Better is the poor who walks in his integrity than one who is perverse in his lips, and is a fool.
After being quite sick for the last week, I awoke this morning to a horrible, disappointing shock that has left me reeling and very hurt. I feel like I have been robbed. But let me go back a little in time.
Years ago, like most homeschoolers I looked for ways to be frugal in our homeschooling. I learned to use the library a lot. They have some great selections of video’s, DVD’s, and CD’s. Sometimes we wouldn’t get around to watching or listening to them so I came upon the idea of making a copy before returning it to the library. I even felt quite frugal while doing so. After all, if I had to buy that CD I would need to have spent about $40. But now I had saved that. Before long, I ended up with a stack of things that I don’t think I would have needed or used, but as they were free I might as well have them on the shelf, just in case. I had even lent out my resources, feeling fairly sure that the person was going to make their own copy!
Praise God! He taught me the error of my ways. He did not allow me to stay at that place. He showed me my sin. I was convicted of my wrongdoing. I set apart searching for every little bit of illegal stuff in my house and then we burnt it all. It was a whole family affair. Something started fairly innocently. I did not set out to steal or deceive. I just wanted to save a few pennies…but the fallen nature of man, and the enemy that seeks to devour worked and saw me down a path that I hardly recognised…a path I didn’t set out to take, but ended up there anyway. Thank God that He rescued me from that path and put me on the straight and narrow.
As is often the case with reformed drinkers or smokers, I developed a hot spot (a bug-bear, a passion) for copyright protection and violations. I now stringently try to protect the lawful copyright owner and go to great lengths to ensure that everything I do is above board. I encourage others to always check out the law and consider the use of a Fair Use Policy. Copyright is far more than a list of black and white words- it is legal, ethical, moral and Biblical values.
I administrate a second hand curriculum and resources website. I plaster this site with the homeschool copyright notices and information from homeschoolcopyright.com I want everyone to be informed as to their buying and selling (and borrowing/copying) practices.
Imagine my surprise when I logged on to the Internet this morning to discover a new website has been set up, on the same free board host that Aussie Homeschool Ads is on. That’s okay, I though. Anyone is free to set up their own board. I did not expect this person to set their new board up with the same URL plus one digit. I did not expect them to copy and paste my board structure (ideas which took months to create) on to their own board.
Yes! The board names, the descriptions, the categories (my intellectual property) were all EXACTLY the same as mine! It took hours and lots of effort to come up with those forums and title them and someone has just stolen them!
I ventured into he forum and discovered that some posts that I had written on Aussie Homeschool Ads had in fact been copied and pasted to the new forum…as though this other person had written it. I was livid. I was sad. That was directly stealing my post, my words. Maybe I should have been flattered, but at the time I wasn’t.
Well as with everything in life, I will deal with this…but the reason I blog about it is to increase awareness of homeschool copyright issues (while my issue here is more about fair use, and intellectual property and Christian ethics it still bears a mention).
Join the Campaign Do you know what is fair and right use of the materials that you use, buy, sell and lend?
He that worketh deceit shall not dwell within my house: he that telleth lies shall not tarry in my sight.