The crime of copying

Students are prohibited from taking pictures or making copies of textbooks that have not been purchased, according to a Pierce College Student Store policy. However, students can take pictures and make copies of textbooks in the library with some limitations.

According to Assistant Bookstore Manager Candy Van, students who attempt to take a photo of an unpurchased textbook will be given a warning. If they are caught taking a photo of an access code, they will be forced to purchase the textbook.

“We told the sheriff that this is a place where a lot of people hang out. This is a place where we deal with all these transactions so we want them to be present,” Van said. “We don’t want to embarrass students.”

“Our goal is to help them be successful, but we don’t want them to do it so crookedly,” Van said. “We’re not trying to accuse anyone until we actually see the whole thing.”

Holly Hagan, bookstore employee, said she first saw people taking pictures of the textbooks five years ago and it has become a common occurrence since then.

“Although this is only a problem during the first few weeks of school, it does happen a lot,” Hagan said.

According to Hagan, when a student is caught taking pictures in the student store they are asked to delete them. If the student refuses, the sheriff is called to the scene to make sure that the pictures have been deleted. Students are allowed to take pictures of the covers of the textbooks with permission, but other than that, it is considered breaking the law.

Malica Mohsenzadeh, engineering major, thinks that the policy that forbids students from taking pictures of textbooks is unfair.

“That’s kind of ironic that they can take pictures of the books in the library but not here,” Mohsenzadeh said. “They (the bookstore employees) shouldn’t have been that harsh on him. They should’ve just told him to pay for it and not have brought the sheriffs. It’s not like he can take pictures of the entire book in like 5 to 10 minutes.”

Pierce College librarian, Kitty Lucero, said that students with a school ID card are allowed to make copies of textbook pages when needed to complete their assignments.

“Students are given two hours to borrow the library textbooks, and when it seems that they don’t have time to finish it, they are allowed to make copies of the pages that they may need in order to do so,” Lucero said.

According to Lucero, a student can only print up to 10 percent of the book. When a student takes a picture of an unpurchased book, it is considered a crime because they are stealing from a place of business.

According to Sheriff’s Deputy Al Guerrero, school policy prohibits students from taking photos of textbooks. Guerrero recommends that students check for posted signs at the bookstore.

“Is it fair for somebody to go and takes pictures of a book that you paid for? Think about that. You paid full price for that book because you’re in the same class. He goes taking pictures of the pages and gets it for free. Is that fair?” Guerrero said.

For the first two weeks of the semester students must leave their backpacks in the shelves outside the student store.

“Some are not happy with it,” Van said. “We trust the students to come in with their backpacks, but we just want to make it easy for them or we’d have to search their bags and we don’t want to do the searching.”

“They steal chapsticks. They steal access codes. Things that are tiny like headphones, lead and calculators,” Van said. “We have students opening up books, taking pictures and stealing the codes. It’s very difficult to deter that 100 percent.”