Textbook Publisher Pearson Takes Down 1.5 Million Teacher And Student Blogs With A Single DMCA Notice

Tim Cushing, TechDirt, Oct 15, 2012
Commentary by Stephen Downes

Pearson has been making itself look like a friend to education in recent days, announcing (as described by Audrey Watters) its learning management system, OpenClass, is "free," "open to everyone," and more. "No licensing costs, no costs for maintenance, and no costs for hosting. So this is a freer offer than Moodle is." Ah, but then there's the stick at the other end of the carrot. A report surfaces Monday that James Farmer's eduBlogs servers - and 1.4 million blogs - were taken down as a result of a Pearson DMCA complaint. How serious was the complaint? As Farmer summarizes: "one of our teachers, in 2007, had shared a copy of Beck’s Hopelessness Scale with his class, a 20 question list, totalling some 279 words, published in 1974, that Pearson would like you to pay $120 for." Really, Pearson? Anyhow, it's still in Google cache (I saved a copy to my desktop, because I like to be a rebel, to live on the edge, you know). So, now I think I know why Pearson wants to offer free hosting to educators: so they can take it away. It all makes so much sense. I'd cry in my beer, but they'd probably file a takedown notice on the tears.

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