stupid bookstore tricks • The Harvard COOP, the official bookstore of Harvard University, reputed to be a hot bed of intelligence, has been trying to bully the student run online book shopping service, by forbidding the ‘copying’ of International Standard Book Numbers off the books they stock according to course. They claim ‘intellectual property rights’ to the numbers. Going so far as to calling the police on student representatives of the service who were busily transcribing the numbers which in case the COOP doesn’t realize don’t belong to ANYONE saving perhaps R.R. Bowker the issuing agency. The police in a show of good sense didn’t arrest anyone or eject anyone, despite what has been reported. This is beyond the pale in stupidity, but since the knee jerk reaction of any company in the US, is to call the police and try to enforce dubious ‘rights’ I am not particularly surprised. ATTN COOP – YOU CAN’T COPYRIGHT FACTS . . . no matter how much you may want to. I simply cannot WAIT until this comes to a head and ends up in litigation. Universities and text book makers overcharge for their products – this bullying tactic against comparison shopping services is just another way of trying not to get called on it.

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