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Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors

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Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors
Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors
Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors
Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors
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Teachers Pay Teachers
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0.29 MB   |   8 pages

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

Every TpT seller must have a basic knowledge of copyright laws and how they affect us as professional writers. This free download is a composite, quick reference for locating important copyright information.

The basics are presented in the answers to 5 often-asked questions. The document also offers links to internet sites and archived sellers' newsletters where more detailed information is stored.

NOTE: The beginning 5 questions have grown into 16, but I have not changed the document's title in order to keep the link operational for downloading updates..
Total Pages
8
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
N/A

Average Ratings

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Comments & Ratings

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On  April 13, 2014Twirly Whirly Teaching (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you for sharing this information! Very helpful!
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On  April 10, 2014Becky Castle (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you so much! These answered SO many of my questions and helped me understand what I am and am not allowed to do. I was able to confidently leave some of my questionable product title/materials up running in my store and also was able to know some that I needed to take down.
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On  April 5, 2014Jennifer Ann's Goodies (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you!!
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On  March 16, 2014Green Apples and Diamonds for Teachers (TpT Seller) said:
Fantastic information!!!
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On  March 7, 2014,  Sara M. said:
I am planning on becoming a seller so this was a great place to start! Becoming a seller seems daunting but this laid things out in an easy to understand way. Thanks!
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On  March 2, 2014Creative Inspiraciones (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you! I needed answers to these questions.
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On  March 1, 2014Queen's Speech (TpT Seller) said:
This is a great resource. However it saddens me that SO MANY sellers on TpT are violating copyright laws. :(
Just try searching Star Wars, Dr. Seuss, Angry Birds, Disney, Hungry Caterpillar.
Wish TpT would be more vigilant about this....
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On  February 28, 2014,  Emily R. said:
Thank you for a great, free lesson on copyright law! Though I'm not currently selling on TPT, I definitely want to have materials like this ready for if/when I do decide to try my hand at creating materials specifically for others to use. The resource you've created is very thorough in addressing some of the most common questions I could see coming up in the process of creating a product!
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On  February 26, 2014Hedgehog Reader (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you for sharing this important information. It's a very helpful resource! :o)
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On  February 25, 2014Amy Haselden (TpT Seller) said:
Very informative-thanks!
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On  February 23, 2014Emily Gannon (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you for your help and clarification!
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On  February 21, 2014LanguageArtsBliss (TpT Seller) said:
So helpful!
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On  February 15, 2014Kelli Olson (TpT Seller) said:
Very direct and clear. Thank you for your time in creating and sharing this! :)
On  February 16, 2014Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thank you!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  February 13, 2014The Language Arts Lab (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you very much.
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On  February 8, 2014,  Buyer said:
Valuable information. Thank you for making our life easier!!!
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On  February 2, 2014Mary Del Nero (TpT Seller) said:
Nice Job!
On  February 2, 2014Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thank you!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  January 26, 2014MTH (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you! This was exactly what I have been looking for. I have been hesitant to post much on here as far as products because I was not clear on copyright and didn't want to violate any laws! This really helped clarify a lot for me!
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On  January 20, 2014Eva Arguello (TpT Seller) said:
This is great information. Thanks!
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On  January 17, 2014Kay Smith (TpT Seller) said:
Excellent and helpful! Thanks...
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On  January 16, 2014,  Buyer said:
Very very helpful!!!!!
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On  January 12, 2014English Muse (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you for such a useful resource.
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On  January 12, 2014THE PROJECT GURUS (TpT Seller) said:
I had a lot of questions about copyright issues and your guide did a great job of answering them. Thanks!
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On  January 11, 2014Blooming Peacocks (TpT Seller) said:
Very informative and helpful. Thanks!
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On  January 11, 2014,  Buyer said:
Thank you
On  January 11, 2014Margaret Whisnant answered:
You are very welcome!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  January 7, 2014Learning Highway (TpT Seller) said:
Great resource! Thank you for sharing.
On  January 7, 2014Margaret Whisnant answered:
You are most welcome.
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  January 4, 2014The Bilingual Child (TpT Seller) said:
Thank You!
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On  January 3, 2014seaurchin (TpT Seller) said:
Just what I needed to sort through my confusion. A huge help to me
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On  January 3, 2014,  Buyer said:
Thank you!!
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On  January 2, 2014,  Buyer said:
Well done! Thank you!
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On  December 31, 2013,  Pat L. said:
Excellent!
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On  December 28, 2013,  Jill B. said:
Great information...thank you so much!
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On  December 25, 2013Pempi's Palace England (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you so much for such a valuable resource - this certainly has helped me understand a little more about what I can or cannot do with my TpT products.
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On  December 23, 2013,  Buyer said:
Very helpful and clear! I am just getting started and this document and links answered all my questions.
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On  December 21, 2013Mrs Bearfield's Class (TpT Seller) said:
This is a great resource. Is it ok to sell links to material online that I did not create?

