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Textbook trouble
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pramodbiligiri
A few days ago there was a news report saying the NCERT had sent a warning letter to the founder of NoteMonk.com. His crime being that he had uploaded many of their school textbooks (which are available for download from the govt. site itself), and built a community of users who read it, discuss topics etc.



The letter says, "you are hereby notified that your actions of uploading NCERT books on your site, is without permission from us and is a clear copyright violation. You may at best maintain a link to the books on the NCERT website after written permission."

In an interview in May, the founder Prashanth Ellina admits that the legality of his effort was not clear but he hopes things would work out with the educational bodies.

A few months back even I was thinking such a service ought to be built in India. Having a more liberal license for textbooks is a must. In Karnataka this year a severe mess up in textbook production has caused much trouble for school kids - the reason being government has banned private selling and instituted its own body to supply textbooks. I have heard of cases where students have written the first couple of tests without getting textbooks at all. Currently the High Court is looking into the issue:

"The schools said the State Government this year had constituted the Textbook Authority and decided to distribute textbooks to students from first to tenth standard through the authority. The State, it said, had decided against allowing sale of textbooks by private book-sellers."

Naturally many of these issues are being addressed in the US too. An old but good NYT op-ed says textbook prices rise at twice the inflation rate! Over there the problem is again copyright ownership but by various private publishers.

If the government is going to set the syllabus and provide education till secondary schools, can't they at least go for a Creative Commons kind of license? I am actually optimistic that this will happen soon.
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(Deleted comment)
Ah, hadn't thought about looking at Chinese sites for books :) Nowadays I use them to find movies online :P

Even I'm horrified at the price of many textbooks nowadays. It's like we have built up an entire culture of creating artificial scarcity.

Textbook trouble

(Anonymous)

2010-09-17 09:06 am (UTC)

hi to all, India is one of the cheapest markets for printing, it makes sense to make the content free, he says. Shortage of textbooks is a huge problem in most State-run school education boards.“Providing free content would be a huge leverage to disseminate educational content. It can be printed locally at low cost and in a timely fashion. thnx a lots 4 sharing... Nifty Tips (http://www.sharetipsexpert.com/news1.aspx?id=24) || Sure Shot Tips (http://www.sharetipsexpert.com/sure_shot_tips.html)

hi to all, India is one of the cheapest markets for printing, it makes sense to make the content free, he says. Shortage of textbooks is a huge problem in most State-run school education boards. “Providing free content would be a huge leverage to disseminate educational content. It can be printed locally at low cost and in a timely fashion.” Nifty Tips (http://www.sharetipsexpert.com/news1.aspx?id=24) || Sure Shot Tips (http://www.sharetipsexpert.com/sure_shot_tips.html) thnx a lots 4 sharing...

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