Byte Rights: We Can't Afford No Education

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Trooper_One

I used to work in a psych-lab with sub-offices where instructors share the rooms.

Every March and April, at the end of summer semester, these sales and marketing people would wine and dine the instructors, trying to persuade them to use their books.

Every year, it's the same publisher trying to sell the same topic. Eventually, many instructor give in or the faculty buys a particular brand/series of bookes be the publishers would give money to the school.

When asked if there were any significant changes, they all answerd 'no' - maybe the pictures have been updated or it would include last year's significanet event, but that is all.

Sadly for students, their cost of their books just went by about $2.00, not to mention that they 'new' books will be outdated by next year's end of Fall/Spring semester.

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Eoraptor

Which is hilarious, considering the text-book situation in secondary schools (collectively elementary and high school) is exactly the opposite, with some students utilizing text books which may not even reference the dotcom bubble of a decade ago. Of course, the opposite is also true, with large districts like Texas using their power to delegate what the textbook industry publishes, by refusing to purchase anything that doesn't fit their narrow view.

All in all, it's one more system skewed and corrupted by corporate greed.

And Quinn, any updates on this article?

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ShyLinuxGuy

@US_Ranger: Totally correct. Doesn't McGraw-Hill, Pearson and the rest of this oligoply realize that, students and professors are starting to realize the game that their playing and are finding ways to reduce their dependency on their high-price, low-value schemes? Open-source textbooks for one. Or, doing away with textbooks altogether, and there's a lot of college courses that have succeeded with this. Some are also finding that getting the newest book makes absolutely no sense, other than to keep the textbook oligopoly going. Publishers of college textbooks are always obsoleting their books they released a year or even a few months ago. That's the only way they are able to make money. The profs inadvertently coerce their students to pay more for books when the last few editions are very similar, or maybe even the *same* thing, because it's the "newer" edition. Diligent profs would compare the "new" book vs. the "old" book and decide if it's worth using. Quite often, it isn't, especially with more static content, like math.

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ccardarelli

I will say when I was at school, my professors printed out as many course readers (a MUCH cheaper alternative and all the rights are paid for in the cost of the reader) and went to as many online journal sources as possible. I'm so grateful for this, as I worked my way through school and have only a fairly modest debt in comparison to what it could have been.

The problem with high textbook costs, is that they're all applied at the beginning of a semester, and it was often the case that we wouldn't end up using the book enough for what they were charging. Anyone who remembers the costs of even general ed physical science textbooks knows exactly what I'm talking about.

At any rate, this is where I really do hope e-books shine.

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Caboose

Some of my network, server, OS and IT books, were only slightly touched during college for me. And not because I was lazy, but because the instructer didn't use them. Heck, one year a few of the instructors told us to not bother buying the books if we had last year's because they were all the same. Any minor changes, and we'd be told about it.

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US_Ranger

I guess the publishers aren't happy enough with charging 150+ dollars for their books. All that will happen is an increase in tuition costs to make up for the probable lawsuits that will stem from this.

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Eoraptor

So "fair use no longer exists, because we say so"

sadly, justice goes to the highest bidder.

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Holly Golightly

Sigh, when will the greed end?

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majorsuave

"We Can't Afford No Education" 

Two negatives make a positive. 

Therefore, We can afford education. 

Though my favorite is "I did not mean no harm"

 

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Caboose

I think it's a play on the Pink Floyd song...

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Tenhawk

<sigh>

You didn't get the slightly twisted quote from a rather well known song in that?

"We don't need no education."?

I hate the internet sometimes... people on it are always so fast to jump other people's crap without bothering to sniff their own.

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