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Old 07-01-2008, 12:41 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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How publishers aim to tackle textbook piracy

Filthy pirates, watch out, new measures to tackle the growing menace of textbook piracy are on their way. It's not a secret that lawyers are constantly scouring the Net for illegally offered content. In fact, according to the Chronicle of Higher Education, the Association of American Publishers has recently hired a law firm to go specifically against P2P sites and document-sharing sites like Scribd where infringing textbook material could be found.

Quote:
"In any given two-week period we found from 60,000 files all the way up to 250,000 files," said Edward McCoyd, director of digital policy for the publishing association. Mr. McCoyd, who leads the Online Piracy Working Group, said the group has been performing periodic scans for piracy since 2001, and that it has seen a gradual increase in the number of titles available.
Remember the music industry? It doesn't take a genius to work out that this legal strategy will not stop piracy. If anything, it only creates an adversarial relationship between the industry and its audience. So what to do? Albert N. Greco, a professor at Fordham University's Graduate School of Business, came up with this ingenious idea:

Quote:
He [Greco] said that if the problem worsens, publishers may have to take other steps to prevent piracy, such as releasing a new version of most textbooks every semester. The versions could include slight modifications that could be changed easily—such as altering the numbers in math problems.
So let's churn out new editions of textbooks every year with superficial changes, preventing debt-ridden students, a) from being able to purchase used, older editions, and b) from reselling the newly bought, overpriced book to the next semester student. I am sure this sensitive suggestion will eliminate book piracy forever. Just like expiring e-textbooks.

[via P2P Blog]
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