Here is part of an email that I recieved from one of my professors, explaining why he can no longer post his lectures on webCT/blackboard:
“Basically, the only stuff we can post on webct are things from the textbook we have for the course, or things we have written ourselves. No images from other texts, no images from the internet, etc. If you have an image embedded in a slide, you can still show it in class but we have been asked to delete them all before posting them on WebCT. As for other materials such as pdfs of articles, we cannot post them either - instead it is recommended to post the link to the pdf only.
We are in the present situation because the previous company we used to take care of copyright has increased the fees from $3 per student, to $45 per student. Apparently, the same company is also employing students in our classes to essentially spy on us, and pass on any instances of copyright infringement. This also represents a way that a student can ‘get back at us’ for failing a class, etc. I’m unclear as to the consequences of copyright infringement, but I can guarantee it would represent, at minimum a royal and time-consuming pain in the ass.”
This really upsets me. Textbooks are not the wealth of knowledge that people assume that they are. Textbooks are constantly being updated, and honestly, the psychology textbooks that I am using right now are probably becoming obsolete as I type this. Current scientific research (which isn’t in the textbooks) and images are so much more advanced than the textbook’s simplistic views. A textbook is a manual that can guide learning. But I am in university to acquire the knowledge that I can’t get from a textbook, straight from the mouths of people who have worked in the field. I want to learn about drug innovations, recent advances in brain imaging, or current tests being done to prove/disprove theories. But because the company that controls the copyrights for my university are asking for more money, I will now EXCLUSIVELY be learning through 2D maps of the brain and anatomy….no more recent test methods, media, or images. If I want to learn anything more, or expand my learning, I have to do it by myself, without the help of my professors.
I am getting more and more disappointed with my university by the day.