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View Full Version : Does this violate copyright laws/ethics?



Wabi Sabi
02-21-2011, 10:44 PM
Help me understand the legalities and ethics of this:

Scenario one: Say I want to buy a workbook but would like two of my children to share it. Is it okay to tear out the pages, put them in a binder and use them as masters to make copies as needed?

Scenario two: A close friend and I are both interested in the same workbook for our children. We split the cost of the book, tear out the pages, and make a set of masters for each of us.

The first scenario seems fine to me since it's for personal use, but the second scenario is not so clear. Thoughts?

Teri
02-21-2011, 10:57 PM
I don't think either of those is fine.
A workbook is considered a consumable product. It is not meant to be torn apart and copied, unless it is a teacher copy and the workbook is meant to be masters for a classroom.
I buy individual books for my kids, even when it means buying doubles or triples of the same books.

I also do not resell books that are considered "consumable". If we don't finish them or they are mostly blank, I may give them to someone if they buy the non-consumable materials, but I won't resell them.

dbmamaz
02-21-2011, 11:57 PM
I think many books will tell you what is acceptable use on the inside cover, no? I would feel better about copying for my kids than sharing w a freind, but unless you get free copies somewhere, its not THAT cheap and of course the folks who put effort in to making the book arent getting paid for it.

Ana
02-22-2011, 12:42 AM
Help me understand the legalities and ethics of this:

Scenario one: Say I want to buy a workbook but would like two of my children to share it. Is it okay to tear out the pages, put them in a binder and use them as masters to make copies as needed?

we do this. with 7 kids, it is the most cost effective way of using my curriculum. I then pass it down to my grandchildren.

Scenario two: A close friend and I are both interested in the same workbook for our children. We split the cost of the book, tear out the pages, and make a set of masters for each of us.

I do not do this, it seems like it is going just a tad bit too far with it kwim? Besides, I like to keep my stuff on hand at all times.

The first scenario seems fine to me since it's for personal use, but the second scenario is not so clear. Thoughts?

So yes, I would do the first, not the second.

Teri
02-22-2011, 08:26 AM
This question has come up a few times on the MBTP yahoo group. This is what the owners' response was:

> Hello,
>> >
>> > I want to thank all of you for having this discussion.
>> Copyrights are
>> > not often well understood for books and workbooks.
>> >
>> > Our official copyright policy is that you need to obtain written
>> > permission from us in order to make copies of any of our pages. This
>> > includes the student activity pages.
>> >
>> > While this copyright is stated on the title page at the front of
>> each
>> > book, we have found that most parents are not aware of it. In future
>> > releases of our books, the bottom of each page will read: "Do
>> not copy
>> > without written permission from Epiphany Curriculum, LLC".
>> Hopefully,
>> > this will help to clear up some of the ambiguity.
>> >
>> > The Student Activity books are designed to be consumable, as most
>> > workbooks are. This is why we price all of our Student Activity
>> books
>> > lower than the Parent Manuals - even though they cost quite a
>> bit more
>> > to produce. We know that parents with more than one child will be
>> > buying Student Activity books for each child. The Parent Manuals can
>> > be re-used. For our Literature Units we sell additional Student
>> > Activity pages for $4.99.
>> >
>> > If you have a special request to make copies, just drop us a quick
>> > email for permission and explain your circumstance. These requests
>> > range from younger children using the page as coloring pages with an
>> > older sibling to children with special needs who may need more than
>> > one copy.
>> >
>> > Of course, we don't have any problem with used Parent Manuals,
>> books,
>> > used Literature Units (without student pages), and manipulatives
>> being
>> > re-sold. Student Activity books and Literature Units (with the
>> student
>> > activity pages) are the only items in our program that should not be
>> > re-sold since they are protected by copyright and will be consumed
>> > during use by the child.
>> >
>> > I hope this helps. If you have additional questions, please don't
>> > hesitate to reach out to us.

Bellanina
02-22-2011, 08:29 AM
We started doing the "copy the pages that we need extras of" for the boys. In the end, my time and effort along with the cost of ink/toner/paper didn't generate a lot of savings, over just buying two of the same workbook. So now, I just buy two of the same, which saves me heaps of time later on.