Reply:
Thanks for the info!
On  December 21, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi Mrs. Bearfield,
Including a link to an online product that you didn't create as part of your product is perfectly OK. I don't know if people would pay for a product that is all links, but I don't think that would illegal if it were packaged as "completed research."
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On  December 17, 2013Lisa Ann (TpT Seller) said:
thank you!
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On  December 15, 2013,  Buyer said:
Very helpful, thanks!
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On  December 5, 2013April Bladen (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you so much for this!! I am a new seller and have been very frustrated with trying to figure out all the "rules" that go with making things!! This was such an amazing find!!
On  December 5, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks so much!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  November 26, 2013The Chalk (TpT Seller) said:
Very helpful!
On  November 26, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thank you!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  November 23, 2013Mrs Fox (TpT Seller) said:
This was a huge, huge help! Thank you so much!
On  November 26, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
You are most welcome!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  November 23, 2013,  Aparna G. said:
Very clear and informative. Thank you so much!
On  November 26, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks so much for taking the time to leave the positive comment and the good rating. Glad the copyright document helped!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  November 18, 2013,  Buyer said:
wonderful
On  November 26, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thank you!
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On  October 23, 2013neon beach creations (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you! Very helpful!
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On  October 23, 2013Play to Learn Preschool (TpT Seller) said:
So helpful! Thank you
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On  October 22, 2013,  Buyer said:
Thank you so much for this resource! I am getting ready to take the TpT plunge, and I'm trying to cover all my bases. This was immensely helpful!
On  October 22, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks for the positive comments! Glad you found some useful information in this document!
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  October 19, 2013,  Marianne M. said:
Very useful and informative.
On  October 19, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thank you!
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On  October 19, 2013Middle School OCD (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you! Very informative and answered many questions!
On  October 19, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks for the positive feedback and the good rating.
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  October 6, 2013,  Buyer said:
Very informative and exactly what I needed. Thank you.
On  October 6, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks for the positive comment and the
good rating!
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On  September 28, 2013Suzanne Ryan (TpT Seller) said:
Very worthwhile. Thank you. Just sent in all of my products via snail mail to the US Copyright Office. Wish I had come across this site first. Have to go back and put copyright symbol on every page. Phew. I taught for so many years that I sometimes worry about where my ideas originally came from.They have not been copied but may have evolved. My work is based on a direct collaboration with a children's musician. We have discussed this topic on numerous occasions because music is tricky.This is an entirely new format for me. I am accustomed to books that have references and sources.Can't thank you enough.
On  September 29, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks so much for the positive feedback. Copyright, as you say, can be tricky. I keep going over and over the issues even after all these years. It's something we have to keep rethinking with every project. Congratulations on getting your work formally registered! Your products sound wonderful! I'm going over to your store to have a look.
Teachers Pay Teachers
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On  September 27, 2013Little Green (TpT Seller) said:
Thank you so much for this - what a great resource!
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On  September 10, 2013My Teaching Hobby (TpT Seller) said:
This helped me so much! I had some questions and you answered them all!
Catherine
On  September 10, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks so much for the thoughtful feedback and the good rating.
Teachers Pay Teachers
Please log in to post a question.

Product Questions & Answers

On  January 29, 2014Teachy Keen (TpT Seller) asked:
This answered all of my questions! Thank you! Is it ok with you if I provide a link on my products' "notes to teachers" page to this download?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 29, 2014Margaret Whisnant answered:
Certainly, no problem!
n/a
On  August 28, 2013,  Buyer asked:
Hi, Margaret!

Thank you so much for uploading this important information. I am in the process of creating a few items to sell, using the Print Master software. I cannot really sift through the legal jargon that well. Can you tell me if I can utilize the software to sell items on TPT?

Here is the information from the agreement:

Conditions for Use of the Properties and the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties Within the Software.  If you do not accept these conditions and you are the initial installer of the Software, you may promptly return the Software (including all discs and printed materials) with proof of purchase to the place it was purchased for a full refund of the amount paid or store credit (as applicable).  Encore hereby reserves the right to change these conditions of use without notice in its sole discretion or to grant any permissions consistent therewith in its sole discretion.  All content contained in the Software, including but not limited to characters, designs, text, photos, clip art, images, animations, fonts, graphics, templates, sounds, videos, and projects contained in the Software (collectively, the "Properties") are either owned or used under license by Encore and are protected under trademark, copyright, and other applicable laws.  Certain Properties contained in the Software are marked in the upper right corner with a circle that contains the upper-case capital alphabet letters RF and the actual alphabet letters are in black with a contrasting green background color ("RF Badge").  Properties marked with an RF Badge are either owned or used under license by Encore and are protected under trademark, copyright, and other applicable laws (the "Commercial Royalty-Free Properties"). 
Additionally, when searching, browsing or choosing Properties, there is a checkbox (near the upper right corner of the browser) that allows you to narrow your selection or only show the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties when searching for Properties for commercial use.
Any and all unauthorized use of the Properties and the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties is strictly prohibited.  You are NOT permitted to:
     a.  Use any Properties included in this Software containing trademarks or logos of any third party in any print or electronic media of an editorial, commercial, promotional or corporate nature;
     b.  Resell, sublicense or distribute collections of the Properties or the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties including, for example, clip art collections, photo collections, or stock collections;
     c.  Use any individual's name, likeness and/or image in any manner which suggests the endorsement or association of any product or service.  For example, you may use a photo of an animal in an advertisement, but you may not use the image of a person; and
     d.  Use any Properties or Commercial Royalty-Free Properties to create immoral, obscene or scandalous works.
11. Additional Conditions for Use of the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties Within the Software.  You may sell any item containing or carrying a copy of Commercial Royalty-Free Properties for commercial use provided such use is not of a competitive nature with Encore or any of its affiliates. Subject to the restrictions contained in this License Agreement, you may sell any items containing or carrying a copy of the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties as defined herein.  You may use any of the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties as a logo, trademark or similar designation of your business. You may make copies of the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties for use in home entertainment and projects, for educational purposes, in multimedia presentations, and other similar uses.  For example, you may use the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties to create posters, stationery, marketing flyers, greeting cards, signs, invitations, calendars, reports, catalogs, brochures and newsletters whether for your own use or for sale.  All rights in derivative works created by the use of the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties shall vest exclusively in Licensor.  Each authorized use of the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties must be accompanied by the following notice:  "©Encore Software, Inc., and its licensors.  All rights reserved." 
12. Additional Conditions for Use of Properties (except for the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties) Within the Software.  You may not sell any Properties or any item containing or carrying a copy of the Properties.  Subject to the restrictions below, you may make copies of the Properties for use in home entertainment and projects, for educational purposes, in multimedia presentations, and other similar uses.  For example, you may use the Properties to create posters, stationery, marketing flyers, greeting cards, signs, invitations, calendars, reports, catalogs, brochures and newsletters.  All rights in derivative works created by the use of the Properties shall vest exclusively in Licensor.    You are NOT permitted to:
     a.  Use any of the Properties (except for the Commercial Royalty-Free Properties) as a logo, trademark or similar designation of your business;
     b.  Sell any item on which any Properties are copied or otherwise printed;
     c.  Use any Properties in electronic format, including online use and multimedia applications, unless all of the following conditions are met:
          1.  The Properties are incorporated for viewing purposes only;
          2.  The Properties do not comprise a significant portion of the content of the proposed use;
          3.  A notice is included specifying that the Properties may not be saved or downloaded and are only to be used for viewing purposes;
          4.  The Properties are embedded at no higher than a base resolution of 512x768; and,
          5.  The Properties include the following notice:  "©Encore Software, Inc., and its licensors.  All rights reserved."
13. Proprietary Protection.   Licensor shall retain sole and exclusive ownership of all right, title, and interest in and to the Software and all modifications and enhancements. This License Agreement does not provide you with title or ownership of the Software, but only a right of limited use.
14. Costs of Litigation.   If any action is brought by either party to this License Agreement against the other party regarding the subject matter hereof, the prevailing party shall be entitled to recover, in addition to any other relief granted, reasonable attorney fees and expenses of litigation.
15.  Severability.   In the event that any terms of this License Agreement are or become or are declared to be invalid or void by any court of competent jurisdiction, such determination shall have no effect on the remaining terms of this Agreement, which shall remain in full force and effect.


