Monday, November 19, 2012

MIT Tech Review > Free Textbooks Spell Disruption for College Publishers

Startup companies offering knockoff textbooks are attracting students, and lawsuits.

[snip]

Diaz, who still resents how much he'd paid for textbooks in college and graduate school, realized he'd hit on his next business idea. In 2011, he started Boundless Learning, a Boston company that has begun giving away free electronic textbooks covering college subjects like American history, anatomy and physiology, economics, and psychology.

What's controversial is how Boundless creates these texts. The company trawls for public material on sites like Wikipedia and then crafts it into online books whose chapters track closely to those of top-selling college titles. In April, Boundless was sued by several large publishers who accused the startup of engaging in "the business model of theft."

[more]

Source and Full Text Available At 

[http://www.technologyreview.com/news/506371/free-textbooks-spell-disruption-for-college-publishers/]

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