As for sharing the cost with another homeschooling parent, again, I don't think that's going to generate a lot of savings in the long run, kwim? Plus, I don't think it's appropriate, copyright-wise.

StartingOver
02-22-2011, 08:52 AM
If it says something along the line of... You may make as many photocopies of the maps and student pages as you need for the use Within Your Own Family Only. Then it is ok to copy. Many of my workbooks say this.

Or some may be along the lines of ... You may make as many copies as you need for the individual this was purchased for. Even in that instance I can't copy them for my other child.

I am always on the lookout for things that I can use with both of my children, without having to pay double. So I really appreciate when I am given permission to make copies. I have many homeschoolers ask me to just make copies. Sorry I can not do that !

I will never sell or give away something that I made copies of either. I have a hard time selling or even giving away something that I have "used" in any way, besides looking at it and finding out that it won't work for my family.

Just my two cents.

farrarwilliams
02-22-2011, 09:24 AM
Like Jana said, some materials specifically give you permission to use it for all your children. The Math Mammoth materials say you can print for however many kids you're teaching, which I think is nice.

As for the immorality of doing it with workbooks where that permission is not stated, clearly you're not supposed to, but it's like burning a mix CD for a friend - a whole lot of people do it.

dottieanna29
02-22-2011, 09:34 AM
I agree with the others - check what is allowed with that individual book.

Evan Moor items are meant to be used in classrooms so allow copying for all students in your "class".
PDF's usually allow you to print out as many copies as you need.
Kumon workbooks are sized to make them very difficult to copy.
I have dollar store workbooks that don't say anything - they don't have a detailed copywrite page. (of course, for a dollar it's not hard to buy multiples).

I've also seen people who stick the pages in sheet protectors and use markers to do them, or have children put the answers on paper. I'm not sure where this falls in the ethical spectrum. Is it the same as copying them since you get multiple use? What about borrowing workbooks from the library?

Ana
02-22-2011, 02:27 PM
All of the workbooks I own say it is OK to reproduce, I checked last night after reading this.


We started doing the "copy the pages that we need extras of" for the boys. In the end, my time and effort along with the cost of ink/toner/paper didn't generate a lot of savings, over just buying two of the same workbook. So now, I just buy two of the same, which saves me heaps of time later on.

never thought of this, but it does make a lot of sense! Ink cartridges are expensive here in MX.

rumbledolly
02-22-2011, 03:25 PM
I was curious after reading these posts so I went to the workbooks I use and the majority (over 90%) say they can not be reproduced in any way without permission. The same majority do state that test pages can be reproduced for either practice pages or for use in the classroom equal to the number of students. I do copy some items out of workbooks but mostly because they are geared towards middle school and not grade specific. If we write in them we won't be able to use them again if they are already used.

It puts me in an ethical bind.....As someone who takes photos, works on websites, and has written books and articles for publication I'm not happy with people taking my work without permission. I also write wedding ceremonies, again I don't mind sharing if people ask but I'd be unhappy seeing my work used without my knowledge.

I would never share workbook pages with anyone else. I also pay to be able to use online worksheets and I would never ask anyone to copy from their subscription unless the website specifies the number of licenses you have available. For example I believe one site I use and pay for gives me five licenses. I would then allow 5 people to use my license to obtain material. Theoretically I would.......I paid for it so I'm not sure I'd share unless we split the cost between us unless it was someone who only needed a small amount of material.

bcnlvr
02-22-2011, 05:08 PM
Well, I guess I am going to hell in a handbasket. I have several grades-worth of curricula for my different grade kids. I copy the pages for the older to do (or he copies them into a notebook) and the youngest gets to actually write in the workbook when he gets to that level. I figure that's his prize for getting hand-me-down clothes and toys his whole life. I don't share with anyone, but I paid money for the items and feel *entitled* to using them for all my kids. But then I sometimes have an inflated sense of entitlement (speed limits are for other people...etc). Did I just incriminate myself? sigh

StartingOver
02-22-2011, 06:14 PM
I agree with the others - check what is allowed with that individual book.

