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It so happens I stumbled into a copyright issue today! WWYD?

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I had decided to use Connect the Thoughts for school next year:






The curriculum is delivered through individual study guides, and each study guide

is a step-by-step series of actions carefully designed to teach the student a given area

of study in the most effective way. These guides should be done in the indicated

sequence written within each guide (don’t “skip around”), and ideally in sequence

from course to course. EACH STUDENT WILL NEED HIS OR HER OWN

COPY OF EACH COURSE THEY WILL DO. (Please be advised that it is illegal

under copyright laws to make copies of these courses. Each course provided or sold

is intended for the use of one student, only.)


I purchased a full 1st semester lower school, a full 1st semester upper school and many electives. I did so intending to use them, grade/ability appropriately, with ALL my students.


From the above quote, it seems I am expected to purchase the same download for each student.




ETA: When I purchased it, I figured it to be like using SOTW. I used the book, the spine, the volume as a read aloud for all students. I purchased (from PHP) individual sets of activity pages for each student. It didn't even occur to me that the guide, the curriculum, could not legally/ethically be used in group settings. It's how I use ALL my basic curriculum such as Lively Latin, RS4K, and how I used MFW.

Edited by Joanne
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They are telling you it is illegal to MAKE COPIES......they are then telling you 'it is INTENDED to be used with one student'. I don't think there is any kind of 'copyright' law limiting the number of students you use it with.....You just can't COPY it.....from my impression of that statement.

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It sounds like, yes, they expect you to buy a download copy for each student you will be educating. I think that would be a deal-breaker for me. I would not use the curriculum if the policy is that stringent. I also choose to not even look at Calvert curriculum because of their policy.


I wonder if these companies realize that they are actually losing business because of these especially strict policies. I totally agree with reasonable copyright expectations (ie - copy activity pages for use in your family only, etc), but when a company expects you to download several copies of the exact same thing, I think that's completely outrageous.


I don't actually ever re-sell used curriculum because there's no market for it over here and shipping things to the States would be too expensive. But I still want to have the right to sell my old stuff if I ever can. And I don't want to pay for 2 downloads for the same thing. Crazy.


My $.02.

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I don't think there is anything illegal about more than one person using something. (Is it illegal for both my kids to read "Winnie the Pooh?" No.)


If this is their "user agreement," then I would probably not bother with such a company. Since you weren't informed before, tell them you need a full refund.



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I could find nothing on either Currclick nor on the publisher's website that indicated such a restrictive copyright. Since it is NOT the standard copyright I firmly believe that it is one that should be PLAINLY and CLEARLY spelled out.


I would write to Currclick (because the "conditions" section of the publisher's website specifically says that you should contact Currclick with any issues you have with their product). I would tell them that you find it unfair for them to not disclose such a condition that is so completely opposite their other product's and the general copyrights for educational material. And request a refund. I would also let them know that if they refuse, then you will contact your credit card company and file a dispute. I have successfully had my credit card company side with me when products have arrived and are substantially different from the "norm" and there was nothing to indicate this difference on the sales pages.


Or...I would tell them straight out that if they refuse to refund your money then you will use the product for all of your children.


And honestly....what are they going to do? It's nearly impossible and unheard of to resell ebooks, so you weren't going to resell it anyway I'm sure.......and since they did not give you the option to know this restriction before purchase, you will use it as you would any other product that you have downloaded from currclick.


In fact, this irritates me so much, I think that I will write currclick and tell them what I have learned here and how much it concerns me. What is in my wishlist right now that may also contain such unusual copyrights? Maybe I should rethink purchasing ebooks that I can't read the copyright first, like I would be able to do with a brick and motar purchase. Yep...off to do that now. I'll let ya know if I hear anything back.

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Great post. I did not read, access or otherwise encounter the copyright material or restriction until after I paid for the products and downloaded.


Not that the amount I paid matters but my clients and I have paid more than $300 for 1st semester.

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I got a reply.....pasted below exactly as received......







Thank you f9or your inquiry.



As far as I know, every product on our site is intended to be used by you or your immediate family and I don't believe Connect the Thoughts is any different. I can only think that the person who posted that information is in error.



I have contacted the publisher and am awaiting a response. I will let you know as soon as I hear back from them.



Thank you for your business and please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.



Jeff Montgomery


Customer Service



I responded by sending them a copy of what OP wrote was the specific copyright. I'll let you know if I hear more.

