It rings of RIAA's response to music downloading and sharing.
When traditional business models are threatened by digital alternatives (granted some of which are illegal under current copyright law), they can either get creative and help create a new market.... or sue their clients. The latter is, I think, a poor choice and will hasten transformative change in which the plaintiffs will not be welcome participants.
The academy is talking about the rising costs of textbooks and how our students spend up to 2% of their annual income annually on textbooks (top of page 8).
We can make a difference.
If you know faculty who teach in the following areas:
- Principles of Economics
- Introduction to Business
- Federal and State Income Tax Preparation
who might like to participate in an open textbook experiment, please forward this message to them.
"... using digital textbooks, which can often be presented online free of charge or in hard copies for as little as one-fifth the cost of traditional books. The digital books can also be easily customized and updated."
The Affordable Textbooks Campaign is a coalition of Student PIRGs and Student Government Associations in fourteen states who are working to make college more affordable.
They just hit 1000 faculty that have signed the Open Textbooks Statement of Intent.
Alternatively, here are some examples of “disruptive” approaches that go around traditional business structures and take advantage of networked, digital technologies and new methods of sharing.
(1) Textbooks: (federal report on cost of textbooks)
· http://www.flatworldknowledge.com (be sure to watch the videos)
(3) Copyright. The publisher’s sacred copyright is being bypassed by a more flexible method to share some, but not all of your rights: Creative Commons (watch the 2nd movie for a short intro).
In many cases, we are the authors producing the content for textbooks, articles, and journals. We need to take ownership of what we create, stop giving away our rights, and begin sharing what we have with each other.
The publishers’ reign of controlling content is limited. Publishers and the RIAA can and will litigate to maintain old models, but in the end… they will fail. For we, the prosumers will go around them, end our paid subscriptions and develop a culture of sharing and receiving. Quite simply, much of the world has decided to share what they create. Old models will begin to collapse and new forms of knowledge, in the network, will emerge.
We should ask ourselves, as we think about teaching and learning in the 21st century: “How will we participate in these emerging models? How will we bring open, global content to our students? How will we leverage open textbooks to significantly reduce students’ costs? How will we partner with higher education institutions around the world to share what we have and use what they offer?”
We have an opportunity and obligation to lead our system into this emerging world of networked knowledge.
I look forward to working with you all as we engage these challenges and opportunities head on.