Disclosure: I am currently a graduate student at Georgia State University."

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Only a Plaintiff Proposition (5, Informative)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177482)

Before Slashdot goes into immediate outrage mode (although, by noting this, I might already be too late) over this, please note one very important thing:

This is a PROPOSED INJUNCTION BY THE PLAINTIFFS .

In our adversarial judicial system, plaintiffs will try to ask the court for as much relief as they can get away with. The courts will either accept it, accept part of it or laugh it out of court. However, merely a request for this amount of relief has zero effect on the law whatsoever. If I was injured in a minor car accident with you, I'd be well within my rights to ask the court for a billion dollars in compensation and relief. However, this doesn't mean the court will give it to me, nor does it have any real implications beyond the fact that I might come off sounding like a litigious dick.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177526)

But what about precedent? It can have as much force as law.

You're right... this could (and should) be laughed out of court, but if they win any part of it then there is a lot of incentive to ask for the same measures at other schools and a very good chance they can win it.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (2)

Sonny Yatsen (603655) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177554)

I don't know how to really respond to this except to say: "No, it won't have as much force as law (or, realistically, any force whatsoever)."

Would my request for a billion dollars in the car accident hypothetical also have the same effect as law? Would it also be operative as a legal precedent?

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177628)

so YOUR the asshole that makes my car insurance rates go up!

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (2, Funny)

phoenixwade (997892) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177896)

so YOUR the asshole that makes my car insurance rates go up!

so you're the asshole ruining english.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177920)

Me fail english? That's unpossible!

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178310)

Amazing that in this day and age people still can't work the contraction:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contraction_(grammar)

I blame texting.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178322)

so you're the asshole ruining english.

So you're the (other) asshole ruining English.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178470)

so YOUR the asshole that makes my car insurance rates go up!

so you're the asshole ruining english.

So you're the asshole ruining English.

Muphry's Law [wikipedia.org]

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (2)

PickyH3D (680158) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177788)

It depends how forcefully it gets laughed out of court, if at all.

If it's not a very angrily thrown out, then there is definitely a reason to believe that it will simply come up again.

Sure, you asking for a billion dollars is ridiculous. But if you're not told so, then you're going to ask for it again in your next suit rather than a more appropriate amount.

In both cases, the plaintiff is well within their rights to request it, even repeatedly, but if the earlier courts did not strongly throw it out previously, then the current court may see it a bit more loosely. It's a scary and slippery slope, and while I imagine you are probably sitting on the same side of the fence as I am, I still think it's pretty scary that they even chose to ask for it even though I fully expect it will be shot down. I just fear it won't be shot down strongly or quickly enough.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178438)

If your request was granted, then yes it would be a legal precedent.

If your request was granted, the next time someone has a car accident involved suit, they will request the same and then point to your case's precedent. That would be very bad.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177544)

Doesn't sound like a very good way to run a legal system. Maybe if there was an uninterested third party to decide potential damages in advance, if only to save our collective blood pressure?

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

rastilin (752802) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177564)

That sounds like an excellent reason to panic. This isn't something I'm comfortable with them thinking they can get away with; having someone think they can dictate terms to you never leads to anything good.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

Pieroxy (222434) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177592)

For me, this whole story is a HUGE OPPORTUNITY. I mean, grab a few authors, start an editing company and sell your books on a more academic-friendly terms.

You are fairly sure that you'll get a fair marketshare. They want unreasonable terms? Get your books from publishers that do have friendly terms!!!

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177988)

They want unreasonable terms? Get your books from publishers that do have friendly terms!!!

Yes, cause all publishers have exactly the same books and all books are equally good.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177600)

No you don't. You have the right to ask to be made whole.

Asking for 75 trillion dollars like the MAFIAA does from time to time just makes you look like an ass and discredits you in front of the judge and everyone else.

This is unconscionable and should be laughed out of court by the judge and it should come with an attached letter from the judge saying "next time, don't use crayon to write motions."

--
BMO

who can forget holycost author wolfowitz's trial? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177610)

former sex/god of the imf? no?

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177626)

If you asked for a billion dollars as compensation for a minor injury I'd think you are a greedy little shit trying to make money off the courts. Why should I think any differently for the plaintiffs in this case?

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177836)

This is why I believe the "I only get paid when there is a settlement for you" lawyering itself should not be legal. If you make a greedy claim you should still have to pay your lawyer.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

peragrin (659227) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178038)

If you make a greedy claim you should still have to pay your lawyer, and if you lose you have to pay our lawyers too.

At least for cases over $500,000 or so.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

Blackajack (1856892) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178550)

This would just mean that only the wealthy get justice. Hey, now wait a minute..

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (1)

swiftdr (1713300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178670)

This is why I believe the "I only get paid when there is a settlement for you" lawyering itself should not be legal. If you make a greedy claim you should still have to pay your lawyer.

Your lawyer should advise you not to make a ridiculous claim.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177682)

So the adversarial system leads to overly high legal costs to the plaintiffs because of the increased probability of dismissal, overdue proceedings and even more difficult negotiations for settlement.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (4, Insightful)

nosfucious (157958) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177774)

I think the easiest way here is for the Vice-Chancellor/President/COO of the Universities to organise a boycott of those publishers.

Implicit in this is:
- Establish a new publishing house, for and by Universities
- Stop all puchases and subscriptions to those publishers
- A few phone calls to other universities to do the same.

Universities have enough financial clout to fight this one. Independant research organisations would not be able to afford NOT to change publishers.

Yes, there is a LOT of short term pain in taking these actions, but I'd say that the long term effects if this were to succeed and the remedy be granted in full, would cause chaos in research for decades.

