I kid you not… these people are so afraid of any competition that they’re willing to sue over, yes, the fact that in a textbook one chapter is generally before another.
Here’s the operative paragraph from the Slate article about the lawsuit:
Naturally, the small group of major publishers that controls the lion’s share of the $7 billion textbook market is now trying sue Boundless out of existence. They don’t argue that Boundless actually copies what’s written in their textbooks, because it doesn’t. Instead, they argue that the order of chapters is sacrosanct—as if deciding to put “Principles of Supply and Demand” before “Elasticity” is so complicated and critical that it’s worth $293.95.
Now, I admit I’m not an economist, but perusing this explanation of “elasticity” in the economic sense makes it pretty clear that if you don’t have a clear understanding of at least the basics of supply and demand, elasticity isn’t going to make much sense to you either. It’s kind of like being taught to add before being taught to multiply; multiplication makes a heck of a lot more sense if you understand addition first.
Following the logic of this lawsuit, I expect to see them using a history book for their next lawsuit, because George Washington’s Presidency is discussed before Abraham Lincoln’s. Obviously, that must be copyright infringement, according to their logic.
With any luck, this suit will land in front of a judge who will toss it right out of the courtroom as completely unfounded. Unfortunately, I’m rather skeptical about how many judges of that caliber are still on the bench in this country.
(a tip of the blogging hat to commenter “Wayne Borean aka The Mad Hatter” on The Mad Genius Club)