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Princeton to launch DRM'd textbook program


Yeah, we're all for education embracing current technology, but not like this. Princeton is going to be offering digital textbooks to students starting this fall semester, in partnership with Missouri-based MBS Textbook Exchange, Inc. Students pick up a barcoded textbook card and activate it at the cash register, and can then go online for a one-time download of a PDF version of the textbook. Here's where it goes wrong: the digital textbooks are only discounted 33 percent off their printed counterparts, and are slathered in a DRM scheme which prevents copying or burning to a CD, limits printing to small passages, locks the file to the computer you downloaded it to, and expires the book after 5 months. So let's see — your laptop gets fried? Gotta buy a new book. Going home for break and the book is on your dormroom desktop machine? Tough luck — no printing, neither, y'hear? No returns or buybacks, either. Wow, what a deal! Thank goodness we're living in the digital age.


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