AbeBooks Coupons Are the Only Help a Student Can Get.
We all know the textbook industry is designed to rob students of what’s left of their student loans and scholarships. $200 textbooks should probably be a crime, and maybe it will be someday. But for now, we can only try to help students any way we can.
Abebooks offers used textbooks for a good discount, and if you use a coupon code, you can save even more off the total cost of books that you purchase from their site. Here’s one resource we like:
One other unlikely savior in the textbook industry is Apple. Do they want to save you money on textbooks so that you spend it on their products instead?
Apple Proves You Should Never Judge a Book by Its Cover
On Thursday, January 19, Apple announced its entrance into the textbook industry. Since the introduction of the e-book concept and the eventual rise of e-book readers it was an inevitable conclusion that someday school books would take their place in history and be replaced by an electronic media which would have the ability to incorporate multiple texts in a portable device. It’s actually a little surprising that it took so long for anyone to make the transition. Whatever reasons there may be for the delay, Apple has the distinguished honor of being the first. In the five days since the long awaited announcement there have been more than 350,000 downloads of interactive e-books indicating an eager and enthusiastic public response.
While the e-book evolution is a great development for schools there is some controversy surrounding Apple’s implementation of it. As a sidekick to the downloadable curriculum, Apple has offered up for grabs another software which has raised some confused and angry eyebrows. It’s an authoring tool called iBooks Author. Designed to make it possible for anyone with this software to become an author of school textbooks, (a matter of questionable wisdom in itself) iBooks Author bears in its End User License Agreement some contractual mandates which are unprecedented at best and will probably result in a number of legal battles in the not-too-distant future. The controversy centers around the following words found in Apple’s EULA:
(i) if your Work is provided for free (at no charge), you may distribute the Work by any available means;
(ii) if your Work is provided for a fee (including as part of any subscription-based product or
service), you may only distribute the Work through Apple and such distribution is subject to the following limitations and conditions: (a) you will be required to enter into a separate written agreement with Apple (or an Apple affiliate or subsidiary) before any commercial distribution of your Work may take place; and (b) Apple may determine for any reason and in its sole discretion not to select your Work for distribution.
In laymen’s terms, what it means is that if you use their software to write a textbook you have their permission to give it away to anyone who wants it. But if you decide that you want to profit from your efforts by selling your textbook then you may only sell it through Apple’s e-book library, and then only if Apple approves it. If for any reason Apple rejects your “Work”, you may not sell it anywhere else, although you may give it away for free.
On one hand, it isn’t unreasonable for Apple to insist on the right to decide what material they will sell or what they reject. Nor would most people deny Apple the opportunity to profit from the use of software which they are giving away free. The problem is well-stated by Shaylin Clark at WebProNews:
“Apple’s attempt to lock down distribution of content created with any software tool is unprecedented. No company that distributes content creation tools – music editing software, word processors, images editors, even other ebook creation tools – restricts what users do with their content after its created.”
Apparently what Apple is demanding is legal, although there is a lot of negative reaction suggesting that it is unethical. What makes it all the worse is that which everyone knows but nobody wants to admit: the fact that nobody ever reads those EULAs. It’s more than likely just a matter of time before some unsuspecting wannabe author writes an e-book and tries to sell it to another provider and ends up losing his proverbial shirt because he agreed to the terms and conditions Apple stipulated without even knowing that he did. After that the constitutionality of the whole matter will be challenged in court. If Apple wins then that will set a precedent for others to follow suit and before anyone knows what’s going on, free and open source software will become a thing of the past.
Hyperbole, perhaps, but the never-before-seen language in Apple’s EULA stirs up never-before-considered speculation about how this will end for everyone involved.