Anti-Piracy Patent Stops Students From Sharing Textbooks
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.
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.
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 share.
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.
Students who donít pay canít participate in the course and therefore get a lower grade.