Evan Moor items are meant to be used in classrooms so allow copying for all students in your "class".
PDF's usually allow you to print out as many copies as you need.
Kumon workbooks are sized to make them very difficult to copy.
I have dollar store workbooks that don't say anything - they don't have a detailed copywrite page. (of course, for a dollar it's not hard to buy multiples).

I've also seen people who stick the pages in sheet protectors and use markers to do them, or have children put the answers on paper. I'm not sure where this falls in the ethical spectrum. Is it the same as copying them since you get multiple use? What about borrowing workbooks from the library?

I think those that use sheet protectors are along the same lines. Those that use the book just as a text, reading it and doing their own work on paper, seems like a very gray area to me. I could not do it, but then again, I resold Saxon math for years after doing the same. I think the difference is that we aren't paying $80 - $100 for texts anymore. I am very grateful for all of the "homeschool" curriculum that has come out, including Saxon's consumables. I will gladly pay for them even if I can't copy from them.

Ana
02-22-2011, 07:26 PM
Well, I guess I am going to hell in a handbasket. I have several grades-worth of curricula for my different grade kids. I copy the pages for the older to do (or he copies them into a notebook) and the youngest gets to actually write in the workbook when he gets to that level. I figure that's his prize for getting hand-me-down clothes and toys his whole life. I don't share with anyone, but I paid money for the items and feel *entitled* to using them for all my kids. But then I sometimes have an inflated sense of entitlement (speed limits are for other people...etc). Did I just incriminate myself? sigh

I'll bring the tea, you bring the crumpets!

GothicGyrl
02-22-2011, 08:37 PM
I'm going to join their handbasket (so move over) because honestly, I do NOT write in workbooks if I plan to resell them, ever. I WILL make copies, repeatedly for my kids and yes, even another family if I am splitting the cost with them. And I say this as someone who is writing her own curriculum right now, as we speak, knowing full well their are others out there like me.

The truth is, NO ONE is going to catch you--ever--unless you advertise "HEY I JUST MADE A BAZILLION ILLEGAL COPIES!!" or you sell those copies.

Again, I say this as a curriculum writer (hopefully), knowing full well there are others out there like me. I'll still put the copyright on my book, but the truth is I don't have the time nor the money to come chasing your arses down for doing so and it's not only bad karma, but bad business. But take my opinion for what it's worth. I also don't see a problem downloading music either (but I've also paid for my fair share of music as well).

dottieanna29
02-23-2011, 08:45 AM
Is it better if you aren't planning to sell anything, just want to be able to use it for your own kids? I haven't really run into this yet since I'm only homeschooling a 5 1/2 year old so far and my 3 1/2 year old has no interest in anything. What about if you put it in sheet protectors to see if your child is ready to do them (instead
of just scribbling) and when they are ready, you take them out and give them to that same child to do "for real"? So many nuances.

I do find trying to copy a workbook annoying on my little flatbed printer/copier/etc. so I tend to lean toward getting pdf's of anything that's consumable.

Just out of curiousity, what do you guys think of things like the Evan Moor Teachers Filebox, where if you cancel your subscription you are expected to destroy any unused worksheets that you printed out but didn't get to? Would you destroy them? or would you print as much as you could for future use before your subscription expires?

jess
02-23-2011, 05:20 PM
Legally, I can't see how preserving the pages of a workbook for another sibling or selling (doing the work orally, using separate paper or sheet protectors) could be a problem.

Ethically, I don't see how making a photocopy is any different, but legally, it is. And, from an ethical standpoint, I don't really have a problem with it within a family. We use sheet protectors for things I know I'll reuse. I may even use sheet protectors with Math Mammoth in order to save on printing costs, even though we're allowed to print multiple copies.

Ethically and legally don't always line up. I passed on a single semester of Math Mammoth to a friend who was leaning towards Singapore because she could see it in person and wasn't comfortable going with MM just based on the samples. This will more than likely result in more than one sale for MM since my friend will buy future semesters (plus, we'll soon be buying a few semesters twice since it's more cost-effective to buy the packages for the rest of what we want), so I don't feel it is ethically wrong, even if it isn't legal.