Friday, September 28, 2007

Harvard bookshop overdoes the IP claims

Had to blog this:

"With the exception of the IP Mafia and its supporters/enablers, just about everyone recognizes that folks sometimes use copyright as an anticompetitive tool or tool for intimidation rather than to “promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts” by ensuring creators get compensated. While we can argue about how often this occurs or how much it genuinely chills free speech, you occasionally run into a case of copyright abuse so utterly blatant that it cries out for legal action — or at the very least a healthy dose of ridicule.

So, as a loyal Princeton alum (Go Tigers!), it gives me great pleasure to hold up for public opprobrium, general mockery, and possible legislative organizing the ridiculous claim by the Harvard University Bookstore, aka the Harvard Coop. As reported by the Harvard Crimson (Official motto: “No, we do not tell you where in the YaRd you can PaRk your damn caR”), the Harvard Coop claims it can eject students that write down the prices and ISBN numbers of text books. Why? According to Harvard Coop President Jerry P Murphy, “the Coop considers that information the Coop’s intellectual property.”"

See the original for links and further details. But throwing students out of a bookshop for writing down prices and ISBNs? Well I have been banging on about the perils of IP coming to a university campus near you for a very long time now...

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