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Major Textbook Publishers Sue Open-Education Textbook Start-Up 278

Posted by samzenpus
from the not-with-our-books dept.
linjaaho writes "Three major textbook publishers have sued a startup company making free and open textbooks, citing 'copyright infringement,' as the company is making similar textbooks using open material. From the article: 'The publishers' complaint takes issue with the way the upstart produces its open-education textbooks, which Boundless bills as free substitutes for expensive printed material. To gain access to the digital alternatives, students select the traditional books assigned in their classes, and Boundless pulls content from an array of open-education sources to knit together a text that the company claims is as good as the designated book. The company calls this mapping of printed book to open material "alignment" — a tactic the complaint said creates a finished product that violates the publishers' copyrights.'"
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Major Textbook Publishers Sue Open-Education Textbook Start-Up

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  • Yea, is the start-up actually using any of the text from the established publishers?

    According to the article, the start-up is accused of non-literal copying. The plaintiff's textbook illustrates thermodynamics with a non-free photo of a bear running and a non-free photo of a bear catching a fish. The allegedly infringing textbook illustrates thermodynamics with a free photo of a bear running and a free photo of a bear catching a fish. The claim is that apart from the copyright in the particular photographs, the choice of a bear to illustrate the laws of thermodynamics is itself sufficiently original.

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