It’s hard to underestimate how downright evil big book publishers are. If you think the RIAA and MPA are bad (and they are), book publishers are taking it to new levels of supervillains and mustaches. George Washington University Libraries has issued an alert to students and faculty that Wiley, one of the largest textbook publishers, has now removed 1,379 titles of textbooks the library can loan. They won’t even let the library buy a license to loan out the e-books. They will only let the students buy the books.
Wiley will no longer offer electronic versions of these titles to the academic library marketplace for licensing or purchase. To access these titles, students will need to purchase access from vendors that license electronic textbooks directly to students, such as VitalSource, or purchase printed copies. At most, GW Libraries can acquire physical copies for the course reserve, significantly reducing the previous level of access for all students in a course.
This situation shows to what extent the behavior of large commercial publishers constitutes a serious obstacle to the financial accessibility of textbooks. In this case, Wiley appears to have targeted the removal of these titles in a shared subscription package that received high usage. By removing these electronic editions from the academic library market altogether, Wiley has effectively ensured that when these titles are selected as textbooks, students bear the financial burden and libraries cannot adequately meet the needs students and faculty by providing shared services. electronic access.
For years we’ve noted that if the Libraries didn’t already exist, you know publishers would shout loud and clear that it’s piracy and almost certainly stop the Libraries from ever seeing the light of day. Of course, since we first noted this, publishers seem to think they can and should just kill the libraries. They have repeatedly raised the prices of e-books for libraries, making them significantly more expensive for libraries than print books, and imposing ridiculous limits on them. That is, when they even allow them to be lent at all.
They also sued the Internet Archive for daring to lend e-books of books the Archive had in its possession.
And now they’re doing stunts like this with university libraries?
And, really, this is yet another weaponization of copyright. If it wasn’t an e-book, libraries could just buy copies of the physical book on the open market and then lend it out. This is what the right of first sale allows. But the old copyright players made sure that the right of first sale didn’t exist in the digital space, and now we have situations like this, where they have to dictate the terms of whether a library (university and more) can even lend a book.
It’s disgusting behavior and people should call Wiley for his decision here.
Book publishing giant pulls nearly 1,400 e-book titles from GW Library; Force students to buy them instead
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