An outrageos Plaintiff Proposition indeed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177790)

While you may be technically right on

merely a request for this amount of relief has zero effect on the law whatsoever

...it does have an effect on me. I'm genuinely outraged and feel the strong urge to punch one or two of those bottom-feeders and they lawyers in the face.

I'd very much hope Academia threw that slime out, but by watching reality I fear that many decision-makers within Academia are corrupt themselves and guests in this disgusting party.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (2)

Sprouticus (1503545) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177858)

All you need is one corrupt or stupid judge to fuck things up for everyone.

SO ? what the fuck differs ? (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177900)

this is 'just' a 'proposed injunction by plaintiffs' somewhere in some state, another is just another thing by some other party in other state, something else is 'just' something else someplace else.

one needs to be a moron in order not to realize that these kind of 'just this, that' things are on the increase, and even worse ones are up, and these will eventually become the norm at this rate. because, 'somewhere', 'someone' will manage to make 'something' fly, and from that point on it will be repeated everywhere else, and others will push the boundaries constantly from that new frontier.

Re:Only a Plaintiff Proposition (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178006)

Plaintiff demands the Moon, but because it's only a proposal, nobody is outraged?

No, I'm sorry. Even as a proposal this is utterly ridiculous. I am outraged. Were I working at that university my solution would be simple: screw you, Oxford, Cambridge, Sage and other archaic publishers. I'd cancel all my textbook requests for my classes, use *zero* conventional publisher-copyrighted material (Creative Commons and public domain okay), and hand-draw and photograph my own pictures if I had to when putting together my own class materials. Heck, I'd get students involved in the production. Then I'd make it available for anyone else to use under Creative Commons license. I'd put in 5 times the effort I normally would to remove all dependency on ordinary published materials until the publishers got the message that I don't need them and their unreasonable terms. There comes a point where the cost of licensing already-made material from publishers exceeds the effort it takes to make things myself. Cross that line, and publishers can look forward to eventually going out of business, because I'll start building more of my own stuff, and I'll get scores of students to help who are tired of paying $100/textbook.

That's my proposal. Monitor that.

Right to Read (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177538)

http://www.gnu.org/philosophy/right-to-read.html

Re:Right to Read (1)

Forty Two Tenfold (1134125) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178638)

That, and whatever happened to gift economy [wikipedia.org] ?

Stop stealing copyrighted material. (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177540)

Please, do some original research rather than relying on copying things that other people have already done. Copying established research is the Chinese way of doing things. If we ever hope to lead in this world again, we need to train our students to be creative and original.

Re:Stop stealing copyrighted material. (4, Insightful)

ATMAvatar (648864) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177644)

I hate to feed the obvious troll, but just in case anyone fails to see how much is wrong with your statement, it is worth pointing out that virtually all new knowledge builds on older knowledge. That said, education is one of, if not the most important reason that free use exists.

Re:Stop stealing copyrighted material. (3, Insightful)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178136)

...not to mention the obvious stereotyping the user has done, and the fact that any researcher in academia who doesn't have a ton of citations in a research paper would have it scrutinized for plagiarism - and most likely they would find something. There are very few original ideas that do not build on others, and in our Intellectual Property mad society (where ideas = money) we must cite everything all the time. I'm sure I should be citing someone right now, but for the life of me I can say who published this sentiment I feel.

Re:Stop stealing copyrighted material. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177666)

Those Chinese bastards, they copied paper money, the state exam and the compass! Or did they steal it?

Re:Stop stealing copyrighted material. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178366)

You dont understand what they are talking about... they aren't stealing research.

Go read the article for fucks sake.

IMF guy, assange, pickens, all sex criminals? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177546)

no wonder it's to be decreed this day that the god given chosen ones' holycost must be extendead until at least 2025, because of our fear, & the # of us, which both are big. disarmament is catching on all over the globe. so we'll clearly be at some advantage, & the rest of the world will continue to bow down, suck up, & just re-fear us in general. it worked for us until it didn't, now it's not our fault if a lot more death & destruction is done because THEY won't listen/give us their resources, even though we need them to keep the dream a lie for another day. when self-importants of our guys get nailed, it's ALWAYS 'former' head..., alleged, unproven blah blah blah. innocent until ,,, unless. terrorific example of regimes run amok.

still waiting? more stand-up talknician routines. more threatening now? will the FSF guys be arrested for sex crimes too? julians, adrians, everybody's at risk, of being arrested, or worse. scary? 13 year old tagged by ss.gov at school for unapproved tweeting. so we're safe from him now. the key to the bells & whistles of just one city is way too much trust to put in one human. our/our planet's fate however, is different?

same old; how many 1000 babys going up in smoke again today? how many 1000's of just folks to be killed or displaced again today? hard to put $$ on that. the cost of constant deception, to our spirit? paying to have ourselves constantly spied on & lied to by freaky self chosen neogod depopulationers? the biblically styled fatal distraction holycost is all encompassing, & never ends while we're still alive, unless we cut them/ourselves off at the wmd. good luck with that, as it's not even a topic anywhere we get to see, although in real life it's happening everywhere as our walking dead weapons peddlers are being uncontracted. you can call this weather if it makes you feel any better. no? read the teepeeleaks etchings.

so, once one lie is 'infactated', the rest becomes just more errant fatal history.

disarm. tell the truth. the sky is not ours to toy with after all?

  you call this 'weather'? what with real history racing up to correct
itself, while the chosen one's holycostal life0cider mediots continually
attempt to rewrite it, fortunately, there's still only one version of the
truth, & it's usually not a long story, or a confusing multiple choice
fear raising event.

wouldn't this be a great time to investigate the genuine native elders social & political leadership initiative, which includes genuine history as put forth in the teepeeleaks etchings. the natives still have no words in their language to describe the events following their 'discovery' by us, way back when. they do advise that it's happening again.

who has all the weapons? who is doing MOST of the damage? what are the motives? are our intentions & will as the ones who are supposed to be being represented honestly & accurately, being met? we have no reference to there being ANY public approval for the current mayhem & madness pr firm regime style self chosen neogod rulership we've allowed to develop around us, so we wouldn't have to stop having fun, & doing things that have nothing to do with having to defend from the smoke&mirrors domestic frenetics, of the unproven genocides. rockets exploding in syria fired from Libya? yikes?

  the zeus weather weapon is still being used indiscriminately against the population, our rulers' minions are fleeing under fire.

the whore of babylon has been rescued by the native elders. she has the papers of challenge authored by the hymenical council, & is cooperating wholeheartedly with the disarmament mandate.
disarm. thank you.

