Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
#1
Announcements/Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
For those who don't know, AO has always been copyrighted, even before we were AO. We've had a licensing agreement on our site since Oct 2002.

We've been lax about enforcement because we don't like to be bad guys, and we hoped the licensing agreement on the site would speak for itself so we didn't have to. However, an increasing number of people seem to have interpreted "free for using" as free for taking, reposting, and sometimes reselling (either directly, or by copying and pasting from our site, but stripping out our affiliate links and replacing them with their own), or copying and pasting our work to their websites, and then, ironically, copyrighting those pages to themselves, even though they just violated our copyright.

We don't really like confrontations of this nature, so even when we have encountered blatant copyright violations, we've hardly ever asked people to take them down. The few times we have asked, we've been told, "But look here, here, and here, they are in violation of your copyrights and you seem to have let them go . . ." So our generosity has been misunderstood and taken for license.

Related to this, links are not the largest issue, but please do consider that when you copy and paste from our website to yours, replacing our affiliate links on our booklists with your own, that you are hindering AO's ability to pay for itself - and the Advisory ourselves did not even add affiliate links until about 2 years ago, paying for everything for the first dozen years or so out of our own pockets. What we have always envisioned is that our work is like a CM potluck - we prepared the main dishes, set up the location and hosted a giant picnic, inviting the community to join us, free of charge, and to pitch in as they are able, adding to the collective effort. We hate to sound whiny, but it is frustrating, and even hurtful, to see others copyrighting our work, or attempting to profit from it, when we have sacrificed so much to create it.

It's becoming a problem, and we really need to Mom up and face our reluctance to confront people about violations of our licensing agreement. We need to be forthright about protecting our work, but we'd still prefer to do this as gently as possible. So we're asking here first - could you all please take a look at your own blogs and websites and see - did you copy and paste from material on our site that is *not* in the pubic domain? PR magazine articles are in the public domain, as are the original CM volumes. However, the CM volumes you see on our website have been edited, footnoted, and annotated by us, and our words and work are not in the public domain.

Some websites have copied and pasted so much of our material that people are confusing those websites for AO.

It's creating quite a few headaches for us, and almost nobody out there who has copied and pasted from our material *has* asked us for permission, and many seem not to even be aware there has always been a licensing agreement - the first versions were sent to our email list in 1999, 2000 and 2001, and appeared on the website at least as early as 2002.

We love for you to talk about the curriculum, to link to it, and to explain to your readers how you've made it your own - but that does not require copying and pasting huge chunks of our work. Fair use generally allows about 300 words to be reproduced for the purpose of review. Could you please review your public writings outside the forum and if you've violated our TOS, please, please take those down without waiting for us to ask? Thank you so much.
The AmblesideOnline Advisory:
Donna-Jean Breckenridge, Lynn Bruce, Wendi Capehart, Karen Glass, Leslie Noelani Laurio, and Anne White
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#2
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
I just wanted to say that I am so sorry that you are still dealing with this. I will be forever indebted to you all for the amazing amount of hard work that you have put into this, and I am just so sad that people are using your generosity for their own gain. THANK YOU for making this curriculum and all that goes along with it available for us, and THANK YOU for standing up for it.
~  DD12 in year 6, DS10 in year 5, DD8 in year 3, and DS5 tagging along. ~
A Thoughtful Spot
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#3
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
(08-30-2013, 03:56 AM)michelle dawn Wrote: I just wanted to say that I am so sorry that you are still dealing with this.

We're not dealing with more and new instances; rather, we're continuing and following up on something we should probably have been on top of from the beginning.
Mom to 3 AO graduates, and 1 dd in AO Year 6
"Practically, nearly, almost and in all ways visible to normal mortals Invincible" (due to the diplomatic immunity of Admin.) cheesy grin
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#4
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
Back before I knew what AO was, I would occasionally stumble upon an article here during research, and copy and paste part of it with a link, in a thread at TWTM forum. As I said, I really didn't have any idea of the entirety of this website, or that a forum existed, or anything more than the single article I was discussing with others.

