The Great Hippo wrote:Mostly, I'm deeply troubled by the implications carried concerning the right of possession for something I've legally purchased--I instinctively dislike the idea that something I bought isn't necessarily mine, and the idea that you can tell me under what context I'm allowed to resell it is one I find intuitively repellent.
That being said, textbooks aren't a big deal for me. If this genuinely protects the interests of poor countries and keeps the cost of textbooks down for them, I feel similarly ambivalent. I'm mostly concerned about the implications elsewhere, and also curious if removing it really would drive foreign textbook costs up.
At the very least, we can all agree that the costs for textbooks in America are fucking ridiculous. I'd actually be for a solution that directly dismantled the monopoly textbook companies seem to have on college students' wallets, because that's just a load of bullshit.
Yeah, I think I'm starting to agree on the first bit - it doesn't really seem like this is a sufficiently unique or important situation to really merit specific restrictions on what I can buy and sell. As for a solution, I think we're getting one with the internet - there are quite a few consortiums devoted to promoting free textbooks. Outside of really specialized topics and your professor just being a dick, the problem's probably going to solve itself.
Arariel wrote:It is not a competitive market; therefore, it is non-competitive. What other word is there to use?
It is competitive. Just because there's not identical competition to a product doesn't mean there's no competition. In a market with heavy differentiation, you can only charge more for your product if a customer values it more than comparable products (and their are plenty of books being written on any given topic, with wide ranges in prices). This can still lead to heavy competition in quality and price, I'm not sure why you think this can't be the case.
Arariel wrote:Green9090 wrote:Arariel wrote:Copyright is a barrier to entry. It is a legal monopoly created and enforced by the government.
I can only assume your argument here is that copyright shouldn't exist because then we could just download a pdf of the book some guy made with his scanner and bypass the monopoly altogether? That's a demonstrably stupid argument, but I really can't tell what else you're going for here.
Pray tell how it is a demonstrably stupid argument?
A big cost in the production of a textbook is the formulation of the text, not in printing it. If there was a truly competitive market for books with no copyright (as you're advocating), price pressure would drop the operating profit on the sale of a textbook to zero, just enough to cover printing costs. This makes it impossible to profit from writing, which doesn't occur to me as altogether ideal. Whatever writing people are willing to do for free is probably already taking place, I don't see why removing the ability to directly make money from writing would be a good thing.