Thank you for your guidance,
Amanda
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  August 29, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Wow!! This is a lot of legal jargon and it's hard to make any sense of it.

I keep seeing bits that make me think you can't legally sell items you create with this software. I think they are including royalty-free items (which means you don't have to pay for them every time you use them), but they are copyrighted or trademarked so they are for personal use only. They would not be legal on TpT.

These companies make things SOOOOO complicated!! In this case I'm getting the sense that this program is for personal use only for things such as designing a website.

Margaret
On  August 23, 2013Mikail Peterson (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,
I was looking over "Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors" that you have created. Some of the topics you cover would be very useful to include on a website this is currently being created for speech-language pathologists. It is somewhat similar to TpT, in that teachers share language-based lesson plans and ideas for therapy sessions, etc. Would you be willing to grant permission to use certain sections of this document?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  August 23, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Of course! Please do.
On  June 20, 2013Kamp Kindergarten (TpT Seller) asked:
I have created a product that uses graphics with children dressed as superheroes. I am uncertain which superhero words are copyrighted or trademarked. I tried to search, but I don't possess the legal expertise to fully comprehend the information I have found. I wanted to use SuperKids, Superheroes, Super Kiddos, or something along those lines in my product title. Of course I want to make sure I am not committing any legal or ethical violations. I appreciate any information you have to share on this matter.

Thank you,

Kamp Kindergarten
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  June 21, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi Kamp Kindergarten,
Sorry for the delay in answering your question. At first, I thought you intended to call your kids names like Superman, Batman, Spiderman, etc., which I think would be a copyright infringment, but now I think you are wanting to ue SuperKids, Superheros, Super Kiddos. . . That is perfectly OK!
Hope this answers your question. If not, get back with me!
On  June 9, 2013The Cheeky Teachers (TpT Seller) asked:
Good Morning Margaret,

My question is about Copyright.

I have a "50 states" lesson that I have compiled and I was wondering if it crosses the line. I have not edited the picture at all and I have left the www.50states.com label on all the pictures. Am I able to use this or no?

Thanks for your help.
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  June 9, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
I'm afraid not. If you scroll to the bottom of the website page, you'll see their copyright notice. That includes the pictures. You might want to contact them and see if they will give you permission to use them. They just might!
On  May 29, 2013Matt Jorgenson (TpT Seller) asked:
Thanks for the terrific resource. I'm curious to know your thoughts on the following: I'd like to gather common folk tales from various countries, create my own rendering, translation, and illustrations, and add supplemental resources and activities to aid in language teaching. I would of course cite the works that inspired my own telling. My research suggests that this is a legitimate and dignified approach. Do you see any potential pitfalls on TpT?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  May 29, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
I think you would be perfectly legal in retelling folk tales. The stories themselves aren't copyrighted.
Sounds like a wonderful project!

Margaret
On  May 6, 2013Comprehension Connection (TpT Seller) asked:
Margaret-
I am getting ready to create unit materials to highlight Lynne Cherry's books, and I looked up the titles I'm interested in creating activities for. I was shocked to see so many units using the book jackets for The Great Kapok Tree and A River Ran Wild as the unit cover pages. The Great Kapok Tree alone had 10 violations I saw. If a unit is "flagged for copyright violation", what happens? I think in most cases the sellers just don't know, and I debated notifying them. I think it'd come off funny since I typically sell book units and would be competing against them though. In my opinion, these units should be removed until they are in compliance. Just curious what your opinion on this matter is.
Thanks!
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  May 6, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
At one time TpT has requested that we not contact other sellers about copyright violations, but I don't know if they still feel that way. There are way too many items like the ones you found! Obviously not copyright compliant, and you don't know if the person doesn't know any better or is doing it on purpose. So irritating!
When you flag an item for copyright violation, it think that calls it to the attention of someone on the TpT staff, but I don't know what the next step is. Unless you know this seller personally from a blog or a Facebook group, I would suggest that you not leave any kind of notification. It's hard to walk away from this sort of stuff, but it DOES save a lot of time and fretting if you can do it!

I have finally trained myself to concentrate only on keeping my work as copyright legal as possible and let everybody else do the same. That doesn't mean it's easy. I still want to yell at people!
On  May 5, 2013gueroloco (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,
I have started using brochures from Mexico and Spain to create reading comprehension activities, internet activities, and such. Many of these are Powerpoints which use scanned images of brochures from companies. Some of these companies are 'mom 'n' pop' types of places and I'm sure those are fine. However, could I sell PowerPoints with copies of brochures from companies like KFC Mexico, Subway in Mexico, etc.? There are no copyright symbols on the brochures. Thanks for your assistance. And again THANK YOU for your great copyright info!
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  May 5, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi gueroloco,
It appears that brochures ARE copyrighted, regardless of who creates them, in the US.
Check out this link from the US Copyright office and you'll see them listed. http://www.copyright.gov/fls/fl109.html

Are the brochures you are using created in the US or in Mexico and Spain? I think it would be a good idea to contact the people who created the brochure and tell them how you want to use it. I think they would be more than happy to have their brochure used in that way.

This is an excellent idea, by the way! Kids will not be able to resist!
On  April 30, 2013Lisa Meunier (TpT Seller) asked:
Thanks again Margaret. :) I think I am understanding you. However, I called the publisher of the book, "Better Learning Through Structured Teaching - A Framework for the Gradual Release Model" by Doug Fisher and Nancy Frey. The paralegal informed me that methodology or concept is not copyright protected. She said that it is better to use the names, such as Gradual Release Model and for Kagan - to say that they are for use with the Kagan strategy, such as a quiz quiz trade, rather than renaming it something else. That way, I am giving credit to the people who developed the idea and I am just using the concept with my own original work. I am not sure if that is what you meant or not so I thought I would re-clarify. I am going to try to contact someone at Kagan to see if they are OK with my sharing my own quiz quiz trade cards before I share them. I will keep you posted. :) Thanks!
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  April 30, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks! I will be interested in knowing how they respond.
On  April 29, 2013Lisa Meunier (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret -

I did a search on TPT for thinking maps and lots of items showed up. In the packet, it said that on 6/25/12, TpT got a cease-and-desist letter about thinking maps. That was 10 months ago. Why are their still so many items out there?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  April 29, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Good question!! TpT is working on this problem. I believe the problem with the "Thinking Maps' was using the name and the format that is given away free to teachers in workshops as for-sale TpT products. The term "thinking map" can be used on an original product, but not on a product based on this particular program. There are a lot of other terms that could be used instead of "Thinking Map." "Thinking Guide" "Organizing Guide" "Writing Map."

