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Can textbook piracy lead to trouble for college students?

On Behalf of The Foley Law Firm | June 15, 2022
Can textbook piracy lead to trouble for college students?

One of the most surprising things is to find your college student buying textbooks that cost several hundred dollars. College textbooks have never been cheap, but today's textbooks can seem like money-making schemes alongside the outrageous debt students take on for their education. Renting or buying a used copy can lower the price, but only by a fraction.

Teens today are finding it easier and cost-efficient to download the books online no matter what the cost may be – as long as the books are free. Many people today understand that you shouldn’t trust everything online. One wrong click could mean someone overseas knowing all your personal information.

What people – teens especially -- don’t know is that downloading textbooks can come with a load of fines – and potential criminal charges. Here’s what you and your college student should know:

Downloading textbooks infringes on their copyright

Every form of art (movies, shows, games, programs, music or books) is protected by copyright at the instance it’s created. Copyrights are meant to stop people from selling, duplicating or distributing a work of art without the permission of the original artist. Without the agreement of the original creator, someone could be charged for infringing on copyright protections, leading to large fines or incarceration.

A textbook is just like a copyrighted song or movie that is illegally downloaded online. That’s to say, downloading a textbook infringes on its copyright protection by duplicating and distributing it online without the creator's permission.

College students may find downloading a textbook online easy and financially sound, but the charges against them can cost them more than the original price of their textbooks and even their college education. If your teen is accused of illegally downloading something online then you may need to know your options to protect your teen from serious charges.

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