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(MSNBC)   An economics professor patents a way that stops students from buying and selling used textbooks. Students will now have to buy access codes for his economics class "College Costs and Bankruptcy 101"   (msnbc.msn.com) divider line 191
    More: Stupid, textbooks, U.S. universities, users, bankruptcy, selling  
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10817 clicks; posted to Main » on 27 Jun 2012 at 10:58 AM (2 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2012-06-27 07:56:53 AM
FTA: The almost uniform outrage led to a second press release which acknowledged the patent idea's deep unpopularity. It added that Vogel hoped textbook publishers would waive the access code fees for low and moderate-income families.

Yeah, "almost uniform outrage" sounds about right. It's a stupid idea designed to squeeze every penny possible out of students. I can't possibly see how anyone would condone this plan.
 
2012-06-27 07:58:09 AM
Now there will be a market for used textbooks and hacked codes.
 
2012-06-27 08:05:41 AM
There's actually a very real danger caused by second hand textbooks, though. My old buddy Hank bought one back in undergrad for his chemistry class. It had all these notes and highlights already in it, which he thought was a real bonus. Unfortunately, the student who'd previously used the textbook was dyslexic, and everything marked in there was incorrect. Hank left that class completely misinformed about the true nature of many chemical reactions, and that was a deciding factor in his death (butane related). And let's not even talk about what happened to my friend Emmit in medical school. Ugh. If this can save any lives, maybe it's worth it.
 
2012-06-27 08:17:52 AM
When used textbooks are outlawed, only outlaws will use used textbooks.

/Way to solve the world's ills, asshat
 
2012-06-27 08:22:59 AM

born_yesterday: When used textbooks are outlawed, only outlaws will use used textbooks.

/Way to solve the world's ills, asshat


The plebes were getting educated. This caused all of the world's ills.
 
2012-06-27 08:24:37 AM
Solution: PDFs. With used textbooks, you could still make a profit. Someone scans it, you get nothing.
 
2012-06-27 09:13:52 AM

Pocket Ninja: And let's not even talk about what happened to my friend Emmit in medical school.


Was his surname 'Brown' by any chance? :)
 
2012-06-27 09:46:01 AM

SphericalTime: FTA: The almost uniform outrage led to a second press release which acknowledged the patent idea's deep unpopularity. It added that Vogel hoped textbook publishers would waive the access code fees for low and moderate-income families.

Yeah, "almost uniform outrage" sounds about right. It's a stupid idea designed to squeeze every penny possible out of students. I can't possibly see how anyone would condone this plan.


Seriously. I mean, jesus, my alma mater had an official USED TEXTBOOK STORE on campus.

/well, rather, they sold the used textbooks next to the new ones, BUT STILL
 
2012-06-27 10:53:04 AM
So if I understand it correctly, this guy is trying to patent the idea of a members-only forum that you have to pay money to join? I think Drew might have some prior art for him...
 
2012-06-27 10:59:40 AM
Books should be free.
They should be online.
You can learn anything on the inter net for free, anyway.
College is a scam.
 
2012-06-27 11:01:04 AM
My alma mater bought a machine to take a textbook, rip the covers off, and scan it. They then convert it into an Ebook and let you check it out via the library's website. The butthurt from the publishers was amazing. It got even better when the publishers sued and lost due to all the protections lending libraries get.
 
2012-06-27 11:02:05 AM
Isn't Wikibooks trying to make flexible textbooks that are free and open?
 
2012-06-27 11:02:30 AM
What a pointless idea.

This only works if the professor/university agrees to make use of the online discussion boards part of the grade. As far as I know textbook publishers don't determine how individual universities/professors grade courses.
 
2012-06-27 11:04:05 AM
My university sold new and used textbooks right next to each other in the bookstore. I always bought the used ones, why the hell would I pay more?

This douchebag of a professor seems to think that there is something inherently wrong with recycling used books, but where the hell is he getting that idea?

Does he not understand the difference between reusing a paper book and stealing an electronic version?
 
2012-06-27 11:04:52 AM
may I just add to the growing chorus of outrage my own hearty
"Fark Joseph Henry Vogel, an economics professor at the University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras"?

bad enough that too many professor assign their own goddamn books as required texts for their classes (and play the "new version" game about once every three years) even if they never use it it, but paying for an "access codes" for a mandatory online forum fo rthe class? What the hopping holy fark does he think "Tuition" is supposed to cover any way you greedy farkwad?

Discovered in Law school, sadly halfway through my second year, that Half.com was a MUCH better way to buy/sell law textbooks than the campus bookstore, and all the hoopla about making sure I had the newest revisions was just so much bullshiat, as I routinely CALI'ed classes using "obsolete" textbooks
 
2012-06-27 11:05:40 AM
What a colossal douche.

If books weren't so massively over-priced to begin with you wouldn't have a market for them.
 
