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How to properly share digital freebies to honor copyright law

Do You Know How to Share Digital Freebies?

Sharing freebies might be the most confusing area of copyright law to navigate.  Can you share freebies? Yes. But there is a right way to do it, and there are many wrong ways.

The biggest thing to remember when sharing a free item is that you need to share the source. Instead of emailing an item you downloaded or sharing a direct link to a file (typically a PDF), the proper way to send a freebie is to send your friend to the post or page where the freebie is found. Why? Why all the trouble?

In addition to many free items that are shared all over the internet each day, there are also a large number of paid items that are being shared illegally. It happens too often that a person buys a paid item and then posts it somewhere, free for the taking.

The only way to know for sure that you are not downloading a stolen item is to go straight to the source where it is listed for free.

Likewise, the only way to prevent confusion about whether an item is available for sale or for free is to send your friend directly to the creator.

Other reasons to send people directly to the source of the freebie include giving the creators of the product their due credit as well as contributing to their livelihood. When you send a person to the source, the creator receives the benefit of that traffic. Traffic translates into profit for a blogger since her paid ads get their proper exposure, and her other for purchase products get exposure, too.

Using the Freebies You Find

Now that we’ve addressed the proper way to share free items, let’s talk about the different ways you can use them. How can use free items (worksheets, pictures, fonts, etc,) depends on whether it is public domain, creative commons, or free use. Do you know the difference? And of course, while we’re talking about these we have to also define fair use.

Here’s a list of great resources to help you study up on these different types of free items and also teach you how to determine fair use:

And while we’re at it, let’s talk specifically about derivative works and images:

These links will get you started on your journey to understanding copyright law for digital resources. Do you have any specific questions? You can leave them in the questionnaire on yesterday’s post Copyright Basics.

Homeschoolers Honor Copyright

To find more information, this week’s schedule of events, or the pledge, take a few minutes to stop by the main #honorcopyright page.

Looking for legitimate freebie sites? Here’s a little list to get your started:

About amber

Amber is an eclectic homeschooling mother of three tweens and teens, who is also a wife, writer, artist, pastor's wife, singer, chef, maid, and chauffeur. Don't think she's got it all together, though--some days she's barely just a mom.

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