Hope this answers your question. There are quite a few items still on TpT that are not copyright compliant. Paul and his crew are working with a legal team to figure out how this problem can be solved. They cannot just decide something is a copyright infringment and take it down. That would REALLY get TpT in a legal mess.

I, for one, hope they get this particular road bump smoothed down ASAP!!
On  April 26, 2013Sra Yankov (TpT Seller) asked:
Hello Margaret.
I was wondering if posting smartboard activities created by me, but using the smartboard software would be an infraction of copyrights. For example, creating a spinning wheel for verbs conjugation (in Spanish and French), I use the spinning wheel from the smartboard gallery, but I introduce the verbs, colors, fonts, etc.
I just posted two activities like this, and I would like if there's a copyright infraction, in order to remove them if necessary.
thanks
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  April 27, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
I think that would be perfectly OK. To me, it would be the same as using Microsoft word formatting to create a document, which I do all the time.

Hearing all the wonderful things teachers are doing with smartboards makes me wish I was still in the classroom. I would love to try out all the new technology, but I like my retirement and time to write even more!

Hoipe you have los of sales!

Margaret
On  April 5, 2013InternationalEducator (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,

Thanks for this copyright booklet, it's extremely helpful as I am new to TpT. I have one question that wasn't specifically addressed that I hope you can answer: I don't use clipart, I draw my own pictures and artwork. Is it ok to draw our own pictures based on picture books to be included in our materials (ie any picture book other than those trademarked that you mention specifically such as Elf on the Shelf, Dr. Seuss, etc.)?

I'm guessing so, but just wanted to double check. Thanks,
Colette
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  April 5, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
If you do look-alike drawings of the characters and settings in the picture books, I think that would still be a violation as it would be a "copy" of the original illustration. However, if you draw totally new illustrations to accompany the story, then you would be 100% legal.
Hope this answers your question.
On  March 30, 2013Queen's Speech (TpT Seller) asked:
I read your lovely handout! I found this website: http://openclipart.org/ says, "Unless noted, content on this site is waived of all copyright and related or neighboring rights under the CC0 PD Dedication. See Policies." Do you think I am able to use them? I also linked to this website in my credits. If I can't, I better pull my product ASAP.
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  March 30, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
I also have this particular site on my list and I think I have used a couple of images from their catalog. They seem to be legal. Most of my images now come from Graphics Factory. Their subscription fee is very reasonable and they specifically list TpT as places where their clipart can be used. You do have to keep your subscription current, however.

I don't think you will need to pull your products!!
On  March 19, 2013Brinca into Bilingual Mrs Nicolau (TpT Seller) asked:
It absolutely does! Thank you SO MUCH Mrs. Margaret!
I also wanted to ask you a last thing...
In general, for those books that are trademarked... What can I exactly do with a book that is trademarked? I know it means that they have all the rights... but does it mean that I can't do any activitivies with this product (unless for personal use)? I was researching on a lot of children's books, and I found that a lot of them are trademarked... I tried looking up if I can create activities that are inspired with these books (not including a look-alike clip art), but I couldn't find any specifications.. Do you know any website that can give me more information and can educate me more on trademarks?
Thank you SO much again, and I am sorry for keep asking questions.
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  March 19, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Chrildren's picture books are a chore to figure out. If they come with "external" merchandise, such as the Elf on the Shelf, it's probably a good idea to stay away from them. Pete the Cat is another example. If it's just the book, then activities would probably be OK. Of course any images of the characters or of the book cover is not allowed without specific permission from the publisher and/or author. As a general rule, publishers say "no!" I work with novels intended for 4th -8th grades, and don't run into the outside merchandising or character image issues. Primary people have a lot more to think about.

By the way, I have recently had to give up my favorite clipart resource (they don't want their stuff on TpT!) and switch to Graphics Factory. You will probably find clipart on TpT with plenty of art work to illustrate your book activities, but if you don't, I highly recommend Graphics Factory. They are only $40 a year, and they are TpT friendly. They even say so in their terms of use.

I like http://www.trademarkia.com/ for checking to see if something is trademarked. Some of the information is confusing, but generally, I can figure out if something would be leagle for TpT or not.
On  March 19, 2013Brinca into Bilingual Mrs Nicolau (TpT Seller) asked:
I appreciate all the information you have been giving us! I downloaded this document when I just first started, and didn't really "follow" you... I realized you updated this document and added more things to it... I was not aware until someone brought it up to me, I am glad teachers are helping others with this serious topic of copyrights.
I understand Dr. Seuss items are off limits, but I am still a little confused to what I can sell and what I cannot sell. Is the copyright refering to the clipart I use on my products? or is it ALL of it, clip art AND activities? Such as sequencing in stories, story elements, rhyming words, etc? I have clip art that shows a green egg and ham, the hat, the trees, and the fish... all of those mentioned don't really look like the original, but they are an inspiration of it.... Would I be too risky in using this clip art?
Sorry if I am asking a silly question, but I rather be sure before doing anything.
Thank you in advance :)
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  March 19, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi Mrs. Nicolau,

I think in the case of Dr. Seuss some look-alike clipart is what started the whole deal. Dr. Seuss Enterprises contacted the clipart supplier and forced them to remove it from their products. This impacted lots of TpT products that had to be removed or reworked because of the clipart. Another teacher was contacted by Dr. Seuss Enterprises and ask that she remove the picture of the Seuss-inspired bulletin board she had posted on her blog. These people are mean!!!

I did a little research and found that their images, stories, even the book titles are copyrighted and trademarked. Everybody just agreed together that Seuss was too much trouble and off limits.

The Seuss products on the site indicate that not everybody got the word. I have a feeling, given the new Forum discussion chain on this topic, that all Seuss products will eventually be taken down and no more Seuss posting will be allowed. I think you would be better off not posting any Seuss stuff.

