Copyrighting your work?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by Rox, Jul 3, 2010.

  1. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    I saw a worksheet that another teacher had made on her computer. At the bottom it had the copyright symbol and her name. It made me think about whether I should be copyrighting worksheets that I make? Although I doubt it would ever happen, I would be upset if somebody used my worksheets to make a profit from it. However, as a teacher, I feel that if I made something that made another teacher's job easier, I'd rather they have it to use/copy/do whatever they want with it.

    What are your thoughts? Do you ever copyright your worksheets that you make?
     
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  3. Chrissteeena

    Chrissteeena Companion

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    I put the © and my name on my short stories, poems, etc. But from what my boyfriend has told me, your work is copyrighted to you as soon as you write it down/type it out.
     
  4. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I live my teaching life by the motto "Beg, Borrow and Steal."

    The whole copyright thing doesn't mesh with my motto.
     
  5. dr.gator

    dr.gator Comrade

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    We have a teacher who does that. When she puts the symbol and her name on those papers it makes me not even want to use her stuff. I don't know, it just gives me a "bad" feeling. I may be totally off here, but that's just my thought. Honestly, I don't really care if that teacher puts it on her paper or not, but when she hands it to me to use, it just doesn't feel right.
     
  6. Tasha

    Tasha Phenom

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    I wouldn't for classwork kinds of things, but for stories/poems or teaching materials (i.e. instructions that another teacher would follow) I probably would.
     
  7. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    Objecting to the copyright notice on a worksheet is like insisting that the teacher who originated the worksheet has no right to decide to whom she'll give it.
     
  8. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    :eek:
     
  9. oldfashioned

    oldfashioned Comrade

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    If I create something for my classroom that another teacher finds helpful, he or she is welcome to it! I have certainly been on the "borrowing" end of many resources created by other teachers for use in their classrooms. It seems to be part of our nature as teachers to care about bettering our field as a whole that makes sharing so prevalent. But having another person make money off something they borrowed from me is another issue entirely. Perhaps that is what the teacher is trying to avoid by copy writing her creations.
     
  10. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    I guess I am overlooking the fact that there are teachers out there who would do that - even think of MAKING MONEY off something! I am blessed to work with such a tight-knit team. We are always giving each other kudos and would never think of doing anything like that.

    Boy am I thankful to work with such wonderful people. So sorry you work in that type of environment!!!!
     
  11. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Whats surprising? Never heard of that saying? Lol.
     
  12. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Well, I certainly don't want to be rude, but I find it surprising that as an educator you are happy to dismiss copyright law.
     
  13. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    Dismiss copyright law? I'll explain the phrase and how the people on my team use it.

    If my coworkers have a worksheet (rarely use wksts anyway), and I like it - I use it. If I have something they like, they use it. Instead of reinventing the wheel, we help each other. Beg, borrow and steal. I don't literally mean I STEAL things.

    Do I go and print things out of my writer's workshop books and sell them? NO! Lol.
    Do I let people use things I've made for free? YES.
    Do I put a copyright symbol on things I've created? NO
    Do I "beg" some people for old things that they aren't using that I see fit? YES
    Do I "borrow" things from my team? YES
    Do I literally STEAL? No. They tell me to take stuff. "Here, you need this? Take it! I have it saved on my computer." (That's what they say.)


    Am I breaking the law?
     
  14. Lynnnn725

    Lynnnn725 Connoisseur

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    And I don't copyright my work when I send stuff to people on this board either. =)

    Who knows what they do with it.... Maybe it's on ebay.
     
  15. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Perhaps I misunderstood...my apologies if that is the case.
     
  16. Rox

    Rox Cohort

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    I'm enjoying the discussion so far...

    Now that I think about it, I have made several powerpoints that I spent hours and hours on. I think I'll put the copyright on those, but only because I wouldn't want someone to profit from them. However, if another teacher was able to use them in their classroom, I'd be overjoyed! I don't think the copyright (for teachers) is intended to prevent other teachers from using the work in the classroom, just to prevent someone from profiting from another person's work.
     
  17. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    I have a colleague who took another colleague's work and submitted it during his internship year as his own. More than once. Did he profit monetarily? No. But it was still completely unacceptable. I don’t feel money is the deciding factor…
     
  18. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    The copyright is the best way to insure that you control your work. If it is your work you can give it away as you like. However, as you put in hours and hours of work on a resource, like a PowerPoint, you should at least get credit for your hard work through citation.

    I know some teachers have taken difficult to make resources like that and sell it for a dollar or three on Teacherspayteachers.com and sites like that. I have a team mate who has bought a few PowerPoints from there. She said she paid about 2 dollars for the PPTs. I asked if it was worth it and she said "Hell yeah!" She reported that the PowerPoints were excellent, and the couple of dollars she paid were more than worth the five or six hours of her time it would have taken to recreate a similar file, and probably could not have done well.

    The bottom line is, whether you want to sell something you make for a profit or give it away as you will, the copyright protects your work as it is intended to do.

    You do not really have to show the copyright mark on it if you do not want. Just don't be offended of another teacher wants to protect their work.
     
  19. newbie87

    newbie87 Comrade

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    The idea of one copyrighting a lesson plan, or powerpoint, is extremely absurd to me. I don't care how great your lesson plan is. Someone had done it before or some variant. I agree with the poster who said I wouldn't want to work with such an individual. Honestly, who makes profit off of lesson plans? There are many free online sources for lesson plans. If someone is so determinded to steal your idea, they could always retype it or copy and paste it into a new document. I think this person is very stupid and sounds greedy. On another note, I've wrote lesson plans totally on my own and people have told me it sounded similar to things they've done or seen in Mailbox.
     
  20. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    It's a waste of time because PEOPLE copy stuff all the time and they don't give a hoot who did it!
    Now! IF the original person, who placed a copyright stamp on his/her paperwork, THAT you copied without asking, decides to sue you, FOR pennies; and can prove it, THEN watch out!
    I am flattered when my team teachers use my original papers and art that I do. Like that saying goes, "Immitation is a form of flattery." :cool:
    Life's about sharing, loving, caring, and more sharing, etc..:D
    Rebel1
     
  21. PowerTeacher

    PowerTeacher Comrade

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    Obviously, for the vast majority of the things you produce as a teacher you will not care a whit about copyright, and will probably, as most of us do, share it freely with everyone.

    That may not always be the case though. It is absurd to think that no one produces excellent original work. Sure there are a lot of free PowerPoints out there, and there is generally a really good reason most of them are free. They are often thrown together and poorly formatted. There are design guidelines that can help dramatically improve the quality of PPT's and similar products but many teachers ignore them.

    While there are a lot of free things out there they are, for the most part, worth exactly what you pay for them. I know that in my classes I often take advantage of the free offerings of colleagues on and off the net to use as a base for my lecture PPT's. However, I have yet to download even one that I can use as is. Most are poorly formatted, contain inaccurate information at some point, or are nearly illegible, with font looking like someone tipped over a bag of skittles.

    On the other hand I have no problem paying a dollar or two for a PPT that a teacher who is an expert in the delivery of content via that program has taken the time to create in a way that is more effective than that I have made, or or more convenient for me. It is worth a couple of dollars to me to get a really high quality product that would have taken me hours to create. I then have the PPT and can use it for years to come.

    As I said earlier, most free PPT's out there require a couple of hours of work on my part to make them marginally useable.

    It is all about what you are looking for. I guarantee you that if I create a PPT for a subject I am good at I have put a lot of work into it. I spent three years researching, and gathering feedback from my students to devise a method of PPT design that makes it easy for them to benefit from, regardless of learning preferences. Additionally, I will have accurately and legally cited or created any and all visuals contained within, and paid particular attention to formatting the work for maximum positive impact on the learners who view it.

    A work like that I would see no problem in a teacher copyrighting and making some modest profit from. If it is the usual crap that comes from book publishers, or the free stuff we typically see on the web then no.

    It is all about the quality and usuability of the work.

    That said the vast majority of the thousands of pages of lesson plans, assignments, simulations, labs, games, activities and more that I have created in the last 18 years have alwasy been available for nothing to any colleague, local or through the net, who wanted it just for the asking. However, I certainly understand how a teaching professional would want to copyright a particularly well made work of their own.

    As teachers I am shocked that we would be offended by that. We are supposed to be professionals. No other professional status job would be shocked to have an expertly created piece of work that was copyrighted. Within reason, accounting for quality, why should we expect less of ourselves, and our colleagues, or be offended is a professional educator is proud enough of their own work to want to claim it?
     
  22. JustMe

    JustMe Virtuoso

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    Umm, a great number of individuals and companies earn a living from producing lesson plans. And who is stupid and why exactly?

    This is a ridiculous discussion.
     
  23. TeacherGroupie

    TeacherGroupie Moderator

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    You may as well argue that music should never be copyrighted because the notes are all out there in the public domain, and moreover you may as well characterize someone who presumes to make money from making music as "very stupid and sounds greedy".
     
  24. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    I put my name on all handouts that I give the kids, not so much for copyright reasons, though. My name is at the top of the page so that when they are flipping through their binders or folders it is easy to tell which are the LA papers. The header may look something like this:

    Mrs. R - EXCEL LA
    Short Story Notes: Comparing Conflict

    yadda, yadda, yadda
     
  25. Rebel1

    Rebel1 Connoisseur

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    Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
    I like this discussion.
    I put my name too, on every worksheet that I make and it gets out to the families and trash cans. It got me thinking; it did take a lot of time and energy to do them SO maybe I can start making some money!:D
    It would be my second income for now, since I don't make the BIG bucks like some of you public school teachers do.:)
    Rebel1
     
  26. Brendan

    Brendan Fanatic

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    My name and course is all on all handouts. I do it so my worksheets are easy recognizable in the copy room and by students, so it would look like this:

    Western Civilization I Honors Name___________________
    Mr. B. Date__________ Period____
     
  27. Missy99

    Missy99 Connoisseur

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    If your colleague gained in any way, tangible or not, then...
     

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