At long last, Wolters Kluwer has posted the “Connected Casebook” page. It is hosted with Barristers Books, an online retailer of textbooks (I used them a few times while in law school). This new site has made clear that you are renting a new book,at discount. You can’t buy the connected version without renting the physical book. For the 8th edition of Dukeminier & Krier, the hardcover version is $218.95 and the Connected Casebook is $156.10 (about a 30% savings). (Although, if you check on Chegg, the rental prices are usually 90% off, though you have to return it in pristine condition). There are FAQs here. The terms and conditions are here.
In short, Aspen is working with BarristerBooks to run a rental program. Unlike most rentals, such as Chegg, they are not interested in reselling the books, and reinjecting them into the used market. You get a brand new book, and you can write in the book as much as you want. At the end of the semester, you can return it without any damage fee, regardless of the condition. This will be a benefit to students who like to write in books. I understand WK will be providing a prepaid mailer. If you don’t return the book, you pay a “replacement fee, equal to the “price difference between what you have paid (initial rental fee + late fee) and the publisher list price of the non-Connected Casebook version of your book.” I understand a credit card will be kept on file.
Please keep in mind that before us law profs blew this up in May, Aspen was planning on *only* offering the connected version. This would have been the *only* way to buy the book. I understand that focus group testing suggested that students would love a discounted version of the book, with lots of electronic freebies, as an alternative. But I can’t imagine any majority of students, or *any* law professors could have favored a regime where this was the only option. Walk into any law professor’s office (except for mine), and you will see a library of books amassed over decades. I’m glad Aspen has corrected course. Now students will have the option, with the benefit of informed knowledge.