It's OK to use it in your classroom, but selling it or giving it away for free is a whole other story.

Hope this helps!
On  March 9, 2013Maria Blackburn (TpT Seller) asked:
Hello,
I would like to use photographs I have taken of toys to use as part of some lessons. Do I need permission from the toy company to use in lessons I want to sell? (ex. legos, Little People figures, etc.)?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  March 9, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
No, you don't. The photos are your original work. That's what counts.
On  March 7, 2013The Teachers' Aide (TpT Seller) asked:
Good afternoon,
A while back ago, I had my Elf on the Shelf product deactivated by TpT. (I was unaware that we couldn't have products related to this book.) My question is, should I completely remove it from my store? Or just leave it as "inactive?" I'm curious because if people rated that product and/or my actual store, I don't want my overall store rating to go down if I remove it.
BUT, I also don't want to leave it in my store as "inactive" if that's going to get me in trouble with TpT.
Thank you,
Jamie
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  March 7, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi Jamie,
Sorry, but I just don't have the information needed to answer your question. I understand your concern that removing the product might also erase the good ratings! I have no idea how this might work. Amy (TpT's new Community Manager) could probably answer your question.
Have a fun, restful weekend!
Margaret
On  February 24, 2013sjuni (TpT Seller) asked:
I am creating a vocabulary study project for a classic novel. In doing so, I am using a short passage, highlighting words in the passage and providing vocabulary acquisition activities to build vocabulary, as well as practice exercises that mimic the approach on high-stakes tests. My question is whether this violates copyright to use the short passages to provide extra study of the novel in this aspect.
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  February 24, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
If the novel is in the public domain, you can use all of the passages you want in your vocabulary study. (check Project Gutenberg at www.gutenberg.org to see if it's listed.) I think using the short passage, even if it still is under copyright law, would be OK.
On  February 24, 2013Tonnya Beck (TpT Seller) asked:
I am just getting started in TPT. I am working on a Nate the Great packet. I created a readers' theater based on the book "Nate the Great". I wanted to include this in my packet. Is this permitted or am I violating copyright?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  February 24, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
If you mean you have written a theater script for the book, then you cannot use that in your packet. A novel study guide must be entirely different from the book--that is, it does not retell the story, but offers ways to understand and intrepret it. Retelling a story for profit is a copyright infringment.

Hope that answers your question.
On  February 22, 2013Social Studies Rocks (TpT Seller) asked:
I have used pictures from google search on my powerpoints. Is this a problem? What if I give credits (although these pictures could be found in multiple sites). Thanks
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  February 22, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
It's not a good idea to use pictures you have pulled from the internet in your TpT products. They are probably copyrighted. You would need to contact the owner to get permission to use them in a product you sell.
Check TpT to see if anybody is selling the kind of photos you need. Classroom Clipart also has some good photos.

Hope this answers your question.
On  February 21, 2013Pacheco's Bilingual Patch (TpT Seller) asked:
I got an email about not being able to post on the request site any information sounding like I'm advertising my products. I'm not offended because I wasnt aware of the regulation and I would like to continue working on this site to share with other educators my created products (once again, my sincere apologies); however, I wasnt aware that it wasnt permitted since I kept seeing others posting "If you need...I have... I can help with..." I just wanted to know if the other tab label as "offers" was created to for educator to be able to "offer/advertise" their products, talents, or services?
Teachers Pay Teachers
n/a
On  February 18, 2013,  Buyer asked:
Great stuff. Can you suggest some good public domain clip art sites? If I am using some of this clip art, how does it work when I need to copyright my lesson plans?

Thanks,
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  February 18, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
You claim copyright on your writing, but you cannot claim copyright on anything in the public domain, including clipart. The best way to find the public domain clipart is to Google "public domain clipart." There are all sorts of possibilities. I use OpenClipArt.com occasionally.
On  February 18, 2013Coffee Cups and Lesson Plans (TpT Seller) asked:
Thank you so much for writing about these copyright questions.
I know that we cann't rewrite poems, etc.
Is it ok for me to include a screen shot of the picture book and poetry book on the lesson plan part of my product? I do not have any of the images on worksheets etc. that the students would get, just a screen shot for the teacher to make sure she/he is using the correct book.
Thank you
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  February 18, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
I would think screen shots of the book would be a copyright violation as it reporduces the cover image, which is copyrighted. You would, essentially, be using and profiting from someone else's original work.

If would think the name of the book and the author would be enough to identify the book. You could also include its ISBN.
On  February 1, 2013Mr Jimmy (TpT Seller) asked:
Wow, you created this Copyright info file? Thank you so much for creating this valuable resource. I had an alarming case of "the school owns what you create" paranoia when I talked to a colleague after I wrote AND illustrated a book for my students and thought about posting it here on TpT. Thanks for clearing that up on the pack.

I'm not sure if this is related to copyright, but would you happen to know if selling a book on TpT would invalidate any potential publisher from picking up my book? Thanks!!!
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  February 1, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Thanks for the positive words about the Copyright file. There are now links at the bottom of each TpT page to "Copyright Policy" and "Copyright FAQ" from a law firm that TpT has hired to create and post a public statement for us. I have scanned through it, and find it hard to understand. They do say that if a school includes intellectual property rights in their teachers' contracts, then they own the materials. I wouldn't want to be any part of that school district! The vast majority of school districts don't try to claim a teacher's work. They are smart enough to know that teachers will stop writing materials if they do that!

Congratulations on your book! It's yours, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. I think TpT is just the place for it. And YES, I think if you publish it on TpT, then traditional publishers probably won't want to deal with it. Having said that, your potential for making a profit from your work is MUCH higher on TpT than trying to sell it to a publishing company. Also, if you post it on TpT, you can also "self publish" it on a website or a blog.
Sounds like you have a little jewel on your hands, whatever you decide.
On  January 31, 2013The Teachers' Aide (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,
I'm so embarrassed. And I know I'll be even more embarrassed when others read this question-I couldn't find a way to email just you personally. I just received a deactivation email for one of my units. I had no idea we couldn't create a book unit on it-The Elf on the Shelf. I have read about copyright infringement over and over again-on prior TpT newsletters, weekly newsletters, your download, etc. How are we, as sellers, supposed to know which authors/publishers don't allow units to be made on their books? I'm only aware of Dr. Seuss, Angry Birds, and one other I can't think of. I would hate to be kicked off TpT because of copyright infringement, especially since I'm not doing it on purpose. Any help/suggestions/advice is much appreciated.
Thank you,
Jamie
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 31, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
I have been reading about this on one of the private Facebook pages. This was a surprise for me, as well.

