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
matthekc
Member since:
2006-10-28

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.

From: http://www.publicdomainsherpa.com/derivative-work.html

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.

Reply Score: 0

RE: Derivative Works
by Jesuspower on Sat 7th Apr 2012 18:33 in reply to "Derivative Works"
Jesuspower Member since:
2006-01-28

They are not rearranging words from copyrighted works. It's new material thats similar to the old.

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Derivative Works
by matthekc on Sun 8th Apr 2012 16:59 in reply to "RE: Derivative Works"
matthekc Member since:
2006-10-28

This is going to be a very grey area when you do that to an entire book. Had the books been formatted differently and used different examples there would be no case. The statement I made was a comment on the legal system and what is allowed. I think this work will be lost and efforts would have been better spent making good textbooks without coping the feel and layout.

Although for the intended purpose when an instructor says turn to page 120 and lets read that then discuss it does have to be similar.

I'm not pro-copyright or anything I will not respect copyright until the original constitutional time-frame is restored.

Reply Parent Score: 0

RE: Derivative Works
by Thom_Holwerda on Sat 7th Apr 2012 18:37 in reply to "Derivative Works"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

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.


Re-read the article and linked material.

Reply Parent Score: 2