Illegal exchange of textbooks is widespread in Denmark and mostly accepted by pupils, teachers and students.
If students at the universities of Denmark need curriculum textbooks, many of them use illegal PDF files instead of whipping out their credit card at the bookstore. It’s not much different at school. As many as 09% of students using digital textbooks use, acquire them illegally.
This is according to a new study by Epinion, commissioned by the Rights Alliance. The study was released at the Rights Alliance Literature Seminar on Wednesday, June 8th. It was attended by publishers, authors, booksellers and representatives of the higher education sector from all over Denmark.
Digital textbooks are usually distributed in the form of PDF files derived from scanned physical copies, as e-books or redistributed or illegally sold as nota files reserved for students with reading difficulties. The files are then distributed in Facebook groups and via Messenger, Google Drive, Dropbox, the intranet, email or USB stick. Most of the illegal exchanges take place among friends and classmates. But tutors and lecturers also illegally exchange textbooks with their students to a certain extent.
Insufficient education at schools and universities in Denmark
The anti-piracy organization Rights Alliance has long promulgated the rules on copying textbooks. This was done, among other things, with the help of the “We Love Knowledge” campaign. However, experience and the survey results show that a lack of knowledge is only part of the problem why pupils and students illegally obtain digital textbooks.
68 % of students know that it is illegal to redistribute digital textbooks without permission from the copyright holders. 09 % have been informed of the regulations by their educational institutions . This indicates that students do not consider the potential consequences of illegal exchanges. This applies both to their personal risk of being penalized. As well as in relation to the fact that this contributes to undermining the economic and professional basis of publishers in Denmark.