Let Students Keep Their Casebooks
  • Petitioned WoltersKluwer

This petition was delivered to:

Aspen Legal Education

Let Students Keep Their Casebooks

    1. James Grimmelmann
    2. Petition by

      James Grimmelmann

      Baltimore, MD


Starting this fall, students buying some casebooks published by WoltersKluwer's Aspen imprint will be required to return their books at the end of the semester. The plan is pure waste: Aspen will squander paper and energy printing thousands of extra copies while withdrawing knowledge from the public. For many students, used books are a necessity because new casebooks can cost $200 or more. Aspen promises "lifetime access" to digital versions, but numerous digital platforms have shut down with little warning, leaving subscribers stranded without access to the media they paid for. This attempt to elminate the used-book market directly conflicts with copyright's first sale rule that you own the books you buy.

We, the undersigned professors, pledge not to assign to our students any casebooks that the students are not free to keep. Those of us who are Aspen authors further pledge that we will insist that our books be sold as books always have been: subject to first sale and free to circulate in the world.

Recent signatures


    1. Reached 250 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Sherd White CRESTWOOD, MO
      • 6 months ago

      I am a student and believe this sets up an unsettling precedent that takes away knowledge from the public and turns it into a for ransom business. Books are essentially passed down knowledge and should not have a gatekeeper. Prior law also indicates that purchasing a book gives first sale doctrine. What comes next when this is whittled away? Land is no longer resell-able? Why not go back to the middle ages where we are all indentured servants? We can't own property and serve the wealthy masters.

    • K L Maerz CHARLESTON, WV
      • 6 months ago

      As a law librarian, I am so tired of publishers strong-arming me into accepting unilateral policies and practices that benefit only them. If WoltersKluwer wants to lease books, fine. At the same time, though, consumers should have the option to purchase the print material with no strings attached. Upholding the first sale doctrine is critical for students and the secondary market.

    • Marie Newman WHITE PLAINS, NY
      • 6 months ago

      This move will make law school more expensive for students.

    • Matthew Reichmann CLINTON TOWNSHIP, MI
      • 6 months ago

      Copyright reform needs to happen. Examples like this are proof the copyrights do nothing but hurt the consumer while making the copyright holder rich. You own what you purchase, you do not lease these types of products.

    • lee jaen MORGNATOWN, WV
      • 6 months ago



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