I point you to TechDirt’s article:
Study Indicates College Textbook Piracy Is On The Rise, But Fails To Call Out Publishers For Skyrocketing Prices
from the the-best-way-to-replace-’lost’-money-is-to-charge-people-more,-apparentl dept
The survey mentioned uses the suspect methodology of “you or someone you know”, which tells readers nothing about actual numbers or percentages.
But in any case, as TechDirt points out:
the key takeaways never point to the main culprit: textbook publishers.
Prices for textbooks border on extortionate. Valerie Strauss, covering the subject for the Washington Post, notes that prices for both tuition and books have increased at unreal rates over the past several years. (It should also be noted that BISG’s report is no bargain – $675 for “summaries” and $3,195 for the “Volume Four Bundle PDF”.)
Publishers are also trying to curb piracy by selling digital versions that are somehow only “good” for a single year (thanks, licenses!) and rendered inoperative if pirated by requiring an internet connection to access content and features. These are usually only slightly cheaper than their physical counterparts, but can’t be resold at the end of the year to recoup any of the purchase price and can be completely useless to the purchaser (depending on what’s locked up by the license) after the end of the license term.
Also note the Vocativ website’s reaction and research, succeeding in “pirating” three books in the public domain, “publication dates (in the order listed) 440 BC, 1789 (for the latest edition), 1478 and 2001.”
Presuming they did pay for their own textbooks, they should perhaps brush up on “piracy”, “public domain”, “copyright”, “fair use” and “English”.