Sharing Subscriptions - Unethical?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by JustMe, Jul 24, 2012.

  1. time out

    time out Comrade

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    Jul 24, 2012

    I think it would be interesting to follow the journey of one single page from a book. Just think about all the times something has been shared and passed around.

    I don't think this is a black and white issue. Many crimes are viewed and judged in varying degrees. For instance, we know that taking a life is morally wrong. But what if it was an accident? Or self defense?

    Now, let's get back to the stealing issue. Again, there are varying degrees. Someone who got caught misusing their license would probably lose their subscription. But what about someone who stole money from a person? A bank? The President? :lol:

    Another thing to think about. Has anyone ever used an image from Google images? Or downloaded a song?
     
  2. Missteacherlady

    Missteacherlady Rookie

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    Jul 24, 2012

    I probably wouldn't initiate something like this. However, if someone offered me their password---I wouldn't refuse it...:blush:
     
  3. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 24, 2012

    callmebob - It DOES cost the website owner whether you would have been a paying customer or not. If you log in, you are using bandwidth and server resources which are not free to the owner. That's if you don't consider the time and effort it took to produce the items that you use without paying.
     
  4. callmebob

    callmebob Enthusiast

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    Jul 24, 2012

    Interesting. You stated that if you log in you are using bandwidth and server resources that are not free. Does this mean that if you don't log into the site,but visit in and look around, it is not costing the same amount?
    Not trying to be argumentative here, just curious to how that works.
     
  5. Amanda

    Amanda Administrator Staff Member

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    Jul 24, 2012

    Yes, it still costs bandwidth and server resources if you don't log in. However, the public part of the site isn't as server intensive as it's usually a few pages promoting the reasons you'd want to purchase a subscription. Downloading files within the membership area is where most of the bandwidth goes.

    However, I'd argue that the biggest expense is the actual product you're stealing - the time and effort put into it. Most subscription sites hire people to create materials and it's not cheap. Even if they do their own and it doesn't technically cost them $, it takes a lot of time to create quality materials. I love to create, but I also need to eat.
     
  6. Ted

    Ted Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2012

    I consider it unethical, but seeing as I don't live a 100% ethical life, I won't be throwing stones. :)

    I do like/appreciate sites that offer a "trial membership". This way, I can try it for 30 days, or whatever...and then if I find I'll get use from it, I'll pay for a subscription.

    I figure it's not TOO different than a newsstand. I could stand at a newsstand and read the entire latest issue of People Magazine and thereby get the content from it... or I can pay the $4.95 (or whatever it costs) and let the owner know that I appreciate his/her efforts to make an honest living.

    Because if every customer stood there and read the magazines and newspapers without paying...then the owner would eventually not be able to buy new materials and/or pay their rent/lease. This would result in their closing down.

    Then nobody would be able to read the issues (at least from that particular newsstand).

    That being said, I have borrowed teacher guides that colleagues have purchased to make copies of tests, etc. (Refer to my first statement about my ethics! ;) ) But I do find that if it's a guide that I will use more than two or three times, I'll just end up buying my own copy (even though they have offered to lend it to me to copy the entire guide).
     
  7. Peregrin5

    Peregrin5 Maven

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    Jul 25, 2012

    If I have a credit card connected to said account, there is no way I'd be sharing that information with ANYONE save my significant other. This is the main incentive for me not sharing subscriptions with others. The only other option would be if it were free to have a subscription to something, and then in that case, I'd just tell the person in question to get their own subscription and spend 5 minutes to sign up.

    I don't trust any situation when someone else has 24/7 access to my subscription with my password and access to all of my account and credit card info.

    If there is an option to share the account without showing the credit card number, then there ceases to be any ethical dilemma in the first place because the company is encouraging sharing.

    Maybe I'm just paranoid.
     
  8. Teachling

    Teachling Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2012

    If its not free, it's not for me. I used to be one of those teachers who pretty much bought everything - study island, the mailbox, teacher file box,etc. It's taken me a few years to learn that I was paying way too much for a resource that only provided a small percent of what went alone with the curriculum & state standards.

    In my opinion I think it's outrageous the cost of some educational products that market themselves as align with states standards when 99% of them actually do not. I went to a training a few years ago where this was address. Basically, the message was that often districts fall prey to scamming sales company who sale them expensive educational packages i.e. adoptions with the assurance that it aligns with states standards. Districts end up wasting resources on pretty much useless materials but dont find this out till its too late. I've seen this happen too often in my district.
    Anyway, I kind of veer off the topic a bit because I do have mixed feelings about it when as a teacher you are giving so little. Take for example the fact that this coming year I will be teaching everything in Spanish. Will I be getting the resources I need in Spanish? Not likely. I suspect I will be doing my own translation as it has been in the past.

    So to address the issue, I won't have to share subscriptions since there won't be any to share. Though, honestly in the past the school has gotten a subscription & shared it among some teachers when it's clearly for just one user. Its a way of cutting costs on a budget that continues to dwindle. Sad to say but I think it happens more than we know.

    I'll stick to making my own stuff.
     
  9. Mathemagician

    Mathemagician Groupie

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    Jul 25, 2012

    I think sharing books is okay... except for things that violate the copyright (illegally copying and distributing the book) since there is just one hard copy of the book to go around.
     
  10. mollydoll

    mollydoll Connoisseur

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    Jul 25, 2012

    Google images is simply a search tool, not something you can "steal" from.

    If you click to see the original image source, very often you can find terms of use. If these include something like a creative commons license, you may certainly use the image. Many sites also allow their photos to be used for non-profit educational purposes.

    Images found in Wikipedia are usually creative commons. Government agencies are required to allow their images to be used for certain purposes. All of these will show up under Google image search.

    Many photos found on sites such as Flickr also give licensing and use information and allow non-commercial use. Just read the licenses.
     
  11. smurfette

    smurfette Habitué

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    Jul 25, 2012

    To piggyback on Mollydoll's post, Purdue University has some good answers and resources regarding fair use and images. Purdue OWL
     
  12. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 25, 2012

    I'll admit that I do-- I bought a subscription to lesson planner program and shared it with one other teacher. (Not sure if she ever used it but I did share) And I will specifically purchase ebooks so I can share them with other teachers. (I met one teacher at a workshop and she's brand new and has puts up with a lot-- I sent her one book the that workshop used sorta as a "Thanks for all that you do" gift)

    It's not something that I promote or brag about to students-- gotta set that good example of course-- but budgets can be tight and it's for a good reason: helping teachers become better for the sake of the students.
     
  13. BioAngel

    BioAngel Science Teacher - Grades 3-6

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    Jul 25, 2012

    I might share sometimes, but you're correct-- anything that has my credit card information I do not share with another teacher. Period.
     
  14. DrivingPigeon

    DrivingPigeon Phenom

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    Jul 25, 2012

    My district is very strict on this. A few years before I started, teachers got in big trouble for sharing Learning A to Z resources with teachers who did not have accounts. (They were in trouble with Learning A to Z.)
     

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