This weekend my daughter went to continue reading an ebook she has available to her from her public elementary school on the Epic Reading Platform

She got an error message saying that the book was only available on school days and to read on the weekend she would need to subscribe for $9.99/month.

If you still remember physical textbooks, can you imagine being forced to pay a company a monthly fee to bring your textbook home on the weekend?

@aparrish agreed, total garbage. It"s made worse by the revolving door that exists between high level administration and these ed-tech companies.

@edsu I dunno, I remember how heavy my schoolbag was on some days and I would have paid anything to be able to leave the stack of books behind for once. 😁

@mike I hate to break it to you now, but you could have left them whenever you wanted to.

@edsu And people wonder why LibGen, ZLibrary, and Sci-Hub are so popular....

@edsu Ain’t artificial scarcity a gas?



@edsu But, you can “Earn badges along the way”! Like “Monopoly”, “We own your daughter education” and the cool rare “Execute Creative Commons”! :o

*(For real, I hate DRM's, especially in place where it shouldn't apply, or even, could not apply)*

@edsu I guess the schools were forced to use the cheapest provider or some excuse like that

@edsu or in case you do remember what physical books look like, you might enjoy a pinch of that warm fuzzy feeling by loaning ebooks from SELF-CENSORED. Maybe they charge you a late return fee too.

@edsu Physical textbooks were grossly overpriced, so I can definitely imagine that publishers will jump on any platform that can make them even more money as fast as they can...

@deightonrobbie of course yeah, but I feel like you are missing my point.

@edsu This is an insane agreement that defeats the goal of the school.

@edsu what is the point i want to fight them all individually fist to fist how are you going to do this to KIDS WHO JUST WANT TO READ WTF

@edsu This sounds like an excellent topic for a book report.

@edsu any chance that changing the device's date/time works around it?
(Though I bet it just phones home to verify the current time and access level... which also raises some other interesting privacy concerns.)


such cold comfort that one of my mottos is once again demonstrated:

"it can always be worse"

(the last horrible thing about books for students I noticed was the stack of physical textbooks in a bookstore, required for a foundational course, none of which were for sale, only to rent)

@edsu oh look, they're hiring. would be a shame if someone got a job there and sabotaged their little fief. Is it too late to burn the textbook publishers to the ground and salt their fields as a warning to the next hundred generations? (DRM and copyright should be considered incompatible)

This made the little part of me that would get angry about this sort of thing if it weren't so totally overused and burnt out twitch a bit.

@edsu hmm, I wonder if there could be a way to take list of books there, and produce a list of free alternatives (project gutenberg (,), other (legal) book repos ... darn it what was the name of the ebook place with good covers and good typography... I can't find it... plus local libraries (ok, we're spoiled here in Helsinki with our library system but ... well I think Seattle at least still has a decent library setup at Puget sound public library, so... MAYBE some other areas of the US still have a decent library setup... MAYBE... if not overstressed...)

I would think NOT putting that system in the cloud would be best, to avoid having strikes from, you know, these horrid companies trying to 'corner the market' and thus damn the poor to hell (yes, I was poor growing up, and it sucks, so I try to undo things like this which oppress...)

Probably have to check with gutenberg to be sure that checking their list doesn't violate their terms...

@edsu found it in my favorites...

also found several decent "this probably is already done" type things (including open library at while looking. Still.

This should be made less 'a few people on mastodon know a way to get past this horror' and more 'hey teachers, here's a ...'

you know I'm just gonna stop that thought because lately I've heard that teachers are basically pushing the whole "libraries are communism" rhetoric, or the "submit to the system it will protect you" rhetoric or other "it is too hard, just submit" rhetoric. The teachers who aren't doing that are... going to already have a solution, or are working together to make one, and will be shunned by the others for being 'revolutionaries' and will be removed from their posts. _Probably_ before they burn out, so they will go on to do good things.

i.e. the problem that exists will exist, and trying to speak to the brick wall is maddening; better to _do_.

@Truck yes, absolutely. But guess what, her chromebook is also set up to block She is 9, so I guess it makes sense at some level, since there's all sorts of nonsense that goes on there, in addition to all the good stuff they do.

@edsu Well yes, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater is... so very... typical.

does it block ?

@Truck actually is *not* blocked. I'm going to write and suggest they link to that instead.

Excellent! Is this where education is going? Come on paper books and sorry forests if this it is going to harm you. I'm sure we'll find some alternative to produce paper in a more sustainable way soon ...

@edsu huh, and here I thought "Internet With Opening Hours" is a German thing.

@edsu soon she will take pictures of the next pages during the week and read them on the phone. Later crack the DRM and free the files... #HowPiratesAreBorn

@edsu Awsome. The perfect excuse not to study at home.

@edsu woooooow thats so frickin scummy. The fact that most online school stuff has a paywall enrages me but this is so shitty

@edsu Might be time to introduce her to Library Genesis.

And come science fair season, Sci-Hub.

It's probably legal in the same way that I used to save my allowance and buy books in the classroom from Scholastic Book Service. However, it couldn't hurt to confirm that public funds aren't being misused.
Sign in to participate in the conversation

A Fediverse instance for people interested in cooperative and collective projects.