TIL because American textbooks are sold at a lower price in Thailand, somebody was reselling them in the US and making enough of a profit to get sued by the publishers, the Supreme Court ultimately ruled against the publishers because the “first sale” doctrine applies everywhere, not just the US

Read more: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kirtsaeng_v._John_Wiley_%26_Sons,_Inc.

What do you think?

12 Points
Upvote Downvote


Leave a Reply
  1. In educational publishing, Wiley, the Kirtsaeng plaintiff that lost the case, increased its prices for the international editions as well as the international student editions and cited Kirtsaeng.

    Of fucking course.

  2. For many (if not most) subjects, past editions of textbooks are regularly near-identical to current. I went from often spending $1000+ a semester to less than $100.

  3. Textbook sales are the biggest ripoff of young college students in the whole system. College is a racket now where a confluence of factors has turned tuition into a race between schools to offer more than the other guy. You have a buffet? We have a custom omelette chef. You have a new dorm? We have a new 50 million student center/commens/union building. It’s like the space race between the US and USSR

  4. When I taught college CS courses, students would frequently ask me to say what was on the textbook page I was looking at, not just the page number. I asked them one day why, and many of them said that they have they bought older editions overseas at a fraction of the cost here.

  5. Protip: learn the difference between average cost and marginal cost, and you’ll have more intelligent discussions about things like this (e.g., prescription drug prices).

    That’s not me offering a snide opinion either way on this particular case, just a legit protip.

  6. You missed the most important part — because of assholes reselling books, the company jacked up its prices globally. Thus fucking over those who live in actual poverty ($15 an hour at Starbucks isn’t “poverty” compared to someone making the median income of Central African Republic — $805 a year).

Leave a Reply