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  1. #1
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    Rhea's Avatar
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    Schoolteachers and Copyright Violations
    I just caught another schoolteacher copying one of my web pages in its entirety onto her school web site.

    This problem got so bad on one of my pages that I actually put a notice up informing teachers specifically that they did not have permission to republish my material.

    What's the deal with these people? Are they that clueless or do they think that because they're stealing for some greater good (educating children) that they're exempt from copyright law?

    Thank you for letting me vent. I feel better now.

  2. #2
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Send a letter to the board of ED for that school district

  3. #3
    ABW Ambassador Paul_Ward's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhea
    ...do they think that because they're stealing for some greater good (educating children) that they're exempt from copyright law?
    That's exactly it.

    As a school teacher myself and a webmaster who like you has had stuff taken and copied, I see it from both sides, but it's still a very one-sided argument.

    In the UK, school photocopiers have an official document stuck to or near them about breach of copyright if copying books (likewise libraries). There are also books of copyable stuff produced that are widely advertised as such, and so the principle is widely known. It's probably a similar situation in other countries too, so there's no excuse at all, though I have heard the "I'm not making any money from it..." excuse. To which I reply "Well I am making money from it and you're interfering in that!"

    HardwareGeek - "Send a letter to the board of ED for that school district"

    I once had some pictures taken and placed on a University website, as I was in a bad mood, I just sent a bill for useage to the University finance office. They came down like a flash and I received a grovelling apology from the "perp"

  4. #4
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    Teachers copying web site
    One of the exemptions for copyright protection is for "educational uses," which is a very bague and poorly-understood (and poorly-defined) term, but generally refers to using copyrighted material in a relevant classroom setting.

    One of the common examples used is, it is OK to show the movie "Star Wars" in the classroom without obtaining a license or permission to do so, if the movie is being shown as part of the curriculum (e.g., as an example of the "Hero's Journey" in an English-literature classroom where that concept is being taught) -- but it is NOT acceptable to show the movie just "as a reward" or because there is a substitute teacher and something is needed to keep the kids occupied.

    Unfortunately, school districts do a very poor job of educating teachers about the appropriate limits of "educational use," and some districts (especially poorer schools and private schools) turn a blind eye to blatant copyright abuses. However, most school districts are genuinely concerned and will quickly and aggressively respond to complaints.

    I would suggest that you start with a stern but not hostile email to the teacher, insisting that the illegally-copied material be removed, and replaced with a link to your site. If this is not done in a reasonable time (perhaps 2-3 business days) then you should both email and send a written letter to the school principal and the school district office.

    You did not explain what was being copied, or why, so I'll add another suggestion: if there is SOME material that you might reasonably allow teachers to copy to their own web site (for example, if your site also contains other content that triggers "nanny" software used by schools), then you might offer a page version that they can actually copy.

    In addition, it's important that YOU understand the limits of copyright protection; again, you didn't say what was being copied, but if someone is merely copying your table of HTML/ASCII codes or a list of area codes, then this material is probably not subject to copyright protection anyway since is it not "an original work of expression."

    And if your material is being copied for a genuine educational use, falling within the "educational use" exception of US copyright law, your best option is a polite request that the teacher link to your site instead of copying the material. (If you, or your site, or the teacher, are not in the US, then other nations' copyright laws may apply, and their "educational use" permission may be different or absent -- but I am assuming that everything here is in the USA.)

    In most cases, school districts will tell teachers to not use materials from anyone who objects, even if the use would be properly allowed under the "educational use" exception.

  5. #5
    ABW Adviser Panel Dynamoo's Avatar
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    Send the school a copy of the DMCA complaint that you are going to file it the material isn't removed. Be reasonable though.. give them 24 hours to remove the material
    Innovative advertising with Slimeware Corporation and Telephore. Mail-order fuel with Petrol Direct.

  6. #6
    Troll Killer and best Snooper!
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    I found three email addresses on the home page of the site. I sent the original to the webmaster and copies to the other two addresses. I gave them 48 hours to comply before I complain to their web host.

    Besides having copied my page they're also hotlinking to my image and sound files.

    I have considered replacing one of the images with this message:

    "Hey kids! Did you know your teachers are thieves? Really, they stole all this stuff from my web site. Now go rummage through their desks and take whatever you like. They won't mind!"

    <elg>

  7. #7
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    Nah
    Replace the images with pornography and get the teacher fired. NAH Just kidding

  8. #8
    Life is Supposed to be Fun! Rexanne's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HardwareGeek
    Nah
    Replace the images with pornography and get the teacher fired. NAH Just kidding
    And to think ... teachers are very vocal about our children plagiarizing material for their reports and homework, etc. Shame shame ...

    A friend of mine replaces all her hot linked graphics with a picture of her dog licking his privates. LOL - It's hilarious. One idiot even complained about it. But it's btter than replacing those graphics with porn. I DO love the idea of busting the teachers with a notice that they have stolen from someone's site.
    Peace,

    Rexanne

    Rexanne.com
    Loving Everyone's Child Creates Magic


  9. #9
    MasterMike HardwareGeek's Avatar
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    There is a site I forget which one. That replaces its hotlinked images with this man bent over naked with a really large rectum hole.

    I personally don't enable hotlink prevention. I like sending out emails of complaint especially since I got this template off office templates.

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