Homeschooling, copyright, and consumable workbooks
IT’S NOT easy navigating the muddy waters of copyright. For instance:
- When is it legal to photocopy a workbook?
- Is it okay to use an acetate overlay in order to keep workbook pages pristine?
- Can I resell a workbook that my child used but didn’t actually write in?
When Frugal Is Illegal: Avoiding the Copyright Trap
As a whole, homeschoolers are a thrifty bunch. Feeding, clothing, and educating a family—usually on one income—presents challenges, and prudent moms are always searching for ways to save.
To cut curriculum costs, homeschoolers share e-books, scour used curriculum sales, or copy fill-in-the-blank workbooks. Confused by copyrights, they’re often unaware that some of these activities are legal . . . and some are not.
The Issue of Ownership
In our world, the concept of ownership goes something like this: I bought it. It’s mine. Therefore, I can use it any way I want. However, there are laws that supersede personal ownership. For example:
- It’s illegal to park next to a fire hydrant even when you own the car.
- Though you’re the owner, your homeowner’s association can forbid you to paint your house blue.
We understand these laws. We may not like them, but we typically obey. Why, then, is it so hard to wrap our heads around copyright?
Maybe because we’re dealing with something intangible: creations of the mind known as intellectual property . . .
(Take the copyright quiz and read the complete article here.)
Let’s talk! Do you tend to respect or ignore copyrights?
I realize copyright is one of those hot-button topics that’s sure to ruffle a few feathers and stir up some passion. So please, let’s keep the discussion civil.
Copyright 2013 © by Kim Kautzer. All rights reserved.