2012-06-27 11:05:42 AM

Pocket Ninja: There's actually a very real danger caused by second hand textbooks, though. My old buddy Hank bought one back in undergrad for his chemistry class. It had all these notes and highlights already in it, which he thought was a real bonus. Unfortunately, the student who'd previously used the textbook was dyslexic, and everything marked in there was incorrect. Hank left that class completely misinformed about the true nature of many chemical reactions, and that was a deciding factor in his death (butane related). And let's not even talk about what happened to my friend Emmit in medical school. Ugh. If this can save any lives, maybe it's worth it.


Thats terrible. I'm a certified college dropout, and i already poked several holes in that theory.
 
2012-06-27 11:05:59 AM
The only danger and BS here is that they're lumping used textbooks, for which the publisher has already been paid, and piracy, for which no one is paid.
Couple that with the fact that students already pay tuition, and I think this is a lawsuit waiting to happen.
 
2012-06-27 11:06:01 AM

Leeds: My university sold new and used textbooks right next to each other in the bookstore. I always bought the used ones, why the hell would I pay more?

This douchebag of a professor seems to think that there is something inherently wrong with recycling used books, but where the hell is he getting that idea?

Does he not understand the difference between reusing a paper book and stealing an electronic version?


It sounds more like he's too lazy to move a couple chapters around, change the problem set, and then reissue the book as a new edition. That was the standard trick I saw, change the problem sets (sometimes just the numbers) so students can't use the old book.
 
2012-06-27 11:06:03 AM
This isn't new. I've had at least 3 classes that required a one-time use access code, going back to at least 2009. All of them required posts to a discussion board for credit, and two of them required problems sets submitted through the code-protected site. You could not pass any of them without buying the code.
 
2012-06-27 11:07:07 AM
This is one the reasons a professor should not be able to make his own book a requirement for his class.
 
2012-06-27 11:07:20 AM
I never understood why books were allowed to be so expensive.

If anything, textbooks should be free and widely available in pdf form.

Textbook producers put out new, 'modified' versions of books just to get people to buy new ones, even when the information has been the same for centuries. Yeah, I'm looking at you, calculus.

Think of the children.
 
2012-06-27 11:07:25 AM

Pocket Ninja: There's actually a very real danger caused by second hand textbooks, though.


Tell me about it.

I bought a used textbook once and it had scribbling all over it from some guy who called himself "Half-Blood Prince". I got in so much trouble over that.
 
2012-06-27 11:07:29 AM
I've just patented a new way to fark this guy in the ass, so it all works out.
 
2012-06-27 11:08:24 AM
Maybe he patented it to keep it off the market.

/glass half full......
 
2012-06-27 11:09:20 AM

Pocket Ninja: There's actually a very real danger caused by second hand textbooks, though. My old buddy Hank bought one back in undergrad for his chemistry class. It had all these notes and highlights already in it, which he thought was a real bonus. Unfortunately, the student who'd previously used the textbook was dyslexic, and everything marked in there was incorrect. Hank left that class completely misinformed about the true nature of many chemical reactions, and that was a deciding factor in his death (butane related). And let's not even talk about what happened to my friend Emmit in medical school. Ugh. If this can save any lives, maybe it's worth it.


What about your friend who bought a used book and witnessed a murder, then tried to avenge the murder using knowledge from the book, but then found out that the person who previously owned the book was the murderer, whom had greater knowledge from the book than the murder witness?
/there, now you don't have to read it
 
2012-06-27 11:09:35 AM

NikkiPoooo: This isn't new. I've had at least 3 classes that required a one-time use access code, going back to at least 2009. All of them required posts to a discussion board for credit, and two of them required problems sets submitted through the code-protected site. You could not pass any of them without buying the code.


College physics classes frequently have this. Mastering Physics, for example.
 
2012-06-27 11:09:48 AM
I'm surprised that this was able to generate a patent. The jerkasses at McGraw Hill have been charging for access to "supplemental materials" for a few years now.

A pox on the textbook industry. It's the most shameless scam this side of diamonds.

A prof could, and I hope someone has, develop textbooks for some basic courses (basic algebra), and offer it for free download.
 
2012-06-27 11:10:01 AM

Tapakip: I've just patented a new way to fark this guy in the ass, so it all works out.


Have you named it yet?

Because to my knowledge the term "Dutch Propeller" hasn't been used yet...
 
2012-06-27 11:10:05 AM
Someone remind me again -- college professors are typically underpaid and so it's natural they'd have to resort to hawking books, right?
 
2012-06-27 11:10:24 AM
College is a huge scam.

had a prof who wrote books for his own class.
we had to buy them
*bonus*
he would write his own quotes up and have us memorize them for tests
 
2012-06-27 11:10:36 AM

Leeds: My university sold new and used textbooks right next to each other in the bookstore. I always bought the used ones, why the hell would I pay more?


I know a couple of people who buy all new books. One of them is a prolific highlighter, and apparently can't study if there is already highlighting present, and the other one doesn't pay for anything herself so she just doesn't care.

I prefer to rent books. If it turns out to be something I want to keep, I'll pay the difference to keep it, but so far that's only happened once.
 
2012-06-27 11:11:13 AM

NikkiPoooo: This isn't new. I've had at least 3 classes that required a one-time use access code, going back to at least 2009. All of them required posts to a discussion board for credit, and two of them required problems sets submitted through the code-protected site. You could not pass any of them without buying the code.