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Re:IMF guy, assange, pickens, all sex criminals? (1)

intheshelter (906917) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177662)

Wow. Can you tell me what meds you were on when you posted that? I'd like to see if I can score some when I just want to sail away.

Re:IMF guy, assange, pickens, all sex criminals? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177966)

+1 High-Larious Surreal Non-Sequitur

will the FSF guys be arrested for sex crimes too?

We can only hope!

What is copied? (1)

VendingMenace (613279) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177620)

I guess I have a skewed perspective, being that I have really only experienced science classes (or lower division non-science classes). But in almost all of these, there is very little copied material. Things are taught out of a book (or books) that the students are responsible for acquiring access to. While the students may obtain copies on their own, the professor would never disseminate them.

Are things different in other fields? Are there areas where classes are taught primarily from copied materials? If so, why is this done, instead of just picking a selection of books? Is it that there are no adequate books? If so, then why don't people write them?

Sorry for all the questions. As I said above, I am pretty ignorant on this topic.

Re:What is copied? (4, Informative)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177684)

I guess I have a skewed perspective, being that I have really only experienced science classes (or lower division non-science classes). But in almost all of these, there is very little copied material. Things are taught out of a book (or books) that the students are responsible for acquiring access to. While the students may obtain copies on their own, the professor would never disseminate them.

Are things different in other fields? Are there areas where classes are taught primarily from copied materials? If so, why is this done, instead of just picking a selection of books? Is it that there are no adequate books? If so, then why don't people write them?

Sorry for all the questions. As I said above, I am pretty ignorant on this topic.

I'm the submitter, and I'm in the political science graduate program at GSU, so I can only speak for it (and really, only the classes I have taken and anecdotal evidence from others). Often times, our professors would hand out maybe one or 2 chapters of a book in printed form, to keep students from having to pay for the whole book. Other times, they will put them on online course reserves, where you can print out the article or book chapters yourself. Usually this is done in conjunction with using books (that have to be purchased) and articles available for free (to the student) on databases that the University subscribes to. A lot of students will print off these articles as well (which is what I believe is one of the things the publishers are complaining about). Some professors also just provide course packets. Basically, it seems these publishers feel like fair use costs them money, and they want to get rid of it.

Sounds like excessive copying to me (3, Informative)

petes_PoV (912422) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177826)

Often times, our professors would hand out maybe one or 2 chapters of a book in printed form, to keep students from having to pay for the whole book.

if that is what's considered acceptable practice at GSU, then yes: it sound sound like copyright violations. From my perspective, "fair use" means quoting a soundbite-sized portion - maybe a conclusion or a few sentences that support a proposition. It definitely should NOT cover giving students enough material that they don't have to buy textbooks. I do think the monitoring proposals sound a little extreme, but if large-scale copying is rampant at that university, then something needs to be done to stop it - and to ensure it IS stopped.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177982)

I would hardly consider 1-2 chapters of a 10-14 chapter academic book "excessive" copying. Especially if that book was a limited academic printing and costs between $70-100.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178198)

As a recently-graduated computer engineering major, I am curious to know why you feel that $70-$100 is an unreasonably high price for a "limited print run" textbook. None of the textbooks in my engineering or computer science classes cost less than $120, regardless of length. Frankly, I would have been thrilled to only have to pay $100 per textbook!

Also, while there were several books that we only used a chapter or 2 from in class, it was pretty clear that the rest of the book would be worth having on hand once I was in the workplace. Are your textbooks not useful or applicable outside of class? If so, what kind of classes are you taking that that would be the case?

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (2)

zeroshade (1801584) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178564)

You assume that GP doesn't agree with you that the textbooks you had were also unreasonably priced. Personally, I believe that if a textbook required for a class costs more than ~$30-$50 then it's unreasonable to require its purchase. Especially if you're only using a chapter or 2. I got by in college mostly by either sharing textbooks with friends, or just going without the textbook and borrowing it from a friend when necessary.

Obviously I know that not everyone is able to do that, but textbooks are just ridiculously priced nowadays.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (4, Insightful)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178348)

Sounds pretty excessive to me. This isn't quoting a paragraph, this is taking a substantial portion of the book. If you need your students to have read it, get enough copies for the library. If that's too expensive, don't make them read it. If you're going to base your module round it, make them buy it. Sounds a lot like you've got an underfunded library that they're trying to work around by violating copyright. It's certainly not the behaviour I've seen of lecturers in my field.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (2)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178402)

Apparently, that is the core of the problem.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178026)

Exactly. I was already under the impression myself (Computer Science grad student here) that fair use of printed works is limited to 10% or a chapter, whichever is greater. The largest amount of printed material I ever received from a professor was a novella in a lit review course, but that novella was itself part of a larger anthology (and my have been public domain anyways).

I've also never heard complaints about students printing journal articles from digital databases. That is exactly what your school is paying hefty licensing fees to the publishers to allow. Without those fees publishers like Elsevier charge out the ass to individuals for copies of single papers.

