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.