First Song Downloads. Now Organic Chemistry

The rise of university textbook piracy: the scourge of the textbook publisher, a blessing for students.

All forms of print publishing must contend with the digital transition, but college textbook publishing has a particularly nasty problem on its hands. College students may be the angriest group of captive customers to be found anywhere.

Compared with music publishers, textbook publishers have been relatively protected from piracy by the considerable trouble entailed in digitizing a printed textbook. Converting the roughly 1,300 pages of Organic Chemistry into a digital file requires much more time than ripping a CD.

Time flies, however, if you’re having a good time plotting righteous revenge, and students seem angrier than ever before about the price of textbooks.