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.
Permalink for comment 513253
To read all comments associated with this story, please click here.
I'm genuinely concerned....
by SeanParsons on Sun 8th Apr 2012 21:59 UTC
SeanParsons
Member since:
2011-01-11

I find it concerning that the issue everyone keeps going back to is general order and layout being a possible infringement for textbooks. I have written an instructors manual for LWW and I'm currently under contract to do some work for Cengage. Textbooks on various subjects have a specific order that information should be presented in for them to make sense.

I am just completing an open source pharmacy math book unrelated to any of my work with publishers, and while I've used original wording, I am limited on how specific medications should be dosed, various mathematical principles, and even limitations as to where I can obtain certain charts that are in the public domain. But beyond all that I need to teach simpler fundamental concepts prior to more complex concepts, therefor there are some similarities in the order I present my information for students when compared to other books on the subject.

Where does the line get drawn as far as structure goes. The idea that a book needs to present a concept, give a demonstration of said concept, provide a practice problem and then has a collection of related homework problems seems reasonable to me, but what do these publishers think?

Reply Score: 2