New textbook editions vs. bootleggers’ scanners—and meanwhile Pearson has piracy site disable 78 torrents
July 1, 2008 | 12:45 pm
"The Chronicle of Higher Education has an article on illegal text book scanning which strongly suggests the situation is getting worse and may soon be out of control. Publishers will be forced to revise their textbooks far more frequently in order to keep ahead of the scanners. That of course is a strategy that will only work for a limited time." – Michael Cairns in PersonaNonData (links added to quote).
The TeleRead take: I agree, and not just in the textbook area. Can you imagine trying to revise old novels, historical works and so on? Version 1.22 of The Great Gatsby on paper, anyone? Bring back F. Scott Fitzgerald from the dead? The best piracy prevention would be to make the books available at reasonable prices in E, with appropriate business models in use–a far more effective strategy than DRM, which does nothing to address the scanning issue. For textbooks, Jon Noring has suggested that more efforts be made to bundle them with courses. What do you think?
Stats from the Association of American Publishers: In a two-week period, the group has found as many as 250,000 files online. There is even a Textbook Torrents site serving up PDFs of 5,000+ textbooks.
The latest from Textbook Torrents: "On Friday, we received a request from Pearson Education, one of the bigger textbook publishers, listing 78 torrents that they wanted disabled. While they are acting on extremely shaky legal ground, we are not in a position to fight a legal battle with the organization. As a result, in the interest of allowing the continued existence of this place, I have acceded to their request and disabled access to the listed torrents. Because of the batch process I used, uploaders will not receive the usual notification associated with a disabled torrent."
Related: K-textbooks from Princeton.