I was going to put some people might find torrentfreak blocked (as it
has the word torrent in).
here is the text
A new patent granted this week aims to stop students from sharing
textbooks, both off and online. The patent awarded to economics
professor Joseph Henry Vogel hopes to embed the publishing world even
further into academia. Under his proposal, students can only
participate in courses when they buy an online access code which
allows them to use the course book. No access code means a lower
grade, all in the best interests of science.
For centuries, students have shared textbooks with each other, but a
new patent aims to stop this ďinfringingĒ habit.
The patent in question was granted to Professor of Economics Joseph
Henry Vogel. He believes that piracy, lending and reselling of books
is a threat to the publishing industry.
ďProfessors are increasingly turning a blind eye when students appear
in class with photocopied pages. Others facilitate piracy by placing
texts in the library reserve where they can be photocopied,Ē Vogel
The result is less money for publishers, and fewer opportunities for
professors like himself to get published. With Vogelís invention,
however, this threat can be stopped.
The idea is simple. As part of a course, students will have to
participate in a web-based discussion board, an activity which counts
towards their final grade. To gain access to the board students need a
special code, which they get by buying the associated textbook.
Students who donít pay canít participate in the course and therefore
get a lower grade.
The system ensures that students canít follow courses with pirated
textbooks, as tens of thousands are doing today. Lending books from a
library or friend, or buying books from older students, isnít allowed
either. At least, not when the copyright holders donít get their
Vogelís idea leaves the option open for students to use second-hand
textbooks, but they still have to buy an access code at a reduced
price. This means publishers can charge multiple times for a book that
was sold only once.
Needless to say, publishers are excited about gaining more control in
the classroom. Anthem Press of London has already expressed interest
in the system and Pat Schroeder, president of the Association of
American Publishers, also welcomes the idea.
ďFor every rogue site that is taken down, there are hundreds more
demanding similar effort. I canít think of a more timely example of
the need for additional tools,Ē he says.
On the surface the idea might seem well-intentioned, but to proponents
of an open knowledge society it goes completely in the wrong
direction. If anything, the Internet should make it easier for
students to access knowledge, not harder or impossible.
While itís understandable that publishers want to stop piracy,
preventing poor students from borrowing textbooks from a library or
friend goes too far.
Perhaps itís a better idea to approach the problem from the opposite direction.
Thanks to the Internet, publishers are replaceable. And since many of
the textbook authors are professors who get paid by universities, it
is not hard to release books in a more open system.
Professor Vogel believes that sending more money to publishers helps
academia, which might be a flawed line of reasoning. Isnít it much
better to strive to make knowledge open and accessible, instead of
restricting it even further?
On Mon, Jun 11, 2012 at 11:05 AM, Fred Riley
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>> This might be of interest re openness, open access and sharing
> That page is blocked by the Net Nanny that my employer uses. Is there owt dodgy on that page/site, our Pat? ;-)
> This email represents my own personal views and is not at all reflective of policy or opinions at my institution. So there.
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