Free textbooks for everybody: piracy or disruption?

Is copying Wikipedia articles and assembling a textbook legal? If you sell it, there are issues. But what happens, if you just give it away? Boundless has created a system (with real people behind it) that creates textbooks for specific subjects with content collected from Wikipedia and other free online sources. It then provides you with an almost perfect textbook with the best price in the world: $0.00!

Educational publishers like Pearson and Cengage have already started the fight but venture capitalists are funding Boundless because they see a disruptive trend. A huge discruption actually when you consider that some of these books cost a couple of hundred dollars. A $6 billion industry in the United States alone…

Publishers today operate using what Mark Perry, a professor at the University of Michigan, calls a “cartel-style” model: students are required to buy specific texts at high prices. Perry has calculated that prices for textbooks have been rising at three times the rate of inflation since the 1980s.

Read the full article at MIT Technology Review: Free Textbooks Spell Disruption for College Publishers

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