Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Scanner Could Be a Problem for Publishers

Relatively cheap digital scanning technology could soon be available at your neighborhood office-supply store. The funding platform IndieGoGo.com is trying to raise money for a mass-market device that, if successful, will make it much easier to copy and share printed files and will retail for less than $400.

The Czur, pronounced “Caesar,” is able to digitize printed pages in less than a second and an entire book in a matter of minutes. The device even has software that corrects for the curves of bound pages, fingerprints, and page-to-text contrast.

The problem for Keith Darnay, online manager of The Bismarck Tribune, Bismarck, ND, is that making the copying process easier also makes it easier to illegally copy and share any type of publication, including college textbooks.

“I have no doubt the developers of this technology have nothing but good intentions. They see their device as a way to empower everyone with something that allows them to digitize personal documents or commercial publications they have purchased and owned,” Darnay wrote in a column. “But you can almost guarantee there will be those few who will take advantage of the scanner to illegally copy and distribute material that doesn’t belong to them.”

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