With teachers now allowed to profit from their own resources, the issue of copyright and teachers sharing freely is even-more complicated. Are we moving towards the dark-side?
This is a blog about the humble teacher not being treated fairly by giant, conglomerate corporations.
- “If you only knew the power of the dark side. Obi-Wan never told you what happened to your father.”
“He told me enough! He told me you killed him.”
“No Luke. I am your father …”
- ―Darth Vader and Luke Skywalker
- Image: Disney
If you are a regular reader of my blog, you will be familiar of my relationship with TES Resources. We are in a love-hate relationship. Today, I was told over the phone from somebody at the TES, that I was to be admired for pioneering and leading the way with teachers sharing resources; particularly, new-found territory with (PPD) Paid-Per-Download resources which enables teachers to profit by selling. On the other side of the coin and in the same conversation, I was told that my resources and my ideas were NOT protected from others – yes other people – uploading onto the TES, and worst of all, from the TES profiting from my ideas without my knowledge or consent!
I do believe I have a legal case. So, if you do manage to get to the bottom of this blog, all will be clear. Here is a snapshot of the story so far;
- 2004 – 2008 – Uploaded 33 resources to the TES
- 2011 – I shared The 5 Minute Lesson Plan with TES Resources. It reaches over 500,000 views / 450,000 downloads / 140+ countries worldwide.
- May 2013 – I am nominated for a TES Award for sharing my classroom resources.
- July 2013 – I publish my own book; add a hyperlink on my blog from the TES which takes readers from TES to my blog and then to a bookstore.
- August 2013 – My own resources breach TES Resources Terms and Conditions despite exposing flaws and companies who advertise.
- August-September 2013 – Most of my TES Resources were adapted, downgraded or removed.
- August 2014 – I clarify here, why schools should pay for teacher resources, and advocate PPD should not be paid for by teachers.
- September 2013 – I share the first in a series of #Vamoose blogs; announcing how the TES are victimising innocent teachers.
- September 2013 – I attend a meeting at TES HQ with Ann Mroz and Lord Jim Knight to discuss my concerns and a Terms and Conditions overhaul.
- October 2013 – My meeting at TES HQ minutes which share what the TES will action and adapt in light of this scandal.
- November 2013 – I co-author a blog with Lord Jim Knight
- March 2014 – I tell the world and the TES that I am no longer using their site and start hosting my own resources on my own blog.
- July 2014 – Chief Executive Louise Rogers announces the TES are testing a beta site for teachers to sell and profit from their own resources.
- August – December 2014 – I continue to share my resources freely on my own website and also start sharing PPD.
- January 2015 – The TES start pushing PPD content. We go our separate ways …
- May 2015 – Despite failing to self-nominate myself for the TES Bloggers Award, I hear nothing about any TES Awards …
- Tumbleweed until now …
The TES parent company is “harvesting” resources for their partner websites and charging for access; including to purchase teacher-made resources. This includes sharing your resources on other sister-sites in the USA (Share My Lesson) TES India and TES Australia – with or without your knowledge and perhaps, even after you have removed them from the TES in the UK. All uploaded by you and I … Here is an example on my resource on TES India. I did NOT upload it there. It has been adapted.
Last week, I thought I’d take a search/browse of teacher-paid resources on the TES. It came as no surprise to find my copyright material shared by many other teachers – freely – on the TES. You can see the results here. I have no problem with this. I am all for sharing. However, on closer inspection and when filtering to PPD material, I was disappointed to see the following results. Two resources for sale, using my copyright idea and an adaptation of my resource.
Of course, I contacted the TES immediately and this is the reply I received last week;
My colleagues who manage our social media accounts have alerted me to an issue that you raised regards content shared on the TES Resources platform. I’d like to be able to make sure I understand the issue first, it would be very helpful to understand the detail of your concerns. You can contact me directly on this email or I’d be very happy to speak on the phone if you’d like to have a chat through the issue.
Very best wishes,
Head of Content and Strategy”
Today I spoke to the TES – someone in post for one year – and this was the reply; “your resources and ideas are NOT protected from others uploading onto the TES for profit.” This reply and the history between the TES and I has prompted this blog. It is not acceptable.
The TES are clearly enjoying their new-found territory. So much so, they are offering a Summer Sale!
Does this issue breach my own copyright licence? Particularly Take Away Homework which is copyright material of Bloomsbury Books. Could a legal battle ensue between these two giants with little-old me in the middle? Read Copyright dos and donts for teachers in school. It’s vital reading!
As for me, if I cannot share resources on the TES website – without my consent – If they will be downgraded, manipulated or used for profit and my intellectual property is not protected. At the meeting I last had at TES HQ in September 2013, Moral Rights could never be protected, but Intellectual Property was agreed when I met with Jim Knight and Ann Mroz.
If you manage over 8,000,000 resources, have the TES team just missed detail with my measly two resources? I hope so. I’m off for now …