Don't know where the 10% rule came from though...

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (1)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178094)

Often times, our professors would hand out maybe one or 2 chapters of a book in printed form, to keep students from having to pay for the whole book.

if that is what's considered acceptable practice at GSU, then yes: it sound sound like copyright violations. From my perspective, "fair use" means quoting a soundbite-sized portion - maybe a conclusion or a few sentences that support a proposition. It definitely should NOT cover giving students enough material that they don't have to buy textbooks. I do think the monitoring proposals sound a little extreme, but if large-scale copying is rampant at that university, then something needs to be done to stop it - and to ensure it IS stopped.

Let's put it this way: if I had to buy all the books of which I read only a single chapter or two for a single Sociology course, I'd be bankrupt by now. Indeed, this single course would cost me more than my entire Engineering degree (I'm not joking). Some books are worth the buy; most aren't, not for a single chapter at least. Libraries have only so many copies, and budget for them is always at a minimum. Let's add to this stew that they earn less than a STEM graduate, and you may have at least some empathy instead of plain and pompous stupidity. Large scale copying isn't solved with laws or injunctions: we have them and don't do squat.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178434)

The professor can license the material and put together a course package. They do it all the time.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (3, Insightful)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178242)

I think copying is more a symptom of students burdened with costs - tuition, segregated fees, dorms/living expenses (as many do not attend schools near their homes where they can remain living with their parents), and book fees - all while watching governments across the board de-prioritize educational funding so that school becomes unaffordable unless you are destitute or rich.

From the student's perspective: What has changed so much in mathematics up through calculus that I need to buy a new revision of the textbook every two years, other than the publishers don't want used book sales (much like the other slashdot article stated that game companies don't like used sales because it is 'worse than piracy from an economic standpoint'). Why is the only way I can get a book in a bundled package with a study guide and online resource that I neither want nor does my professor require? Why do I need to buy a particular book if I already know of a better one, but my professor requires the 10 odd problems assigned out of the book? What am I paying my professor for if most or all the information they are professing is from a book I could have studied outside the classroom?

Gripes, but I think they are legitimate gripes that lead to a very important question: should education be a for-profit enterprise with all its knowledge locked up into highly restrictive IP laws, or does the knowledge output of academia belong to the society as a whole and as such should be subsidized by that society as a whole?

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178356)

...that lead to a very important question: should education be a for-profit enterprise with all its knowledge locked up into highly restrictive IP laws, or does the knowledge output of academia belong to the society as a whole and as such should be subsidized by that society as a whole?

I think you have an answer, but they would call you commie or lefty if you write it. ;)

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (1)

Xacid (560407) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178270)

Agreed.

However, this feels very much like the kind of response you'd expect from a business model that relies on gouging prices and forcing students to buy new editions each year. A teacher's goal is to make sure the student learns the material and is prepared for what follows - not worrying if every student is able to afford to shell out an extra thousand or two on school books each year.

We see the same scenario occur with overpriced software, games, movies, music, etc. Once it exceeds what many people are willing to consider "reasonable" then piracy appears to rocket upwards.

But that's their business decision.

What I'd like to see are more business models to compete with that structure. Referencing an article from earlier this week - a few course materials could be replace with the curriculum from Khan Academy. (He explains how they've implemented this in a school and frankly I'm straight up impressed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gM95HHI4gLk [youtube.com] )

I think we're way overdue to grow out of the old model. Does that make the school's actions correct? No. But it should damned well be a sign that it's time to adjust practices on the school's end or time for the business to adjust how they operate. Seeing how this has gotten to the point of litigation it appears neither is happening at the moment.

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178358)

There are specific (and perhaps too limited to apply here) exemptions for education because as a society we see these things as benefiting the public good. Based upon what the parent poster said, I don't see any problems with what they're doing at GSU. The whole book copied, okay, that might be a problem, but a chapter or two for purely academic study? The legal penalty, if any, in that case should be very minor. Shouldn't even be worth suing over, IMHO.

Of course, IANAL, so what do I know?

Re:Sounds like excessive copying to me (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178440)

From my perspective, "fair use" means quoting a soundbite-sized portion - maybe a conclusion or a few sentences that support a proposition. It definitely should NOT cover giving students enough material that they don't have to buy textbooks.

That may be your perspective, but the courts have generally regarded that critiquing a work can copy substantial portions of a work (not unlike how I'm doing right now) and that educational institutions or endeavors are given much more leeway in copying substantial portions of a work, including whole chapters. Both acts clearly mitigate or remove the need to buy the original work, yet they're covered under fair use because the four pronged test of fair use are a weighted system of consideration, not a binary or exclusionary test.

To that end, I have no idea how the courts will rule since they have such leeway in how to decide. But, I don't think it's as simple as claiming the copying as excessive just because the fair use serves one of it's possible functions, to remove the needless purchasing of an original work in certain circumstances.

Fair use includes multiple copies for classroom (5, Insightful)

langelgjm (860756) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178680)

Fair use explicitly includes the possibility of multiple copies for classroom use [copyright.gov] in the context of teaching.

The point of copyright is not making people pay for things, it is public benefit. We tend to forget that, but in Fox Film Corp. v. Doyal, SCOTUS put it well: "The sole interest of the United States and the primary object in conferring the monopoly lie in the general benefits derived by the public from the labors of authors.”

"Multiple copies for classroom use" is not license for copy shops to duplicate textbooks next to campus, or even course packets. But if as a professor or teaching assistant, I want to photocopy a chapter from a seminal text for my class of 20 students, I am well within my rights.

Hell, there are some books that aren't even in print anymore... used copies are not only outrageously expensive, there simple aren't enough to go around. Sure, I can place it on two hour reserve at the library... or, I can use the Xerox machine in the manner in which it was intended.

