I had to re-read the comment several times – I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. A homeschool mom, probably a lovely, dedicated mother and wife, was justifying uploading copyrighted pdf files and sharing them with anyone for free – because she wasn’t profiting from it.
Let’s talk about copyright, fair use, and the digital age
Hey, I’m not claiming innocence. I’ll admit that the allure of instant and free has grabbed ‘hold of me on occasion.
But it still doesn’t give me the right to justify my actions. It doesn’t magically make it legal.
And now that I know better, I do better.
So – let’s get back to uploading files to share with other homeschoolers. It’s not ethical or legal. For one thing, you can’t just share a digital file. When you upload it, you make a copy. Your copy is still right there on your hard drive. And when others download it – they are making a copy. So now a file is on your computer, the internet, and every computer someone has downloaded it to.
Can you see where this can get to be a ridiculous rabbit multiplication situation?
Even if you download a free printable or lesson plan, you don’t have the right to upload it and distribute it. Free is still copyrighted.
So what can/can’t you do with digital files? What about physical books and curriculum?
We are attempting to answer some of the most pressing questions about copyright law and how it pertains to homeschooling over at iHomeschool Network this week.
Each day will be focused around a topic, with room to share your questions and concerns. We will be holding a G+ Hangout on Thursday afternoon to address some of the questions brought up.
Our campaign isn’t meant to point out specific people. This is all about awareness. Because we know that copyright can be confusing!
I will be writing more this week about some of the topics that I am most familiar with – free downloads, fair use, and things to look out for in online sharing groups.
For now, you can read my article about the difference of what you can do with free downloads and their different copyrights.
And make sure you go over and sign the pledge to #HonorCopyright! Because once we know better, we should do better.
Here are some buttons you can use to show off your pledge:
It can be so easy to share a file, but that download might have taken a lot of time and effort to create. In fact, I know how much time and sweat goes into making an ebook or printable to share with the world.