New patent can stop students from sharing textbooks

Credit: flickr/textbookrebellion

A new patent issued June 5 to economics professor Joseph Henry Vogel outlines ways to stop students from sharing books physically or online.

On one hand, academic authors and publishers face hundreds of pirate textbook sites and students who share books. (original story at TorrentFreak). On the other hand, students often pay hundreds of dollars per course per semester for books that are sometimes revised so quickly their used-book value drops to nothing. Hence the trend of some professors to provide online textbooks from open sources.

Not Professor Vogel. His patent puts an online access code in the textbook that must be used or the student loses points. Those buying used books can buy their access code at a discount. Publishers are excited to find a way to maintain their business model.

Students speak

Now a days, we are paying just as much on books as we are on Tuition.

Master1633 on

kind of like the professor standing in front of the class and issuing an ultimatum no matter how good you are you fail unless you pay for your grade

Altotus on

I'm very often forced to purchase WebAssign keys. Web Assign is a service that allows professors (in my case, in the math/physics departments) to create online quizzes and homeworks that are graded automatically.

pdeuchler on

Hey, publishers

I'm sorry, but I find it very hard to summon an inkling of sympathy for the publishers' plea against piracy when I see measures like that.

IvoDankolov on

If they would like the publishing industry to not die, then they should start printing academic books on cheaper paper, paper back copies, and not come out with a new edition every year that makes the previously $100 book be worthless.

Ni_preeti on

not gonna fly. It's called a "tie-in sale", and the United States Anti-Trust law prohibits it.

antonb2011 on

There are a LOT of students now with relatives or friends of relatives who are attorneys and would be salivating at a large class-action suit.

Rick_R on

I'm really surprised by the prices of text book in the US. In India, we use the same books - Indian reprint - that costs less than 10% the original book.

Kaushik on

Really, Patent Office? Really?

How the hell does this warrant a patent? There seems to be nothing that is either novel or innovative about this particular "invention".

te_chris on

Can you really get a patent for wiping with your left hand these days?

Diosj on

Fees to be able to participate in a course? Isn't that called tuition?

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