Re:What is copied? (2)

elsurexiste (1758620) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178258)

Same thing here. I got my degree in Compsci, and started a few courses on Sociology. There's a lot of stuff to read, and If I buy all the books from a single course, I'd end with 20 of them by the end of the year, a no-go. Fortunately, in Argentina, copying at universities is more legitimated, teachers even encourage their students to copy the books they wrote if they can't buy the real thing. Somehow, book publishers still exist and don't try to install a police state. Go figure. :-/

Re:What is copied? (0)

Lawrence_Bird (67278) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178316)

Are you kidding? You don't see this as blatant theft? I could see it if you were getting one or two pages out of a single book that perhaps explained or illustrated something better than others. But whole chapters? That is not fair use. That is unfair theft of another person's work. And you wonder why text book prices are so high? How many people in this class? 30? 50? 100? So one book was presumably bought (though maybe the professor didn't even do that) and all other sales were lost. Spread that out to all the schools using the material and the number of years they have done so and you see that adds up to a lot of book sales which are lost thereby assuring that the cost to those who do buy the book is far higher.

Re:What is copied? (1)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178364)

Are you kidding? How many people in this class? 30? 50? 100? So one book was presumably bought (though maybe the professor didn't even do that) and all other sales were lost.

10-15 students (notice I said graduate classes, obviously you can't read), and the school can get its hands on at best 1 copy copy of a book, because there are so few in print. How else are students supposed to get this information? These publishers create the higher prices and scarcity because they print maybe a couple hundred, maybe a few thousand copies. These are bought up mostly by libraries and professors.

Re:What is copied? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178588)

Often times, our professors would hand out maybe one or 2 chapters of a book in printed form, to keep students from having to pay for the whole book. Other times, they will put them on online course reserves, where you can print out the article or book chapters yourself. Usually this is done in conjunction with using books (that have to be purchased) and articles available for free (to the student) on databases that the University subscribes to. A lot of students will print off these articles as well (which is what I believe is one of the things the publishers are complaining about). Some professors also just provide course packets. Basically, it seems these publishers feel like fair use costs them money, and they want to get rid of it.

This sounds like an abuse of fair use to me. You use their books for gain and don't pay them for it.

Re:What is copied? (1)

chaos.squirrel (1085995) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177722)

Are things different in other fields? Are there areas where classes are taught primarily from copied materials? If so, why is this done, instead of just picking a selection of books? Is it that there are no adequate books? If so, then why don't people write them?

Often, in my experience, lecturers will copy *small amounts* of text from a book, so that students don't have to buy a $70 textbook just for one subtopic that isn't covered in other books. And putting enough copies in the library that everyone taking the course can get adequate access to said book is not really feasible.

At my uni if they need larger amounts (i.e. several chapters) they pay publishers for the right to copy those and then sell them on to us. Which still ends up a lot cheaper for us (students).

Re:What is copied? (1)

dachshund (300733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177890)

Are things different in other fields? Are there areas where classes are taught primarily from copied materials? If so, why is this done, instead of just picking a selection of books? Is it that there are no adequate books? If so, then why don't people write them?

I teach a graduate-level cryptography course with no assigned textbook --- the reading assignments are almost entirely based on research papers. These are mostly available on line "for free", but this is only because academic publishers haven't aggressively pursued their copyright claims and locked this material down.*

I think the textbook model breaks down as you get into more advanced classes that cover research material.

Incidentally, if this policy was adopted by my university (not GA tech) I would freely violate copyright law and I would encourage my students to do so as well.

* Incidentally, academic publishers play almost no role in the production or even the typesetting of this material. Even book layout is handled by unpaid volunteers. However, to publish in the top conferences and journals you have to sign your life away. It's ridiculous.

Re:What is copied? (2)

Black Parrot (19622) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178058)

I teach a graduate-level cryptography course with no assigned textbook --- the reading assignments are almost entirely based on research papers. These are mostly available on line "for free", but this is only because academic publishers haven't aggressively pursued their copyright claims and locked this material down.*

[...]

* Incidentally, academic publishers play almost no role in the production or even the typesetting of this material. Even book layout is handled by unpaid volunteers. However, to publish in the top conferences and journals you have to sign your life away. It's ridiculous.

Most respectable publishers for the CS field have a "self archiving" policy that lets people put their papers on their web site. When they do, all you have to do is give the students the link and tell them to read the paper. No infringement involved.

Re:What is copied? (2)

dachshund (300733) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178320)

Most respectable publishers for the CS field have a "self archiving" policy that lets people put their papers on their web site. When they do, all you have to do is give the students the link and tell them to read the paper. No infringement involved.

It's totally unclear. I've published a number of papers in conferences and journals and along the way I've signed a bunch of copyright forms. Every one is different. Some of the forms include very strong language about reproduction, some have personal reproduction rights, some say nothing.

Now you are right that some of these sources probably maintain a policy that allows self-archiving, but it's not totally clear which ones, and whether this represents a permanent license grant or just a policy that can be revoked at any time. I post my papers (in various forms) anyway, and nobody's ever said anything about it. But that's because there's no money to be made off of me --- the adoption of a rule like the one discussed in this article would change that.

Furthermore, although I try to avoid it, I do occasionally host copies of helpful research materials for my class in the event that the original sources go dark. Usually this is because the material just isn't being maintained and nobody minds at all, but technically it's a big copyright violation.

Amazing, can I have your autograph? (0)

Mathinker (909784) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178060)

Incidentally, if this policy was adopted by my university (not GA tech) I would freely violate copyright law and I would encourage my students to do so as well.

