Anti-piracy patent will not allow students to share textbooks

Original author: Ernesto
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The purpose of the new patent, issued in the second week of June, is to prohibit students from sharing textbooks both offline and online. The patent is granted to Professor of Economics Joseph Henry Vogel , who hopes to provide a deeper penetration of the publishing world into the educational process. At his suggestion, students will be able to learn a subject only after acquiring an online access code that allows them to use a textbook on this subject. Without an access code, their ratings will be lower, and all this is in the interests of science.

For centuries, students could pass textbooks to each other, but the new patent is about to put an end to this familiar “violation”.

The mentioned patent was granted to the professor of economicsJoseph Henry Vogel . The professor believes that piracy, borrowing, and reselling of books threatens publishing.

“Teachers are increasingly condescending towards students who come to class with photocopied teaching material. Some even support piracy by placing textbooks in library collections from where they can be photocopied, ” Vogel writes.

As a result, publishers receive less money, and professors like him have less opportunity to publish. However, Vogel’s invention can stop this threat.

Its essence is simple. Part of the learning process will be student participation in an online discussion forum, and this activity will be counted as part of the final grade. To access the forum, students will need special codes that they will receive when they purchase the appropriate textbook.

Students who do not pay will not be able to participate and therefore will receive lower grades.

This system ensures that students will not be able to study subjects using locked textbooks, like tens of thousands of current students. It will also be impossible to borrow a book from a friend, borrow a friend from a senior student, or borrow a book from a friend. At the very least, it is impossible without copyright owners to get their share.

Vogel’s design leaves students with the option of using used textbooks, but students will still have to purchase access codes at a reduced price. This means that publishers will be able to profit several times from a book sold only once.

Needless to say, publishers were pleased with the opportunity for greater control over their studies. Anthem Press in London has already expressed interest in the Vogel system, and Pat Schroeder, president of the Association of American Book Publishers, also welcomes this idea.

“For every fraudulent site that we close, there are another hundred asking for the same thing. I can’t imagine a more appropriate example of the need for additional tools, ” said Schroeder.

Outwardly, this idea may seem well-intentioned, but it seems to the supporters of an open knowledge society that it is acting in a completely wrong direction. Already something, and the Internet should simplify students' access to knowledge, and not make it difficult or impossible.

The desire of publishers to stop piracy is understandable, but to prohibit poor students from taking a textbook from a library or from a friend means going too far.

Perhaps it would be much better to approach the problem from the opposite side.

Thanks to the Internet, publishers are no longer needed. And since many textbook authors are professors paid by universities, it is easy to provide a more open system for publishing books.

Professor Vogel believes that publisher revenue growth will help learning, but this line of reasoning may be erroneous. Is it not much better to strive for openness and accessibility of knowledge instead of restricting access to it more strongly?

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