Executive Director’s Message: The changing face of piracy

Michael Spinella, TAA Executive Director

I invite you to try an experiment. If you have authored a textbook or monograph in the past 20 years, go to your favorite search engine and type in the title of that work. Scroll around a bit amongst the results and scrutinize the sources that claim to be able to provide your book, in full text, for a fee or for free. Did you find any that you were unaware of?…any that are giving it away for free that you did not know about or that your publisher tells you are illegitimate? How far down your list of search results did you have to go to find an instance of one of these illegitimate copies of your work? [Read more…]

Piracy is not a victimless crime: Protecting your work

security guardThere are some common myths about digital piracy. Stop me if you’ve heard any of these. Piracy is a victimless crime. Piracy doesn’t cannibalize legitimate sales. Fighting piracy is whack-a-mole. The pirates are always a step ahead. Sound familiar? The good news is they are myths. The bad news, however, is textbook piracy is real, and it’s a problem.  

During their 2019 Textbook & Academic Authoring Conference presentation, “Prevention, Detection, and Enforcement Against Digital Piracy of Copyrighted Scholarly and Pedagogical Works”, Henrik Strandberg and Maureen Garry with Pearson Education’s Intellectual Property Protection Program shared details on the nature and efficacy of detection, prevention and enforcement efforts authors have as protection against digital piracy, both individually, and as an industry. [Read more…]

The most useful textbook & academic posts of the week: April 27, 2018

"Writing a book is burning your brain to enlighten another man's mind." ~Bangambiki HabyarimanaAccording to Bangambiki Habyarimana, “Writing a book is burning your brain to enlighten another man’s mind.” Our collection of articles from around the web this week begins with thoughts on writing book chapters, publishing expectations on the tenure track, and advice on growing a platform to land a book deal. We then explore the existence of bad writing advice and the consequences of bad research practices. Finally, we explore the ongoing impact of ed tech, the potential affect of automation in research, a new digital homework platform from FlatWorld, and a three-pronged approach to fighting digital piracy.

As you enter this new week of writing, approach your practice with integrity and innovation that serves to enlighten the minds of your readers. [Read more…]

TAA debunks the top 7 myths regarding textbook costs

TAA myths coverStudents’ purchase of used textbooks, and more recently, the theft of new textbooks via downloads at file sharing websites, is based on misinformation about how textbook publishing works, how professors choose textbooks, the business practices of book resellers, and the motivations of authors who write textbooks.

TAA  interviewed publishers, professors and authors as a way to set straight the top myths regarding textbook costs.

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