No need to be embarrassed! We're all learning about copyright as we go. I'm not familiar with The Elf on the Shelf, but I imagine the copyright holders felt TpT authors were making money off their book and sent a cease and desist. Like the Seuss people, they don't understand that we are creating interesting in their books and generating sales without charging them a cent. In the long run, there are way too many other ideas for creating products to be concerned about The Elf on the Shelf.
I say remove it, and forget it. Then, stay away from any commercial program, especially one that has gone into merchandising beyond the book.
n/a
On  January 28, 2013,  Buyer asked:
I've created several preK worksheets that fit well with/ were inspired by one or several of the Steve Spangler videos on YouTube. They aren't the experiments but they go with the experiments- and I do not in anyway consider the concept of the experiment to be my own. Can I use a web address for the experiment in my worksheet? (so a user can go to the site and access the experiment) I feel it's like having written for a textbook but more complex since in some cases I took one or multiple demos and conceptualized the experiment, but in others I am referencing a complex experiment with defined process. Steve Spangler does not make preK or other school products to be used with the experiments, however on his website experiments are presented with scientific explanations that are occasionally the same topics I covered. I want to list the worksheets as free (if that matters).
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 28, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi,
If I understand it correctly, having links to a YouTube video does not break any copyright laws. Embedding the videos in a product is a copyright infringment. I think your plan is legal!

Hope you get lots of sales and good feedback!
On  January 27, 2013Steve Hungerford (TpT Seller) asked:
You stated that we should be careful when making supplemental materials that go with a particular program. I just made a file of supplemental spelling materials and would like to use it as my first TpT file. I just want to be sure I'm safe. My reading program has a weekly set of spelling words. My file has a word sort, word search, scrambled words, etc. using the weekly words. I used the spelling words from the reading program and stated the program's name but the activities were created by me. Is that safe to sell?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 28, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi Steve,
Any product based on a textbook is in the gray area. Does the program offer supplemental teaching materials with the text? If it does, then your product (which is probably much better) competes with the textbook's program and would be a copyright infringment. If there are no supplemental materials, then your vocabulary study would probably be OK. Keep in mind, that when you create materials for a specific text or program, you are limiting your buying audience to only those people who use the program. If you created a series of lessons based on common vocabulary words for your grade level without attaching them to a textbook, then you would have more sales.
I really like your idea. I am a vocabulary person myself! There are those who would argue with me, but I firmly believe that vocabulary can be taught through a presentation of the words themselves without studying them in context. I have created quite a few vocabulary studies for TpT based on that idea. They are among my best sellers. I didn't teach 6th, 7th, and 8th graders for 30 years and not learn something!
Get your ideas on paper as soon as they pop into your head and then go back and write away! You'll be getting sales notices in no time!
On  January 25, 2013The Teachers' Aide (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi,
I am learning more and more about copyright as the days go by. I am going to start placing the statement "copyright © 2013 my name. All rights reserved by author. Permission to copy for single....etc" on each of my products. I read in your download that you should place it on your cover page or introductory page. Is it okay if I place it on the directions/description page? I didn't want to place it on the cover page because I thought it would distract from the design.
Thanks so much,
Jamie
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 25, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi Jamie,
Glad things are moving along for you! Copyright is an important part of what we do. Like you, I'm still learning. I suppose that's because there is A LOT to learn!
Placing your copyright claim on the directions/descriptions page is fine. It's a matter of choice. I also include "Copyright (Copyright symbol) 2013 Margaret Whisnant" in very small font, usually 5 in the fotter of every page. If one page gets separated from the other, I want the user to know who owns the copyright!
Have a good weekend!
Margaret
On  January 20, 2013Nicole Pinkston (TpT Seller) asked:
Hello,

I just have a couple questions. Sorry if you already answered them in the Copyright Questions Packet.

1. Can you use clip art from word on the products I create and sell them?
2. There are a few books that I read to the class and I created a whole unit of tests and questions that goes along with the book? Is this alright to sell?
3. The lesson plans that I create I sometimes use videos from youtube to go along with my lesson. Is this alright to include in my lesson plans even though I did not create the youtube video or the link. However, the link is just a small part of the lesson.

Thank you for all your help. I am nervous about selling my worksheets, etc. that I created because I want to make sure that I am following the guidelines for copyrighting. For example, I will create a fact and opinion activity and then later on I will find it on line, even though its not the same, its pretty close.

Thanks,

Nicole
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 20, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi, Nicole,

I think at this point, the clipart provided by microsoft is off limits in a commercial product. At one time, I found a statement on the internet that said we could use them, but that has mysteriously disappeared and been replaced with many internet sites that says the microsoft clipart is for classroom use only, so we can't use them in our TpT products.

Your book units are absolutely, 100% legal! You are creating an "original work," and you aren't competing with the sale of the book.

You-tube videos themselves cannot be used in one of your products, but a link to the video is perfectly fine.

I understand your nervousness. I'm constantly looking around to make sure the rules aren't chainging--especially with clipart. If I see that they have changed, I get with an adjustment really fast!! I think we will be a little on edge for quite a while. TpT is growing so fast, we don't know what the rules are until we have passed "GO!"

The best of luck with your new TpT endeavor!
On  January 14, 2013Nora Green (TpT Seller) asked:
This is what I found. I cut and pasted it here.
Limited Use License
This Limited Use License is NOT a Commercial License. Limited License is granted for you to use graphics in compilation products for sale
as part of a photography business, Scrap for Hire (S4H), and Scrap for Others (S4O) basis.
This limited Use license allows you to do the following:
• You May use graphics to make custom photo cards, photo albums and photo calendars for sale to your clients in a completed format.
• You May use these designs in marketing your photography/scrap-for-hire business
• You May design photo albums to sell to your clients in a flattened or printed format
• You May design Photo cards to sell to your clients in a flattened, printed format [not as a digital file]
• You May design e-cards to sell to your clients in a flattened format with their photos included
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 14, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Well, that says it. (1) It's not a commercial license and (2) you can sell products in a printed format (hard-copy), but not as a digital file. That means you cannot use them in a TpT product.

