What happens if I come across copyright infringement?

When You Witness Copyright Violation

By now we hope that you are better aware of the laws regarding copyright and the best practices for downloading, copying, and sharing resources.

So what happens when you run across others who might be violating copyright law?

It happens every once in a while. Maybe your blog post was re-posted without your permission, or someone in your local homeschool group offers to email a pdf file to anyone who asks.

In situations like this, it’s important to remember to speak the truth in love. They may not be aware of copyright law, or they may have misinformation about proper sharing practices.

Here are a few scenarios and some possible solutions:

What if my content is being used without my permission?

If your blog post, image, or creative work is being used or distributed online without your permission, your best bet is to contact the site where the content is located.

If your content is being hosted on a social media site such as Facebook, Pinterest, or Flickr, most sites have a way to report copyright infringement. Try searching report copyright infringement and the site name on Google to find specific instructions.

What if I am in a group that is sharing files illegally?

Whether you joined a group on Facebook that shares free resources or you find out your local homeschool group is passing around books for each other to copy, you might find yourself in a group that is violating copyright law.

It can be hard to be the person who stands up, but try to communicate with the owner or leader of the group about your concerns. You can share the resources we have referred to this week, especially these key articles:

Again, if the group is located on a social network or is using a file-sharing program like Dropbox to distribute copyrighted files, you may contact those sites directly.

You can also contact the copyright owner (the original creator of the book, file, song, etc.) and inform them of the violation.

What if I have violated copyright?

You might be looking through files on your computer and realize that some of them were acquired through less than honorable or questionable sources. Or you may have been making copies when you should have bought another workbook.

Ignorantia juris non excusat is a legal term meaning “ignorance of the law does not excuse”. Although you and I may understand making an honest mistake, the law doesn’t care. Better to understand the laws and abide by them, than to continue making mistakes and risk repercussions.  -Michelle at The Holistic Homeschooler

Ultimately, it comes down to each of us as individuals to uphold copyright laws in our home, our community, and online. We may not have known before. But when we know better, we have an ethical responsibility to do better.

Perhaps you could simply delete the file. Or buy a valid copy of the item to give the company a sale. You can also pledge to #HonorCopyright from here on out.

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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