“So you might see students who share their textbooks might be on the hook for patent infringement and copyright infringement?” said Julie Samuels, a staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. “That’s not good news.”
Not surprisingly, legal scholars are highly skeptical that this patent violates the spirit, if not the letter, of the existing balance in copyright law. Current law provides exceptions to the copying of copyrighted material, including fair use and the first-sale doctrine, legally allowing books to be resold a second time. In addition, it would effectively prevent libraries from holding copyrighted works for student use.
“What’s troubling is that as a society we should incentivize student learning and this patent does the opposite—that’s troubling,” Samuels added.