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I am an artist and writer and have read up on copyright law some, but I'm not a lawyer, so don't take this as "legal advice". Copyright law regulates the reproduction and distribution of materials, not how they are used by the purchaser. You wouldn't be able to COPY the materials without infringing on their copyright, but I don't think they can legally require you (under copyright law, anyway) to only let one person USE the one copy you have purchased. They may be able to do something like that under a sales agreement or something, but it's not part of copyright law as far as I've ever heard. When a copyright holder says something can be copied for use in your immediate family, it's not because they can control who USES the materials, but rather because they are granting a limited license to MAKE COPIES for a specific purpose and DISTRIBUTE those copies under specific circumstances, because under the law they have the right to authorize copying and distribution. Giving copies to someone else would violate copyright because you haven't been granted the license to distribute copies outside your family, not because the copyright holder can dictate who USES their materials. Make sense?


ETA: Now that I think about it, I believe there are some additional considerations for "computer programs" in copyright law. I do not know whether a downloadable pdf would qualify as a computer program under the law. I wouldn't think so, but I truly don't know.

Edited by MamaSheep
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As far as I know, every product on our site is intended to be used by you or your immediate family and I don't believe Connect the Thoughts is any different.



Herein may be the rub. While Joanne could use it for her own children, she could not use it for the children she is teaching who are not her immediate family. So, I would guess that Joanne would need to pay for a copy for each child she is tutoring, but not extra copies for her own children.


To Joanne: If you feel you had been led to believe that you could purchase one copy and use it for all of your school students (regardless of their relationship to you), then you should definitely ask for a refund. Is there something else you could use in its place?

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EACH STUDENT WILL NEED HIS OR HER OWN COPY OF EACH COURSE THEY WILL DO. (Please be advised that it is illegal under copyright laws to make copies of these courses. Each course provided or sold is intended for the use of one student, only.)


I looked at the Connect the Thoughts website, but its not clear to me what form these "courses" are in -- are they PDF documents for students to print out and read or fill in? Are they interactive or online courses where each student needs to have an individual account?


If they are simply PDF documents, I don't see how they can dictate how you use them as long as you do not make multiple copies. In other words, if you print out one copy and the students share it (either simultaneously, or sequentially), or if everyone reads off one computer screen and does their work on paper, I don't see how they can prevent that any more than publishers can prevent students from sharing a single book.


If you were planning to print multiple copies of each course and pass them out to all your students simultaneously, that would seem to violate their copyright. They have the right to place that restriction on their material, just as a book publisher can restrict you from making multiple copies of their book.


If you bought the materials on the assumption that you would be able to print multiple copies and pass them out to several students, then you could ask for a refund -- but they can also say that since it's standard copyright law that you can't make and distribute multiple copies of copyrighted material, they could refuse the refund.


If your intention is to use a SINGLE copy for several students, then I don't think you have a problem, regardless of how they wish the course would be used.



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Here's the response I received from Currclick. I have chosen not to tell them what board this was posted, as I don't believe board rules would want the owner of the curriculum posting here, and I think this response settles the question. OP may want to write to Connect The Thoughts if it would make her feel better to have this information come directly from them rather than through me, a stranger, and my information from a third party also.


Hello again,


I apologize for the delay.


We heard back from the publisher and their reiterated that their products are alright to be used by the purchaser and their immediate family. This is the pertinent point that was passed along from Connect the Thoughts - "I don't have a problem with a family buying a course and using it in-house for all their kids. I do have a problem with someone buying a course and offering it to people outside their immediate family, and would consider that a violation of copyright."


If you can let me know where you saw the incorrect posting, I can see if we can address that as well.


Thank you for your business and please feel free to contact me with any further questions or concerns.


Jeff Montgomery

Customer Service




But.....I would hope that this exchange will also make them decide to reword their copyright so that others aren't confused. Can you imagine the damage to their business if this was posted on a forum where people don't always step and try to track down the facts.....both on what the copyright laws are, and what this company really meant by their wording. I have been on several boards were my DH jokes that everyone is simply a herd of cows/sheep....they simply follow the person in front of them never looking around to see if there is more to the world than the rear of the guy in front of them, lol. In fact, one of these groups I had to leave because someone posted a convoluted explanation of copyright law that in essence gave free reign to share any ebooks (and some people were even scanning books to share) because of the "fair use" portion of the copyright for educational purposes. Their explanation went on that if teacher's can use it in their classroom, and have 5 classes a day, with 30 students, that's 150 students....so since it was a small board they likely had less than 150 students.......well, you get the drift. I'm all for sharing resources, and I often lend out curriculum that I bought used ahead of time and am not ready to use with my family so another family can enjoy it, I figure it's still only being used by one family at a time, and isn't much different than the next family that will use it when I sell it after I'm done.


But copying it and sharing it with 150 students, well I can't find a way to justify anything like that, so I left said so and left. I often wonder if my forceful but polite rebuttal ever made a difference, but I'm too scared to rejoin the group and be associated with that again!


Enjoy your curriculum OP with a guiltfree mind. And thanks for letting us know so that we could get to the truth!

Edited by ConnieB
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