You mean you never violate copyright law currently, not even a teensy, teensy, little tiny bit? WOW! How do you manage? Can I have your autograph?

I hate to tell you, but you probably violate copyright law several times a day, totally without being aware of it (with each violation potentially opening you up to damages of up to $150k in the US). Yes, copyright law is that f***ed-up....

Actually, your post reveals that you already violate copyright law, as you are knowledgeably encouraging a third party (your students) to infringe on the academic journals' copyrights by accessing the freely available materials for your course. Or did you mean "I would continue to freely violate"? Anyway, personally, I can only commend you for it. The more civil disobedience there is against the insanity of current copyright law, the better. Only in this way is there even a smidgen of a chance that the law will be reformed.

Re:What is copied? (1)

DikSeaCup (767041) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177928)

Disclaimer: No, I didn't RTFA, but I've worked in an academic Library for a good portion of my Systems Admin career (and for a short time before it).

I would say that any higher level degree is likely to result in a fair amount of copying. Any seminar or research methods course is going to have the student doing a fair amount of copying of materials from periodicals. Just think of anything requiring a literature review ...

However, this is the Internet age. A majority now of what most students would be copying from is not actually a physical journal or book, but highly likely a whole mess of electronically available materials (that is, as long as your university library is properly funded and properly run). From the view of the publisher, this counts as copying.

And while a lot of "hard" science undergraduate degrees almost certainly can be taught pretty much from a book (unless you're lucky enough to be involved in a class that covers some cutting edge, only available in journal, just researched stuff), a lot of the rest of a university involves writing the equivalent of book reports/critiques that require reading someone else's reports/critiques, or literature (meaning journal articles about something, not just "classical literature") research ... and maybe I'm just old school, but I can easily see someone wanting to print the stuff out for reading later (yes, I know it sounds archaic, but while writing my papers, I had a majority of my research not on the screen in front of me, but scattered around me in stacks of printed out articles).

Two of my early pre-sysadmin jobs involved the "Reserves" and "Inter-Library Loan" sections of the Library, and I can tell you that there is no end to the amount of copies of (mainly) articles requested either (particularly in the case of Reserves) by professors for students as part of the "required reading" for a given course, or by professors and students as part of their research. Yes, in both cases, in the past decade there have been serious moves to "electronify" the results of these requests, but you can be sure A) a fair number of the people are printing copies of these things off, and B) the publishers are already considering the electronic versions as non-Fair Use, subject-to-copyright "copies" of the materials.

So, I think one of the key things here to keep in mind is that these people probably consider any paper version of something not on the media on which it was originally produced (examples being a print out of a PDF from an electronic resource, or paper spit out by a copier of an actual hard copy of the journal) to be a "copy". And they want their $2.

They should not win this. These things should be covered by Fair Use and if they win this, then they'll start wanting their $2 for every electronic copy of a PDF downloaded from an electronic resource - no matter what the use agreement for said resource says.

Re:What is copied? (1)

he-sk (103163) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177960)

I remember a horrid computer science lecture where the the professor basically copied the K&R book onto transparencies to teach C. As I had read through the very same book a few months before I skipped all of the classes after the first. I was later told that when it came to teaching Perl, he resorted to copying man pages.

Re:What is copied? (1)

introcept (1381101) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178450)

In many of my higher level engineering classes there's no single text book that covers all the material in the way the professor wants to cover it. Our reference texts usually end up being 2 chapters from book a), 3 chapters from book b), 8 different academic papers, some random notes written by another lecturer 10 years ago and the rest are notes written by the lecturer themselves.

The kind of licensing discussed in TFA would completely destroy this kind of structure and would probably end up lowering the quality of the courses by forcing lecturers to teach out of a single ill-suited text-book or placing much higher demands on the prof's time to write a text-book's worth of material themselves. You'd also end up with a bunch of 'orphaned works' type problems where no one can trace the copyright holder for for decade old lecture notes.

Of course, it might be entirely possible to game this system by making a course consisting of 90% cheap filler that nobody actually uses and the remaining 10% consisting of the useful material in the current course.

Cost / benefit analysis of monitoring everything (1)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177634)

"...the publishers also want access to all computer systems on the campus network, to monitor compliance and copying."

Okay so the publishers are going to hire a small army of people to enforce this monitoring provision? Sounds like that cost will outweigh any losses incurred from anyone copying more than 10% of their material.
Sounds pretty stupid to me.

Re:Cost / benefit analysis of monitoring everythin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177766)

And since when do we just allow private entities snooping privileges on computer networks? (Wait... there's that whole internet thing... never mind.) But the closed GSU network is not the internet. I would be surprised if this was granted, and you're absolutely correct... this would cost the publishers a fortune, but if anyone's priced textbooks recently, you would think the bastards could afford it. :)

Re:Cost / benefit analysis of monitoring everythin (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177968)

Why would the publishers want to pay for it when they could just put in the judgement that the university has to?

Write your own lecture notes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177640)

...and publish them under GPL. That's the solution.

College Education Value Proposition (1)

killmenow (184444) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177720)

The value of a college degree is not rising as fast as the cost of obtaining one. This kind of crap doesn't help matters.

Open Source Academics (4, Insightful)

KurtP (64223) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177744)

It has amazed me how long the current academic publishing regime has lasted. This dystopian fantasy by the publishers is the logical extension of a broken business model, where the publishers provide essentially zero value yet charge enormous fees. GA Tech should use this moment as a clean break point, and demand that all campus materials be either in the public domain or be available under Creative Commons license. Award tenure based only on publications which are under CC license.

Universities need to remember that they are the folks that generate *all* the content that publishers want to use against them. They can stop giving it away to these guys any time they like. In this era of global networking, there is essentially no added value in distribution, warehousing, and organizing papers into journals. Publishers need to be reminded of this fact.

