Is it piracy? How students access academic resources

It seems to me (as one of the older generation) that all students (including when I was one) think that the world owes them an education. Ignoring copyright on text books and materials doesn’t seem like a big deal to a student, since they have not yet created anything of value from their own efforts. What all students forget (including me when I was one) is that when you have a successful and rewarding career, on the back of the education you received as a student, you have to make a living, pay the bills, support your own family, etc. If students expect everything to be free then who will pay to create the textbooks of tomorrow? I can guarantee that by the time today’s students have grown up they will have learned that the world does not in fact owe them anything and that you get out only what you put in. As working adults who have created wealth and knowledge (and textbooks) they will take a very different view about piracy.

Well… I’m a student.
It’s one of those sensible topics. This is reality and society, methods push things. It is being questioned whether piracy (note: piracy, not plagiarism) is the way to achieve proper education. When we refer to students, we are using students as scapegoats as this problem represents “the heart” of the academic life, research. It’s the only way where education stays somewhat equal in many countries. Day by day, humans are advancing and knowledge comes at a price (quite expensive!).

I’m not trying to promote such actions but I’m saying that it’s understandable in a sense.

It’s quite understandable, I’ve done it myself (piracy that is). To be honest I think that copyright laws worldwide need a root-and-branch review, they were created in the era of paper and print and in this digital age they are no longer fit for purpose. I would certainly be very much in favour of giving as big a break as possible to students, you are our future after all (as I was once) but it is never going to be possible for everything to be free. People have a right to expect to be paid for their labours, that includes those who write reference materials just as much it does an ordinarily employed person. What we need to do is to strike a better balance between the rights of information creators to be paid for their labour and the rights of the rest of us to use that information without having to take out a mortgage to do so.

And never forget that ‘copying from one person is plagiarism, copying from many people is research’. :slight_smile: