Photocopying novels

Discussion in 'Secondary Education' started by ifightaliens, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    Feb 13, 2009

    We have a limited supply of books at my school. I am required to teach To Kill A Mockingbird starting next week, but only have enough copies to use in class and not send home, because we don't have enough for every class (the district has mandated that we all be on the same curriculum at the same time, and we just don't have the materials to do so). Is it legal to photocopy the book at Staples or something so the kids can read them at home?
     
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  3. Sarge

    Sarge Enthusiast

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    Feb 13, 2009

    No. But it sounds like someone at your district needs to be hit upside the head (with a Williams Act lawsuit if you're in CA) over their policy which denies students their right to access the materials they need to complete your class.
     
  4. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 13, 2009

    I don't think its legal.
     
  5. CanukTeacher

    CanukTeacher Comrade

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    Feb 13, 2009

    It is definately illegal. Now I haven't observed any teachers getting sued for photocopying either. My inclination would be to use some in-class strategies to make reading it (and keeping the books) in class possible. Like a "novel in an hour" strategy - where kids read different chapters and present to the class.

    You may be able to find it online. I found a copy of the play version at http://books.google.com/books?q=to+kill+a+mockingbird
     
  6. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    Feb 15, 2009

    Yeah, it's pretty weird. There were about 70 copies in the book room, but there are at least eight classes of 30 or more tenth graders. And what's worse is that now the city is trying to cut a lot of funding to libraries because the economy is so poor. A lot of kids wouldn't be able to get it unless they bought it anyway.
     
  7. ifightaliens

    ifightaliens Rookie

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    It's cool, I found it online. Thanks for your help!
     
  8. Malcolm

    Malcolm Enthusiast

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    Feb 15, 2009

    It is unfortunate that you don't have enough books to teach the way you want.

    Copying the book is a violation of copyright. Prosecution is rare, but it can happen. And it is probably against your district policies, putting your job at risk.

    Only having a class set is not a violation of the Williams Act if they don't need the book for homework.

    My solution would be to do a jigsaw activity in class where the class breaks into groups, each group summarizes a section of the book and reports back to the class. I would also show the movie, which interestingly enough appears not to be a violation of copyright under the fair use provisions because it directly ties to what is being taught. However, if you decide to show the movie, check your district policy first. Many districts require prior approval or have policies on movies.
     
  9. DallasTeacher

    DallasTeacher Companion

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    Feb 15, 2009

    No it is not legal and is a violation of federal copyright laws. There is no "educational" purpose that allows for the photocopying of an entire book. Photocopying is limited to a chapter, specific number of pages, etc.

    Why don't you try one of the sites such as planet ebooks or this link: http://ebookhood.com/34-to-kill-a-mocking-bird

    Print the book and then photocopy. No violation and each student has their own copy for notes, etc.
     
  10. SSA

    SSA Companion

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    Feb 18, 2009

    IANAL, but you are right that while a short snippet could be interpreted as fair use I am pretty sure fair use doesn't extend to making a copy of the complete work. Copyright isn't a black or white matter it is a lot of shades of gray depending upon nature of the use and the nature of the copyrighted work(eg. the various Obama T-shirts use an adaption of an AP picture, but that doesn't make it a copyright violation that the AP can collect damages for).

    Considering that a lot of books targeted towards school age kids often have discounted school editions I don't think that it is a good idea to take a chance. Even if nothing bad happens I think that it creates a bad example to the students involved. Furthermore, I don't see how the school should expect a teacher to teach a book for which they don't provide sufficient copies of the book.
     

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