In a Harvard Crimson article from 19 September 2007 titled “Coop discourages note-taking in bookstore”, reporter Gabriel Daly writes that students are getting thrown out of the Coop for noting down prices and ISBN numbers of books in the store:
Coop President Jerry P. Murphy â€™73 said that while there is no Coop policy against individual students copying down book information, â€œwe discourage people who are taking down a lot of notes.â€
The apparent new policy could be a response to efforts by Crimsonreading.orgâ€”an online database that allows students to find the books they need for each course at discounted prices from several online booksellersâ€”from writing down the ISBN identification numbers for books at the Coop and then using that information for their Web site.
Murphy said the Coop considers that information the Coopâ€™s intellectual property.
Umm, no an ISBN number is not the Coop’s intellectual property. What a flagrant example of misusing intellectual property law to intimidate people.
But wait, the Harvard Crimson reports that the Coop has gotten even more hostile.
The Coop has not been the same since they asked the Borg, er, Barnes and Noble to manage the store. I spend hundreds of dollars a year on books, but you can be sure I’ll pass by the Coop and walk a few blocks down the street to Harvard Bookstore, the last remaining independent leftist bookstore in Harvard Square.