- I just had to weigh in on this as well.
By chance I was doing a Google search last December and came across a
school district's website that had most of my published work on
it. "Very nice," I thought --- that is, until I looked a little closer.
The district had bought one of each publication, copied each one, and
then posted the copies online for anyone to use free of charge. I was
appalled. What sort of message does this blatant stealing send to
teachers, students, and the communty in general?
My books, videos, and posters each take months to research and produce.
Besides the time involved, there are tremendous fees paid to secure
legal rights to reproduce masterworks of art. Needless to say that
after I reported this to the publisher that the district quickly
removed the copyrighted materials from their website, but I wonder if
they still allow teachers to share the material in its copied form.
Another instance is that I caught someone copying one of my children's
books at a color copier. Their reasoning? They'd bought the original
and thought that meant they could make copies to share with their
friends. This seemed dumb from a variety of standpoints. 1) Owning a
copy of a book doesn't grant rights to reproduce it and 2) it would
have been cheaper to buy another book rather than color copy 32 pages.
I ask that anyone who is tempted borrow artwork or written materials to
contact the owner or publisher. In many instances, such as my own, that
material is income producing. In other instances, such as artwork, the
artists or their foundations belong to organizations that collect fees
for the right to reproduce images. They are usually quite liberal and
will allow teachers to use the images in classrooms without a fee.
Pamela Geiger Stephens, PhD
Northern Arizona University
School of Art
Department of Art Education
PO Box 6020
Flagstaff, AZ 86011-6020