30 September 2013

Textbook piracy in FE

Publishers are missing on income by not making their textbooks as easily downloadable ebooks via college libraries. I hear from learners and tutors that they download illegal copies of textbooks and share information where to get them from. Tutors boast they have collections of textbooks on their computers. Why do they do it? - For the same reason why people use pirated music: it's easier than getting the same content legally. Not just cheaper, but easier too. What makes the situation worse is ever decreasing funding of further education. Tutors are complaining their managers refuse to buy copies of the core textbooks for tutors' use... And many of our learners or their parents are on benefits, in serious financial difficulties. JISC is doing a good job with its E-books in FE programme, but the list of the titles is extremely limited and the ebrary platform usability is really bad. The environment for textbook piracy in FE is perfect.

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