The textbook market does not operate in exactly the same manner as most consumer markets. First, the end consumers (students) do not select the product, and the product is not purchased by faculty or professors. Therefore, price is removed from the purchasing decision, giving the producer (publishers) disproportionate market power to set prices high. Similarities are found in the pharmaceutical industry, which sells its wares to doctors, rather than the ultimate end-user (i.e. patient).
This fundamental difference in the market is often cited as the primary reason that prices are out of control. The term "Broken Market" first appeared in Economist James Koch's analysis of the market commissioned by the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance.
An example of the obvious nature of Defendant’s photographic paraphrasing can be found in Chapter 8 of the authentic version of Campbell’s Biology where Plaintiff Pearson and its authors describe the First and Second Laws of Thermodynamics. To exemplify those laws, Plaintiff Pearson and its authors included two photographs, one of a bear catching and eating a fish, and another of a bear running. ... In Chapter 8 of the Boundless Version of Cambell’s Biology, Defendant also discusses the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Defendant also includes two photographs to exemplify these laws, but instead of basing its selection and ordering on their own aesthetic and scholarly judgments, the two photographs Defendant includes are also of a bear eating a fish and a bear running ... .
I hesitate to say I agree with this- because textbook publishers are among the scammiest scammers that ever scammed- but yeah, if they're assembling a knock-off textbook using open source materials, but mimicking the layout/organization... that does seem like a clear copyright infringement.
Even if they're expensive, paid academic textbooks really are necessary unless there's going to be an alternate way to fund and pay textbook authors
That'd be like re-writing someone's song by taking samples of 88 notes and assembling them in the same way.
Plagiarism is clearly a reputation-ruining event in the academic world, but is it actually illegal?
(As an aside what's the plan if they are so successful that the traditional publishers all go out of business? Who do they copy at that point?)
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