^^This. 2006-2007 was when I first saw it. It pisses me off now just as much as then!
 
2012-06-27 11:12:12 AM

Pocket Ninja: There's actually a very real danger caused by second hand textbooks, though. My old buddy Hank bought one back in undergrad for his chemistry class. It had all these notes and highlights already in it, which he thought was a real bonus. Unfortunately, the student who'd previously used the textbook was dyslexic, and everything marked in there was incorrect. Hank left that class completely misinformed about the true nature of many chemical reactions, and that was a deciding factor in his death (butane related). And let's not even talk about what happened to my friend Emmit in medical school. Ugh. If this can save any lives, maybe it's worth it.


your anecdotal evidence adds nothing.
 
2012-06-27 11:12:25 AM

IrateShadow: This is one the reasons a professor should not be able to make his own book a requirement for his class.


Excellent point. There have been hundreds of millions of dollars in fines in the medical industry for this exact issue - except it's in regard to the unethical direction by a doctor for a hospital to purchase medical equipment rather than students buying textbooks.
The guy is an economics professor, certainly not an ethics professor.
 
2012-06-27 11:13:10 AM
Imagine if all schools were required to purchase new books every year.
 
2012-06-27 11:13:35 AM

poot_rootbeer: Pocket Ninja: There's actually a very real danger caused by second hand textbooks, though.

Tell me about it.

I bought a used textbook once and it had scribbling all over it from some guy who called himself "Half-Blood Prince". I got in so much trouble over that.


damn you.
/damn you all
 
2012-06-27 11:13:57 AM
Basically what I saw what this:

New Book: $80
Used Book: $40 + Access Code: $40
 
2012-06-27 11:14:16 AM
Say hello to the new face of student money mining.

cdn2-b.examiner.com
 
2012-06-27 11:14:19 AM
Sounds like a good example for class. If you didn't find a way around it, you fail.
 
2012-06-27 11:14:42 AM

natas6.0: College is a huge scam.

had a prof who wrote books for his own class.
we had to buy them
*bonus*
he would write his own quotes up and have us memorize them for tests


I've had to buy a professor's "book" before.

I'm not sure if Columbia just doesn't allow it, or what, but so far anything written by a professor has been posted as a pdf. They're also really good about keeping numerous copies of any required texts in the libraries, and they've all said that old/international editions would be fine.
 
2012-06-27 11:15:59 AM

ZipSplat: Say hello to the new face of student money mining.

[cdn2-b.examiner.com image 175x236]


Is that the mythical iclicker I've heard about? I still haven't had a class that used it.
 
2012-06-27 11:16:06 AM

Leeds: My university sold new and used textbooks right next to each other in the bookstore. I always bought the used ones, why the hell would I pay more?

This douchebag of a professor seems to think that there is something inherently wrong with recycling used books, but where the hell is he getting that idea?

Does he not understand the difference between reusing a paper book and stealing an electronic version?


What exactly is the difference? Either way the people who made the book get nothing and you get the fruits of their labor.
 
2012-06-27 11:16:29 AM

ZipSplat: Say hello to the new face of student money mining.

[cdn2-b.examiner.com image 175x236]


What's that?
 
2012-06-27 11:16:46 AM

EvilEgg: Now there will be a market for used textbooks and hacked codes.


I can imagine a keygen (access code generator) being available for download at the "usual places" if this were to come to pass.

s15.postimage.org
 
2012-06-27 11:18:10 AM

BMFPitt: Sounds like a good example for class. If you didn't find a way around it, you fail.


profile.ak.fbcdn.net
So, Prof Jerknozzle, are those oranges up the stairs yet?
 
2012-06-27 11:18:20 AM
Apparently, this professor has already forgotten that the video rental industry tried this a couple of years ago and failed miserably. Does anyone remember the DIVX scheme by the now-bankrupt-and-out-of-business Circuit City and that law firm?
 
2012-06-27 11:18:40 AM

Ned Stark: Leeds: My university sold new and used textbooks right next to each other in the bookstore. I always bought the used ones, why the hell would I pay more?

This douchebag of a professor seems to think that there is something inherently wrong with recycling used books, but where the hell is he getting that idea?

Does he not understand the difference between reusing a paper book and stealing an electronic version?

What exactly is the difference? Either way the people who made the book get nothing and you get the fruits of their labor.


Bullshiate, you useless little troll.

That's like saying that selling used cars is ripping off the auto industry.

Try to think before you type, idiot.
 
2012-06-27 11:20:48 AM
One computer class I took required the brand new edition of the text book ($200) and $80 for an access key. I was pissed when I found this out and dropped the class out of spite. I'm glad I did, apparently neither the textbook or the piece of paper with the key on it supposedly worth $80 was resellable at the end of the semester. They came out with a new edition of the textbook for the next year.
 
2012-06-27 11:21:37 AM

natas6.0: College is a huge scam.

had a prof who wrote books for his own class.
we had to buy them
*bonus*
he would write his own quotes up and have us memorize them for tests


I had a prof do that as well sold us his version of the book for 5 bucks
 
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