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How You May Be Breaking Copyright Laws While Home-schooling

By: Krystle Crossman

When you are home-schooling your child you try to save money anywhere that you can. You may share an e-book from someone else who has bought one, or may find a workbook that is still new at a yard sale. What you may not know is that obtaining some of these materials this way is illegal due to copyright laws.

Copyrights are tricky. If you buy a book you may think that you own it so you can do what you want with it however this is not exactly true. You cannot take pages of the book and make copies to distribute to others. You cannot take a workbook that you have bought and copy the lessons for all of the other home-school moms in your area. This is a form of copyright infringement.

Even though we know that it may be wrong when we are burning a copy of that DVD for someone else to use, or giving someone else that workbook, we may use reasons to try and justify it:

– Money is too tight: There are ways to save money without pirating another person’s work, you just have to put in the time and do the research.

– I want to be able to resell the original book: Yes, you can make copies of the workbook so that you can resell it, however this is still a copyright issue. A workbook is an example of a “consumable” book which means that it is meant to be used. Only non-consumable textbooks can be resold.

– My child only used part of the workbook: According to an attorney it is okay to give another child a workbook that has only partially been worked on, but only if the pages that are already done are torn out so that they cannot be reused.

– The books cost too much too justify buying one for every child: You do not have to purchase that text. There are many other alternatives that may be in your price range.

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