February 7, 2015

Copyright and Resources

Hello everyone,

Apologies for the lack of blog posts lately, my laptop was broken and it was taking ages to fix under warranty, so I had to buy a new one in the end! I have loads of posts to share, from reviews of my latest books, to our Grandparents Day, to lesson ideas, I don't even know where to start! The hectic nature of the DIP is also making it difficult for me to blog as much as I'd like. I feel as though there simply isn't enough hours in the day sometimes. We all know how that feels!

This post however, isn't the most pleasant to write. As you may know, I sell resources and thematic units on-line. I work exceptionally hard on these, aware that some people may use them as a guide for teaching practice. Naturally, one could never sell their work without copyright being in place.

 As a former law student, I was perhaps more aware and wary of this area. Before selling anything, I made sure to have a copyright policy in place. This means, that my work is copyrighted under my name. So say for example, the Harry Potter books. They are copyrighted under JK Rowling's name. I couldn't go out in the morning and write a book about Harry Potter, because it would be a copyright infringement. The same applies to my lesson plans and resources. It is a difficult area to police, as lesson plans can be similar in nature. Mine however, have a distinctive style, and when I saw my exact plans for sale, under a different name, I was very disappointed. It is illegal, basically, and actionable under law. My blog and blog posts are also copyrighted.

So please, if you are selling resources, ensure they are your own. If you are selling lesson plans, ensure they are 100% quality. Ask yourself the question, would I use this for an inspection lesson? If not, then don't sell it.

I will be contacting those in breach of copyright.

Thank you,

Valerie.

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One comment on “Copyright and Resources”

  1. Sorry this has happened to you. I empathize. It gives me a 'sinking feeling'.

    I find large chunks of posts I write on my blog taken verbatim and posted on other class blogs with no credit. These are most often about learning tables, encouraging reading or managing homework. Given for the time and thought we put into creating this content and that they are our intellectual property, it is unfair. All too often these people cut and paste they take away from the flow of what I have written and it sounds very disjointed and even badly written.

    My situation is a bit different as I offer no resources for sale and those who take them aren't making any commercial gain but in your case and mine, they are taking credit for work we have done. To be honest I wouldn't mind if teachers saved themselves some time using my content in newletters home. It is when it goes out on the world wide web uncredited that I feel hard done by.

    Would you consider putting up a reminder in your side bar? I have one that says 'You are VERY welcome to use the original content from this blog. However if you are reposting any of this content directly to another class blog please attribute it to 'If Only The Best Birds Sang'. Please observe copyright as we ourselves endeavour to do. Thank you :)'

    I have also contacted those who have plagiarized my work. I have never heard anything back in the way of an apology, but the content does come down.

    I think it is important to teach children about copyright, when we are talking to them about digital citizenship.

    Imitation is a form of flattery and I would like to think that many of these pirates do so out of ignorance of copyright rather than it being deliberate piracy. But then again, in your case, to be marketing your work is very audacious indeed.

    Keep up the great work.

    With every good wish.

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