Re:Open Source Academics (2)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178012)

The main reason academic publishing is what it is is that in theory if something is published in a journal, they've gone through some sort of vetting project that says that the article is both useful and credible. That's where the publish-or-die rule for academics comes from: the idea is that if you're publishing stuff, you must be doing useful and credible research.

And it's worth mentioning that the journals most likely filter out a lot of cranks, quacks, and liars. They also may serve to highlight the work of less experienced academics who may not have much of a reputation (good or bad) who otherwise might easily be ignored by the experienced hands.

Re:Open Source Academics (2)

prefect42 (141309) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178380)

In the worst cases, you've got a journal getting an academic to review papers for free, charging the submitter to be published, and then charging the reader to get a copy. This gravy train's going to end at some point, as people realise that the publishers aren't really providing them all that much.

Re:Open Source Academics (1)

starseeker (141897) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178548)

THIS. Universities should ban together and create some standard teaching materials that are CC licensed and suitable as a basis for course-work. If "standard texts" can't be used anymore, fine - put 100 smart guys on it from 80 universities and create something fresh and new. For basic subjects there should be plenty out-of-copyright material to use as a basis, if that is helpful.

Really, this should be happening at all levels of education. Kindergarden up through College. Make it as inexpensive as possible to give people a quality education, and for heavens sake take advantage of what computers and the internet have made possible.

Re:Open Source Academics (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178676)

But how will the prof not make a quick 5k off of recommending the book he wrote. Instead of using the one all the other profs use and is only marginally different in material?

Congress should act (0)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177746)

Congress should pass clarifying legislation on fair use, formally codifying into law what is and isn't. Then Congress should let a nationalistic streak run crazy for a little while by passing a defunding bill which defunds all US education programs done in cooperation with British universities in retaliation. Cut the fuckers off at the knees.

(Cue the self-righteous whiners who will say "buh buhhh we push policies on other countries." It's called looking out for your national interests, morons. Up until recently, it was the very reason we constituted a federal government...)

Re:Congress should act (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177808)

I love these "congress should..." posts. While I agree most of the time and they are mostly for common sense law to protect the public interest everyone forgets that our congress is captured by corporate interests and will do *nothing* of the sort.

Congress should deal with the broken patent system.
Congress should make sure that individuals speech isn't squelched by corporate entities on the Internet.
etc.. etc..
It can go on for pages. Nothing is going to get done while lobbyists are basically running the systems.

As if... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177860)

... US education system wasn't fucked up enough

Capitalism. Enjoy. (1)

unity100 (970058) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177878)

This would inevitably happen when ownership moved into thought space.

and no - there is no limit, line, format you can define that will prevent such things from happening - 'rights holders' will eventually push their 'rights' onto you, with THEIR interpretations over and over. it will just end up as an 'interpretation battle' in between 'the people' (me, you all of us) and those who jumped on the 'intellectual property/copyright' bandwagon.

A college? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177910)

What the hell is "Cambrigde"?

And Yet... (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#36177918)

Students seem to pay about 10% extra more then their tuition on books, which are required for the classes. Colleges are actually one the key reason why the publishing companies stay alive. If you push them too hard they just might realize for most of the classes those required books are not required, and that 75% of their student who purchase these books actually crack them open 4 times a semester (unless there are problems to solve in them)

Fouling their own nest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36177976)

Cambridge University Press is doing this? I'm a student of the university it's supposed to be the publishing wing of and I find this ridiculous folly inexcusable.

As far as I know, they are also under the control of a committee of academics from the university itself. Given that those certainly ought to understand what those demands entail for day-to-day academic work, it really makes me wonder just what they were thinking, or if the brain rot from working in the IP-peddling industry really can be that drastic... anyhow, if this piece of news makes the rounds, I'm sure there will be at least a bit of internal upheaval about the decision to field such a proposal.

Information about the E-Reservation System (1)

rabun_bike (905430) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178118)

The original post does not give enough information to understand the substance of this case. I have a masters degree from GSU so it perked my interest to understand better what this case is about. The case appears to center around a practice by some professors at GSU that use an E-reservation system to make certain papers available to students. When I was a grad student at GSU the professors simply copied the Harvard review documents or other documents and handed them out to us. Apparently this case has been filed due to the creation of a more formal, flexible process "and takes its name from the traditional library "reserve" model, where a professor makes a limited number of physical copies of articles or a book chapter available for students. Those copies were generally subject to permission, and proper reproduction fees were paid to the publishers." Below is more information.

http://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/43500-a-failure-to-communicate.html [publishersweekly.com]

The Over Lords Say (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178138)

You will use a computer which is incapable of doing any thing else but watch movies and surf the net(ARM processor/ATOM).
You will use storage medium which will fail in about two years(Flash Drives), so your more likely to store your files off line in some Cloud(B.S).
Even though fiber-optics has un limited bandwith, we will keep charging you more for less.
You will have a fear that your computer is under attack, so you'll install monitoring software so we can see all the files on your computer.
You will let us know all the software and files that are on your computer, if we do not want you to have them we will delete them, and not allow them to traverse the net.
You will only buy computers which are capible of bricking(INTEL & McFee) themselves if we notice that you tried to store some file which we deem as being unpaid for.

but dont tell any one, it our secret.

New Model Need (1)

dainbug (678555) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178150)

Our education model has always followed our scientific model, where you share your work. Time to stop letting publishers publish (read: own) our text books. Time for the professors and institutions to own (read: share) the copyright. Problem solved. Now...who needs that cancer cure?

Farenheight 451 (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178162)

In Ray Bradbury's classic Sci-Fi novel, books were outlawed, and forced people to memorize great works of literature, because the only way to carry a book was in your head.

