Startup offers open access materials, challenges publishers
- After a year in beta, Boundless Learning unveiled Wednesday an upgraded, public version of its software that offers college students free, open versions of textbooks.
- The startup's model--which identifies widely used textbooks in certain fields and then stitches together the best freely available material it can find--has earned it over $9 million in investor funding and a lawsuit from several leading publishers alleging that "the distinctive selection, arrangement and presentation" of their textbooks has been infringed upon.
- Cable Green, director of Creative Commons, sees the lawsuit as a business strategy intended to take down a potential competitor to the publishers' existing model--a market valued at around $4.6 billion a year that faces increasing criticism of being an unnecessary expense to students.
From the article:
Textbook publishers have almost boundless disdain for Boundless Learning, and it's not hard to see why. The company, which unveiled an upgraded, public iteration of its software Wednesday after a year in beta, offers college students free, open versions of textbooks that would normally cost them scores if not hundreds of dollars. It describes what it does as "textbook replacement." ...
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