The clipart/decorative image people are not doing much to help us out! You might want to browse the internet for commercial use images and start buying them one at a time if you find some good prices. I'm thinking of starting a individually purchased clipart file myself. The long-standing subscription services and software companies seem to be changing the rules without warning.
On  January 13, 2013Nora Green (TpT Seller) asked:
I have been trying to find out terms of use for print master platinum by broderbund. I have the program and it says you can use it for pay to make scrap book pages. Would like include TPT? Very confused. Any help would be great.
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 13, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Scap book pages are for personal use. You would need a statement in the terms of use that says the pogram can be used for commercial use in order to use it in a TpT product. I cannot find this information on the internet. Surely it's printed somewhere in materials that came with the program, or you can find it somewhere in the software.

Wish I could be more helpful. Can you find a contact e-mail or and phone number? I would suggest that you ask if you can use the material in a product you plan to sell on the internet rather than specifically metioning TpT.
Please let me know if you find any more information.
On  January 8, 2013The Teachers' Aide (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,
I was wondering if you had a chance to read my question below that I sent on Jan. 4.

I also have another question. I have researched this on previous newsletters and on your download, but couldn't find an answer. Can I create book units on Arthur books written by Marc Brown? I have used the names from the books in my products, but not the character illustrations or cover illustrations of course.
Thanks a bunch,
Jamie
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 8, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi,
I think you will be perfectly legal with your Arthur book units.

As far as the scrappindoodles images are concerned, you would just need to follow their guidelines. Since I don't use their clipart, I am not familiar with their requirements. If they have a "terms of use" agreement, the answer to your questions should be there. If they require credit for their images, I would think that means you would need to include that information on every card.
On  January 8, 2013Jenny Dyer (TpT Seller) asked:
I have some worksheets that I made. They are color by number math worksheets that I created. I found free coloring pages on the internet and then added the numbers to the worksheet. Would I be able to use these or would that be copyright infringement?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 8, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
The pages from the internet are probably copyrighted, and you shouldn't use them in a TpT product. If you'll scroll down to the bottom of the page where you found these items, you'll probably see a copyright notice.
As a general rule, anything taken from the internet, even the free things, is copyrighted. Under the Fair Use rule of copyright law, you can use them in your classroom, but you cannot use them in a product that you intend to sell or give away.
Hope this answers your questions.
On  January 6, 2013Cher Wheeler (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,
Thanks for all of your well organized advice to help sellers stay clear of copyright infringement. I read and understood your post regarding poetry from a collection. Is poetry on which the original copyright has expired and is now considered part of the public domain, such as Sympathy by Paul Laurence Dunbar, subject to that same rule? Thanks for your help,
Cher
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 6, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
Any work in the public domain can be used in a TpT product. However, it is extremely important to verify that a work is, indeed, in the public domain.

Happy sales!
On  January 4, 2013The Teachers' Aide (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,
I have created cards, like flash cards or a memory-type game, and I've used images from scrappindoodles.com. I included my copyright on each page and on most cards. I have also placed www.scrappindoodles.com on each PAGE of my product. Do I need to place that same website on every single CARD to give those images credit? Or does having that website on every PAGE I've used the graphics suffice?
Thanks so much,
Jamie
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 3, 2013Janette Wilcken (TpT Seller) asked:
I have a question, and I hope I have not overlooked the answer in your document. I am currently preparing a resource that I would like to share as a free product in my store. I am using ideas from a workbook I received in a teacher workshop. I feel like I am significantly altering the information with my own ideas, and I also feel like it's ok to share since I am not making money on it.
The question is: Is it ok to include copyrighted material in a free product, as long as I make reference to the original owner (i.e. "based on strategies from such and such corp")?
Thank you for your attention to this question.
Janette
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  January 3, 2013Margaret Whisnant answered:
If the material you are intending to use is copyrighted, then you do not have the legal right to sell it or give it away. Only the copyright owner can do that.

However, if you are creating NEW DOCUMENTS based on the IDEAS from the workbook, then you own the copyright on the new documents. You cannot make a few changes, and claim copyright. It would have to be a completely new version based on the original idea.

