Legal Question in Business Law in Illinois

Professor requires students to purchase their book

Can a professor require students to purchase a book authored by that same professor when he or she will receive royalties? The professor in question authors a new book each semester with minor modifications not relevant to course content.

Asked on 1/11/09, 1:36 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Motty Stone Law Offices of Motty Stone
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Re: Professor requires students to purchase their book

Unfortunately, the answer is yes according the law. There are some universities that have created policies to try and limit this practice, but I'm afraid the textbook racket lives on.

If the changes are minor, you might still get by with an older edition - especially if you have a friend that might let you check out changes in his/her book.

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1/11/09, 3:37 pm
Lesley Hoenig Lesley A. Hoenig, Attorney at Law
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Re: Professor requires students to purchase their book

While the law might not prohibit this practice, at many universities and/or departments within universities, when a professor has their own students buy their book, they typically have to submit the royalties (if any are earned, because if it is not a widely distributed book there might not be much in the way of royalties) to the department. Whether this applies to your situation, I do not know, but certainly you may want to consult with someone at your college or university that could give you guidance on this.

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1/11/09, 5:10 pm

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