So vagrants would gather in secluded areas, and "copy" the books by teaching a younger generation each book, verbally.

This is direction we are headed, not by the government outlawing books, but by corporations and IP holders making the ownership of books so ridden with copyright hassles that our only recourse may be to memorize a book and verbally pass on the knowledge, since anything else is considered "theft".

Of course, it won't be long before *READING* a book is considered copyright theft since you are copying the book from the printed page to your brain.

Oh what a world we are making for ourselves. When learning is outlawed, only outlaws will learn.

Re:Farenheight 451 (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178334)

You do realise that none of those things apply to content that you create and share yourself? Nothing will ever outlaw that.

Re:Farenheight 451 (1)

tekrat (242117) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178506)

That is...until someone copyrights vowels....
Don't think that's not coming. It is.

Re:Farenheight 451 (1)

Hallow (2706) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178728)

Heh. Until somebody gets the idea to use the Interstate Commerce Clause. Then creating and sharing yourself without going through a big publisher will be banned because it's a non-commercial activity that "would have a substantial effect on interstate commerce, even if the individual effects are trivial.". (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wickard_v._Filburn [wikipedia.org] )

I'm actually rather pleasantly surprised that the big software companies haven't tried to use this against open source (at least as far as I know), although I suppose they might if we ever manage to get rid of the big stick they have now (patents).

universities, WTF ?!!! (1)

Thud457 (234763) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178220)

I thought academia was all about freely sharing knowledge for the betterment of Mankind.

Why are they even supporting these greedy publishers of textbooks and journals? It's the 21st century people, time to dump the middlemen.
/hopelessly naieve

Music Departments + Plagarism (2)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178238)

Music departments have to pay for EVERY copy of music. I'm not saying that's right, fair, or whatever. But why is the music department not allowed to copy, but the biology department can hand out wholesale copies of scientific journals. Not saying I agree or not, but... It's a strong argument for a plaintiff.

Now, here is what I agree on. How the #&$! are schools going to copy, but then have tough as nails plagiarism policies? Hypocrites much? What kind of message does that send to students? And before you say that plagiarism is about claiming and citing properly, it's really the fact of using something that is not yours. Most colleges I know limit papers to only 10-20% of their content being from an outside source, even if it is properly cited. But, WTF do I know... the last class I took was auditing the Harvard's Ethics/Philosophy course of Michael Sandel's 'Justice: What's The Right Thing To Do?'... And I walked away thinking that academics would have taken an Ethics course at some point too.

FTA: TLDR

Plagarism != copying (1)

marcosdumay (620877) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178700)

"How the #&$! are schools going to copy, but then have tough as nails plagiarism policies?"

You seem a bit confused here. Plagiarism and copying are two completely different acts, with completely different consequences. The only common atribute to them is probably that both are illegal.

I want to say one word to you. Just one word. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178400)

Are you listening?

Plastics.

disclosure / disclaimers ONLY WHEN RELEVANT ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178404)

Please, people, stop with these "disclosure/disclaimer: I know somebody who walked by ...." lines. You're hardly disclosing anything in the way said statement is intended to be used.

*/rant*

course packs, copied chapters, etc. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#36178414)

Seems to me that the underlying problem here is that the instructors want to use a chapter here and a chapter there from lots of different books. Then why not get the publisher to print partial copies? Or, is it because even though photocopying or local printing (gahh, with an inkjet printer, probably) is more expensive than printing on a printing press, it distributes the cost into lots of little pieces over many people, so it's not so noticeable that the instructor has essentially specified $1000 worth of material. Seems that the department chair might want to publish guidelines of what's a reasonable expectation for students, eh? Or that the consumer (the instructors) aren't demanding better quality from the publishers (i.e. a book with ALL the usable stuff in it). When I was a child, my father was a EE professor and got review copies of textbooks, I remember going through them. There was wide variability in completeness and pedagogical style (and since a lot of those books are still in boxes in the garage, where they get rummaged through every few years, my opinion hasn't changed). Just don't specify/buy the lousy books and give the feedback to the publishers about the shortcomings. That's why they have editors, after all.

Yes, in the social sciences where "opinion" and "interpretation" have a lot more scope (after all, we all pretty much agree on Maxwell's equations, so the only differences are in presentation style, rather than content), but even there, I would think that there are avenues for compilations by a publisher. Or is the instructor so paramount that "you must follow my lead, because only *I* have the revealed knowledge of truth, liberty, and ..."

As for "I must have copies to do my research".. A get off the grass comment... Back in the 70s, when *I* was in school, we had to go to the library and take notes on the journal article, or, maybe, be able to check out the bound year's worth of journals and take it back to the dorms, where I could take notes. Sure, it's nice to have hundreds of papers as pdf on my iPad, but it's not essential.

It is a shame (2)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 3 years ago | (#36178558)

That lobbyists are trying to make a mountain out of a mole hill with the whole copyright thing. I definitely believe in the right for an author to protect his or her works but it has gone to far. We are creating legislation that is stifling creativity and making people fearful of being sued for creating works of their own. In the end, our society is continuing to contribute to its own demise a la Ancient Rome. Not only has the United States mostly outsourced innovation, we've practically made it illegal through copyright, patent-abuse, and other forms of IP protection. How can the United States become a global leader if we are more concerned about suing for profit? I blame politicians for being greedy and shortsighted. They want their personal wealth and power and be damned what adverse effects result. Most of this huge deal over copyright and IP results from fabricated studies by lobby groups in attempt to "recoup perceived lost profit." Textbook companies charge an arm and a leg over something that costs a mere fraction to produce. The time is ripe for a change and a big change in the way business is done in the US or we will find our children living in third-world, service economy.
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