I think the reference to the original workbook is a good idea.
On  December 31, 2012Creative Creations (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret,
This document was very helpful. I do have a question that I didn't see answered and hope you can help me. Can I use a map from Enchanted Learning in one of my documents?
Thank you for your time.
Michelle
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  December 31, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
The material on this site is copyrighted by the company, so I would say no, you cannot use their material in your docutments. However, I can't find a "terms of use" anywhere on the site. To be sure, why not e-mail the company and get an answere directly from them.
On  December 28, 2012Busy Bees' Learning Hive (TpT Seller) asked:
I have used this site to purchase lessons, but now I am considering selling my original work. Do you know if it is ok to use Microsoft clipart from a purchased program, as well as, on-line Microsoft clipart pieces in my original lesson plans? Thank you for your time.
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  December 29, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
Microsoft clipart is a little fuzzy. At one time, I found information on one of their websites that seemed to say you could use the clipart in a commercial product. That article seems to have disappeared, and now the information is that you have to follow the "terms of use" that comes with purchased programs. You can usually find this link somewhere at the bottom of a page in very small print.
Wish I could be of more help on this. The big commercial companies keep changing the rules.
Why not check through the TpT clip art files and see if you can find what you want. The prices are reasonable and you'll get a license to use the clipart in your TpT products.
On  December 18, 2012More Than a Worksheet (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi Margaret, I am looking for more specifics about Dr. Seuss...do you know if we are allowed to use anything Seuss-related? Obviously not the images, book covers, etcs...but are we allowed to refer to the title and characters? I have a product in the works of activities for older students. I am confused because on the forum, another seller said nothing Seuss is allowed, yet I see lots of Seuss things being sold on TPT. Thanks for your helpful resources!
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  December 19, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
Primary people are more familiar with the Seuss issues. I think several of them who were featuring Seuss products or Seuss-related decorations in their classrooms and posting them on their blogs were contacted by the company and were ordered to stop doing this (Deanna Jump is one of them). They were told the titles and characters were all trademarked and were, therefore, off-limits. As a result, most of the established K-2 people do not do anything Suess related. I think TpT will eventually say these products are not allowed on the site. If it were me, I would spend my time on another project.
On  December 12, 2012The Teachers' Aide (TpT Seller) asked:
Thank you for such a quick reply! When I add the Creative Common license, it asks if I will allow modifications of my work or allow commercial use of my work. I always say no to both of these. Is that the same thing as what you're saying about giving another author the right to use my work as a basis for their products? I don't want others to use my work to make their own. So based on what you said about Creative Commons, should I go back and delete the license from all of my products? And then add my copyright to every product? Thank you again!
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  December 12, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
There is really no reason to use the Creative Commons license unless you intend to share your work and build upon the work of another. As a TpT author, I think you would be wise to add your personal copyright claim to your products and remove the Creative Commons connection.
Just made a quick visit to your store, and your work is delightful! You are goning to do well on TpT!!
On  December 12, 2012The Teachers' Aide (TpT Seller) asked:
Is there an easy way to find out if certain children's book titles, character names, etc. are trademarked, and therefore can't be used in any way on a product? I don't want to be in violation of anything! Thank you Also, when I post a product, I always copy and paste the "this work is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution..." which is provided by TpT when posting products. Do I also have to add the copyright symbol, etc. to each of my products? I haven't been doing that, as I have just found out about it. Is it too late? And is it necessary? Thank you
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  December 12, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
The Dr. Seuss people are really rigid about not letting anyone use their titles and characters in commercial products. Other than this case, I think most children's books are wide open for creating teaching materials. Of course, you can't use images from the books or images of the characters from the books, but you can use their names.
I think it's always a good idea to mark your products with your copyright claim. If you created it, it's your intellectual property. You do not have to use the Creative Commons option. You can claim full copyright simply by marking each of your pages with your claim--Copyright (copyright symboy) 2012 Your name. The purpose of Creative Commons is for authors to give each other permission to improve upon each other's work. A product created under a Cretive commons License and not properly marked, can be picked up, improved upon, and sold by another author. Personally, I stay away from this option. It doesn't make sense to give another author the right to use my work as a basis for their products.
On  December 10, 2012Karen Zimmer (TpT Seller) asked:
My very basic question is how do I copyright my own material for TpT? I can't just say it's copyrighted by me, can I? Do I have to go throough a legal copyright procedure before I upload my origianl work on TpT? Where do I start and what can I expect in the way of expenses?Thanks!
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  December 10, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
You absolutely CAN say it's copyrighted by you. Just add "Copyright (copyright symbol) 2012 (or the current year) Your Name" to let everybody know you are laying claim. I put this on the bottom of every page in the footer in very small font-5 Arial, to be precise. I also add the copyright claim either to the cover page or to a separate page. Download one of my freebies and you'll see what I mean.
On  December 6, 2012Kate Huffman (TpT Seller) asked:
What are licenses and how do they work?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  December 7, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
Are you refering to purchasing a license to use clipart? If so, the company that owns the copyright gives you a "license" to use their clipart. It might be only for personal use, but some of them do offer a commercial license. It all depends on the company. All of TpT's graphic artist grant a commercial license for their clipart. You can use it in your TpT products.
On  November 28, 2012Pacheco's Bilingual Patch (TpT Seller) asked:
Hello again,
??? does that mean that a fee needs to be paid to microsoft or anyone else in order to use their clipart or to use for free?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  November 29, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
No fees. I think when you purchase a Microsoft Office, clipart comes with it. There will be a "terms of use" agreement with it that will tell you whether you can use it in a commercial product. If you are looking at Microsoft clipart on the internet, you should be able to scroll down to the bottom of the page and find "terms of use" that will tell you if commercial use is allowed. I don't know enough about the program you are considering to do a good job answering your question, but I'm glad you're being careful!
On  November 28, 2012Pacheco's Bilingual Patch (TpT Seller) asked:
Hi,
I noticed some people are selling some worksheets with Microsoft clipart on them. Is it possible to use Microsoft clipart and sell the product on TPT?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  November 28, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
According to what I found on their site, you can use Microsoft clipart.
On  November 21, 2012Bridget Winkle (TpT Seller) asked:
Ms. Whisnant,

I have many PPTs where I have embedded movie clips or YouTube clips as examples of a skill or concept to keep students interested and to make it relevant. Would I be breaking copy right laws if I sold these PPTs online here?

Last, my district uses SpringBoard (by College Board) as our ELA curriculum, but there are no materials out to help teach the lessons. I have created PPTs to go with SB lessons, but do not duplicate anything SB directly in the PPTs. Instead, I refer to a specific activity and page number that goes with certain slides. Is this acceptable to sale?

Thank you,
Bridget
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  November 17, 2012Elyse Allen (TpT Seller) asked:
If I want to write a math lesson using a story book, referring to it, etc., can I do that?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  November 17, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
Yes, you can refer to it. You just can't copy it or use illustrations from it.

Sound like an interesting and creative idea!!
On  November 15, 2012Seasoned Team Professional (TpT Seller) asked:
Can districts purchase an item for use in the entire district?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  November 16, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
I think that can be done using the multiple license option. You cannot buy just one copy and use it for the entire district. If you purchase something that will be used by 30 teachers, for example, you would need to buy 30 "copies." The first one is full price and the rest are half price. You'll need to contact TpT to get the particulars on this question. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click "Contact Us." That should get you to the right person.
Sorry I couldn't be more help with your question.
On  November 15, 2012Kirsten Boland (TpT Seller) asked:
Are historical documents such as presidential speeches copyrighted?
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  November 15, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
Excellent question!! Hadn't thought of this angle. Apparently presidential speeches are NOT copyrighted and are part of the public domain. Here's the exact wording from the copyright law:
§ 105 · Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works37
Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the
United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest,or otherwise.
If a document is produced by the US govrnment, it is not copyrightable. Don't know how this might apply to other historical documents. A diary or a letter, for example, could definitely be copyrighted. The key phrase is "produced by the US government." Hope this gets you moving along on your product!
On  November 6, 2012Shelli Totton Peterson (TpT Seller) asked:
I need to cancel my membership. I thought i was just signing in up for the free email and was unaware that i was going to be charged money so i would like to remedy the situation.
Thank you.
Teachers Pay Teachers
On  November 6, 2012Margaret Whisnant answered:
Hi Ms. Peterson,
I am just one of TpT's sellers and not the person you need to talk to. You need to contact TpT support about cancelling your membrship. Here's the link you need to open a ticket:

https://support.teacherspayteachers.com/


If the link doesn't work, scroll to the bottom of the page of your seller's account, and click on "Contact Us."
Sorry for the confusion.

Margaret
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Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors
Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors
Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors
Top 5 Copyright Questions for TpT Teacher/Authors