LSAC Bans LSAT PrepTest PDF Sales

LSAC Bans LSAT PrepTest PDF Sales
Unfortunately, some bad news for LSAT test-takers:

I recently learned from LSAC that they are putting an end to LSAT PrepTest PDF sales.

This isn't a joke, and it's not an early April Fools' prank.

LSAC recently made some changes to its licensing policy for 2015. Because I sell LSAT PrepTest PDFs to the general public, I received word of these changes.

Via email, LSAC wrote to licensees:

Attached is our revised Rights Management Document regarding electronic distribution of LSAT content to your program students and the general public. All renewing and future licenses must comply with this policy.  
One important and necessary change is our preference that you do not use/distribute PDFs. [emphasis added. However, if you are able to demonstrate that PDFs can be made secure when sold to your course registrants only, it is possible we would approve this use.

In other words, LSAC will not allow licensees to sell LSAT PrepTest PDFs to the general public any longer. This change will go into effect as licenses come up for renewal. LSAT Blog's license expires this coming Monday, March 23rd, so if you want to buy LSAT PrepTest PDFs, get them now.


The next question you might ask: if LSAC won't allow LSAT PrepTest PDF sales, will they allow any digital sales of LSAT PrepTests to the public besides Kindle and Nook*?

In the new licensing policy, LSAC lays out the circumstances under which an LSAT prep company might do this, but the changes are so restrictive that it's not even worth the effort to try to comply with them.

Among other new restrictions, LSAC wants to prevent you from printing a digital LSAT PrepTest more than once and prevent you from using it on more than one device. (More details from their new licensing policy below.)

One of the major selling points of a digital LSAT PrepTest is the option to print multiple copies of questions. And many test-takers want to access LSAT questions on multiple devices (maybe a laptop and tablet, for example).

LSAC won't allow this any longer.

I'd rather stop selling digital LSAT PrepTests altogether than sell them under such limiting circumstances.

I wouldn't want test-takers to buy a digital LSAT PrepTest thinking they were getting a normal PDF, and instead feel cheated when they got a file they couldn't use in the way they expected.

Once LSAT PrepTest PDFs are no longer available, I recommend getting all your LSAT PrepTests from Amazon. The books of 10 are cheaper than getting them individually anyway.

LSAT PrepTest 74
LSAT PrepTest 73
LSAT PrepTest 72
LSAT PrepTests 62-71
LSAT PrepTests 52-61
LSAT PrepTests 42-51
LSAT PrepTests 29-38
LSAT PrepTests 19-28
LSAT PrepTests 7-18
LSAT SuperPrep (A, B, C)
Official LSAT PT (Feb 1997)

June 2007 LSAT PDF (the only free LSAT PrepTest)

(Here's another big list of LSAT PrepTests.)




Why is LSAC making these changes, and why are they bad?

LSAC employees say these changes are due to fear about piracy / copyright infringement. As someone who sells other LSAT-related PDFs, I understand this concern.

However, LSAC has already allowed LSAT PrepTest PDF sales for 4 years. These PDFs are already out in the world for people to share illegally. And while I'm sure some people do share them illegally, LSAC has made a lot of money in royalties from PDF sales over the years.

I believe LSAC stands to make more money by allowing PDF sales than by banning them. If anything, I suspect that preventing PDF sales will only encourage piracy of the files already out there.

Additionally, I'm disappointed LSAC is making it harder for test-takers to get the materials they need to study. Those in countries where it's not easy to get paper copies of LSAT PrepTests will be incentivized to resort to piracy or go without the necessary study materials.



Details on new restrictions from LSAC:

For content to be distributed online for sale to the public (including, but not limited to, ebooks, videos, web pages) 
As part of the licensing proposal, potential licensees must describe with reasonable technical specificity the manner in which files containing LSAC licensed content will be stored and distributed, and all security measures that will be used to protect the licensed material. LSAC requires licensees who intend to offer LSAT preparation material via the internet to the general public to employ digital rights management (DRM) that does not employ the use of JavaScript and will: 
• control usage,
• prevent copying, and cutting and pasting,
• prevent emailing, forwarding, sharing, unauthorized access and unauthorized distribution,
• limit printing to one time,
• allow the document to open only on one device,
• prevent screen capturing,
• control and instantly revoke access if a violation occurs,
• identify abusers,
• expire access after a mutually agreed upon timeframe and/or number of views, and
• maintain a complete audit trail of how, when, and where LSAC’s material is being used. 
Although LSAC does not endorse a specific DRM program, the following are examples of programs that perform the functions listed above and should offer adequate security: 
• http://www.drm-x.com/DRM-X3.0-Features.aspx
• http://www.locklizard.com/index.htm
• http://www.artistscope.com/digital_rights_management.asp 
Use of any DRM format is subject to the terms and conditions of any applicable license agreement between the licensee and the supplier of the applicable DRM format.


*LSAC currently sells some LSAT PrepTests on Amazon Kindle and Nook, but I definitely wouldn't recommend trying to complete LSAT PrepTest questions on those devices or programs - it's nothing like doing the exam on paper. I've seen students attempt this, and it's awful.



5 comments:

  1. Hello Steve

    This is really horrible to hear. However, is this new policy going to affect the distribution of the explanations as well for preptest 19-28 and 29-38?

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
  2. Will this affect the "Explanations of the prep tests that you currently have available?" Will we be able to buy the explanations after Monday March 23rd? thank you

    ReplyDelete
  3. This will not affect the explanations available - only the PrepTests themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  4. hi man !!!! :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. The courts have established you do not own your Kindle books. So, if you want to write on each exam and save copies, you buy the dead tree version, scan them, and take them on your tablet.

    ReplyDelete