Every now and again, I stumble across a school website, blog and sometimes a published document, that contains part or all of my PDF ebooks. Usually, Neil writes the webmaster or blog owner a nice email and asks if the product can be removed from their public space. And most always, the person complies. Sometimes we get a sincere apology and things are well again but most often we get that yucky feeling that we tattled on someone and made them feel stupid or even worse, caught.

I don’t like enforcing my copyright wishes. It takes away from the positive energy I need to teach children and create a blog worth visiting. But, it’s a fact of blogging life and I have to deal with it.

Here is a bullet list of the most common problems I see.  Hopefully, this will help not only me, but the other art bloggers and entrepreneurs out there who experience the same problems.

  • My PDF Art Lesson Plans (the paid ones) are dissected and placed in published documents. Don’t ask how I find these because I’m always surprised when I do. I know those who make these mistakes are not doing so with bad intentions but still, it’s not fair when part of my lessons are given out for free when others have to pay. The Solution? Generally, copying any part of my ebooks into another published document is against my copyright rules. You could however, write to me and ask permission to include a part of a lesson in a document you are creating for school, etc. It really depends how much you can take without it becoming a problem. Sometimes, the nicest thing is to just reference DSS or provide a link to my art lesson.
  • My PDF Art Lesson Plans (again, the paid for ones, not the free ones) are made available on School and District websites for other art teachers in their school districts to use.  My ebooks are meant for single use and although I know teachers might share, it’s not the best practice to place copyrighted and purchased material on your website. The Solution: My Teachers Pay Teachers store provides the opportunity to buy multiple licences of my PDF at half the price. I think this is a terrific solution.

What CAN you do with DSS Art Lessons?

Please don’t feel like anyone is being scolded. Sometimes it’s the fault of the business owner (me!) for not providing adequate solutions to fend off copyright abuse. There are many solutions to these problems and Neil and I are working on them. Meanwhile, what can you do with my art lessons?

  • Recreate all my lessons (free or paid, PDF or e-Course) with your students. Feel free to post your results (not mine) on your blog or social media sites. You don’t have to give DSS attribution but it’s always appreciated.
  • If you bought a PDF, you can publish the results of your student’s efforts on your blog, but don’t include handouts or any of my instructions/text/dialogue. Like your English teacher used to say, use your own words.
  • You can use my photos from my blog, but ask first. Most of the time, you only have to ask once.
  • You can make a powerpoint or video of your interpretation of my lesson (but you can’t use my photos, handouts or text)
  • You can tell your colleagues about my PDF’s so they can choose their own and perhaps you can share. One or two teachers sharing is absolutely fine. A dozen teachers? You know the answer.
  • Use my art lessons or special technique to create your own lesson…no attributions necessary. I’m inspired all the time by a subject, technique or artists and I create my own lessons based on these things. If the inspiration directly comes from a source, I try to always site it. I say “try” because in my early years of blogging, I didn’t always know to do this.
  • If you are a studio owner or teach classes to children for profit, you can still use my lesson plans (free and paid). You just can’t repackage them and sell them.

Does this help? Remember, if you are ever in doubt about copyright violation, write to me. In this growing industry of free resources, you have to remember that someone made the first effort to create something worth sharing. If you want them to continue to share, just ask when in doubt.

If you are wondering how to link back, check out this post