Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 7th Apr 2012 17:52 UTC
Legal Rage-inducing and despicable. As The Chronicle of Higher Education reports, three major textbook publishers, Pearson, Cengage Learning, and Macmillan Higher Education, are suing a small startup company that produces open and free alternative textbooks. This startup, Boundless Learning, builds textbooks using creative commons licensed and otherwise freely available material - and this poses a threat to the three large textbook publishers. So, what do you do when you feel threatened? Well, file a copyright infringement lawsuit, of course.
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Derivative Works
by matthekc on Sat 7th Apr 2012 18:10 UTC
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To be eligible for copyright, a derivative work must be different enough from the original to be considered a “new work” or must contain a substantial amount of new material. Making minor changes, or adding little of substance to a preexisting work will not qualify the work as a new version for copyright purposes.


Essentially what the company needed to do was create whole new textbooks that had the correct answers needed for the class in question.

The company is infringing you can't just slightly rearrange some words while copying an entire textbook. You also can't copy the layout and choose a similar picture for your examples. Just as you couldn't take the Declaration of Independence choose a few new words and call it a new work.

This is a shame because the idea behind the project is good and noble, but the way they went about doing this is wrong.

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