Most homeschoolers are one income families and always looking for ways to be frugal and wise stewards of their finances. However, with today’s technology it is easy to cross the line from being frugal to committing illegal and unethical acts.
Computers, the Internet and file sharing websites have allowed the sharing of intellectual property ridiculously easy with the click of a mouse button. many times, people are unaware that they are breaking copyright laws so we (here at AussieHomeschool) try to inform users and work with them.
We encourage homeschoolers to follow the principle of educational fair use. Defining this to cover every possibility or infraction is not easy but there are a few guidelines that we can take note of:
A producer of material has rights concerning the way their material can be copied. When you purchase an item from Homeschooling DownUnder or Education Reformation (as an example) you buy the material with the understanding that the publisher, the copyright owner, has certain and specific rights.
If in doubt, check with the publisher or author of the material. They will greatly appreciate your honestly and sincerity and they are sometimes more generous than they need to be – offering extra student books at a reduced rate, additional copying rights, etc. This information is usually included at the beginning of the book or resource.
An example of copyright information:
No portion of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording, or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the publisher. Permission is granted for copies of reproducible pages to be made for use within your own family.
Michelle, from Homeschooling DownUnder has included the following copyright policy in her book, How to Homeschool 101 Ebook.
This book is under copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced, stored in a
retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying,
recording or otherwise without prior permission. This resource has been provided at a low cost to make it accessible to all. Please do not illegally reproduce copies.
A Publisher’s Perspective
Take a minute to put yourself in the place of a homeschool vendor and/or publisher. Many hours and weeks go into the writing and publishing of a book, ebook or paper copy. Much time and energy is sacrificed by all members of the family. These resources aren’t just paper stacks from a stationary store – they have heart and soul, time, energy,effort, knowledge and experience poured into them. Buyers are purchasing knowledge, creativity, passion and ideas that have simmered in the mind of the publisher. When a buyer purchases a copy of the book or resource, the writer is being fairly paid. When illegal and unethical copies of that book are being made, used and shared, the writer/publisher is missing out on their fair pay.
AussieHomeschool Classifieds has a large turnover of books and resources. Members can buy, sell and trade within this market. We encourage buyers and sellers to think carefully about their sales and transactions. If you value quality Australian resources, written by Aussie homeschoolers, for Aussie homeschoolers, then think about the few dollars you will save if you copy materials – think about the long term impact on Australian homeschool publishers – think how you would like to be treated if you were a publisher – and act accordingly.
- For more information, please visit Homeschool Copyright.
- Check out our AHS Classifieds Frequently Asked Questions.
- Visit the Australian Copyright Council website.
- Homeschooling, copyright, & consumable workbooks at the Writeshop blog
- When Frugal Is Illegal: Here’s How to Avoid the Copyright Trap
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For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”
~1 Timothy 5:18