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pirating textbooks

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by mincekinguk, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. mincekinguk

    mincekinguk New commenter

    I just started at a new school and they're downloading Cambridge textbooks off illegal websites and mass distributing them to student devices. Should I report this or is it just what international schools do? It's my first time abroad.
  2. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    It's not what good schools do.
    Report them to whom?
  3. february31st

    february31st Established commenter

    Some schools will even charge students the full price for photocopied text book!
    frodo_magic likes this.
  4. briancant

    briancant Occasional commenter

    I worked in a school in Spain that employed someone to cut the spines off textbooks and scan them so every student could have a pdf for on their chrome books. I would have loved to see them get caught out over it, but I guess they are still at it.
  5. Rott Weiler

    Rott Weiler Star commenter Forum guide

    The publisher whose copyright is being infringed?
  6. gulfgolf

    gulfgolf Established commenter

    You could. Publishers have been known to sue.
  7. norwichred

    norwichred Occasional commenter

    My God - I wish my current problems and issues were so insignificant that I could afford to worry about something like this.
    towncryer, fjoy15, T0nyGT and 2 others like this.
  8. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    Just from the title of this thread, I knew it was your first time abroad.

    It's not ideal, but it happens. The more difficult it is to get hold of stuff and the more expensive in local terms, the more likely it is to happen.

    Also (and I know the publishers probably don't see it this way) schools which normally operate by having one set of textbooks which are used by various classes now can't do that because of Covid. Devices are easier to wipe clean and to disinfect than paper books are

    In one country I lived in, local bookshops provided these kind of texts. There was no way local students could have afforded them otherwise.
  9. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    In China, books are "cloned" and they look very much like the real thing, but at a fraction of the price. My school in SZ did it. It is not against the law in China.
  10. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    There are also certain countries where, for whatever reason, you cannot get the required textbooks - or sections get removed from them on import. Sometimes it's just the only way that you can get a book to the kids.
  11. the hippo

    the hippo Lead commenter Community helper

    Yes, amysdad, and I am sure that some publishing companies do make some outrageous profits from textbooks. On the other hand, I have to say that I felt uneasy about being involved with this sort of piracy in the ME. Textbooks were available, if schools could get their act together and order them in time. It just felt wrong to be in a school where the parents were charged extortionate fees and at the same time corners were cut when it came to educational resources (and not just textbooks).
    mincekinguk likes this.
  12. 4019775

    4019775 Occasional commenter

  13. 4019775

    4019775 Occasional commenter

    Breaking copyright law is small fry for most international schools.
    mincekinguk likes this.
  14. frodo_magic

    frodo_magic Occasional commenter

    All over East and SE Asia, you'll find textbooks photocopied and on sale in bookshops for next to nothing, on websites, on a dvd as part of a collection of 500 other textbooks and software. It's normal and not exactly a secret.
  15. amysdad

    amysdad Established commenter

    I sympathise, and generally agree - if I'd spent months writing a textbook I'd be pretty irritated if someone just photocopied it rather than bought a class set. However, if you're a History teacher in the ME trying to teach the Arab-Israeli Conflict or even the Gulf War (required in Cambridge IGCSE), knowing that a textbook might either not arrive at all after paying for it or arrive with pages defaced or torn out, I can understand why some schools do it.

    Publishers might have a better case if they provided more textbooks online, or worked out a way to allow schools to purchase a licence for, say 100 copies to be printed in a short period of time after receiving the PDF.
  16. february31st

    february31st Established commenter


    Publishers might have a better case if they provided more textbooks online, or worked out a way to allow schools to purchase a licence for, say 100 copies to be printed in a short period of time after receiving the PDF.[/QUOTE]

    I have used this method with publisher's before once you email them and explain the situation. Life is a lot easier now you can simply download a soft copy of a book.
  17. T0nyGT

    T0nyGT Lead commenter

    Why would you work for a company that did that? Instead of reporting them, wouldn't the right thing to do be to hand your notice in and go home?
  18. colacao17

    colacao17 Lead commenter

    Availability is one thing, but cost is another.

    There are schools offering GCSEs /A-levels and//or IB in very low income countiries, where the cost of one textbook would be easily more than the average monthly wage. And these are not just british/international schools for expats and wealthy locals, these are local schools with local students as well.
    Many of the scans are older editions which, if you were in the UK, you could get 2nd hand on ebay for not much money. Perhaps that doesn't justify piracy, but part the problem is that the books are just priced out of the reach of many.
    mincekinguk likes this.
  19. frogusmaximus

    frogusmaximus Occasional commenter

    Worked for many years at an international school in SE Asia who had huge amounts of photocopied reading books. Thought the publishers were being a little naive really to sell them one copy of each book, which as the master copy was guarded with the utmost secrecy, and expect a large school to function with just that and not order any more. Similarly other English and Maths resources were copied for each student.

    When CIS came to town, the head had the copied resources removed and hid for a week and the slack inspection team didnt bother checking the resources named in the planning docs with the resources in the classrooms. School attained CIS status when they are basically breaking copywright law and could be sued fior tens of thousands.
    mincekinguk likes this.
  20. mincekinguk

    mincekinguk New commenter

    I am in Western Europe and there is no doubt in my mind that the school could definitely afford the textbooks.

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