I think I crossed the line of what is being asked now, and I am sorry for that. It would be too hard to go back and find those old posts. I don't think you are asking that? But I am sorry for being ignorant. Lots of times other websites like to have the publicity, or are allowing free sharing, and I didn't mean any harm.

Until I signed up at the forum here, I really didn't know what AO was. I am a LOT more careful now in copying and pasting a bit of an article. But I'm sorry about old posts.
Former homeschool mom, current tutor and self-educator, future grandma.
Living in a big city, and loving it.
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#5
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
(08-30-2013, 04:31 AM)Hunter Wrote: Back before I knew what AO was, I would occasionally stumble upon an article here during research, and copy and paste part of it with a link, in a thread at TWTM forum.

I am not so sure that crosses any line -- the general gist is that if you're encouraging others to use the AO website, you're probably fine (and posting a portion of an article with a link to read the rest of it is generally fine across the internet; I see people do that all the time with blog posts and news articles and such). It's websites that are posting AO's entire Year 1 Booklist, or one of Anne White's entire Plutarch studies, or AO's entire 12-year composer line-up, or an entire year's weekly schedules, so that there's no need to use the AO website. And it's not that we're persnickety about the number of visitors -- the fact is, we don't keep track of web visitors, and we gain nothing from how many website visitors we have. It's more the subtle transference of moving parts of AO to another website and slowly ending up appearing as if AO's material originated somewhere else, or as if a tweaked version of AO was someone else's original work, or as if AO's material is public domain and free for the taking. Any of those undermines the AO project itself, and we're seeing all of those things happening, and it's alarming to us.
Mom to 3 AO graduates, and 1 dd in AO Year 6
"Practically, nearly, almost and in all ways visible to normal mortals Invincible" (due to the diplomatic immunity of Admin.) cheesy grin
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#6
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
(08-30-2013, 04:31 AM)Hunter Wrote: Back before I knew what AO was, I would occasionally stumble upon an article here during research, and copy and paste part of it with a link, in a thread at TWTM forum. As I said, I really didn't have any idea of the entirety of this website, or that a forum existed, or anything more than the single article I was discussing with others.

I think I crossed the line of what is being asked now, and I am sorry for that. It would be too hard to go back and find those old posts. I don't think you are asking that? But I am sorry for being ignorant. Lots of times other websites like to have the publicity, or are allowing free sharing, and I didn't mean any harm.

Until I signed up at the forum here, I really didn't know what AO was. I am a LOT more careful now in copying and pasting a bit of an article. But I'm sorry about old posts.

We do appreciate your good faith and sincerity. And, no, we are definitely not asking you to go back and find old messages you posted to another discussion board somewhere. We do like to have people talk *about* the curriculum and share how they are using it. We have never asked people not to talk about the curriculum or even quote from our website.
Copying and pasting parts of an article for discussion is also always fine- although of course, it's always been basic good practice to always source anything you copy and paste from somewhere else, and copyright law (not us, but actual law) does place limitations on how much can legally be reposted.


While it's possible, I really doubt a discussion on a message board would reach the level of copyright violation we're talking about.
We're talking about far more obvious violations than occasional comments on a message board. I think you're fine.wink

Also, in general, my experience is that those who feel the most contrite probably have the least to worry about. Different topic, but similar result, back when the email list was really active, any time we'd request that the discussion get back on topic, or back down from the heated direction it was going, or whatever- we'd receive several very sweet, very polite and contrite comments from nice ladies apologizing for stretching the rules- and not one of them had even come close and we were not even thinking of any of them when we posted the request. The actual offenders almost never apologized (please, please, don't anybody read this and apologize to me for doing this. I did not keep a 'hit list' and don't remember any names to associate with such behavior, but i am almost certain if you feel like apologizing, you probably aren't one of them).
Wendi C, Advisory
Riches are leavening, not extras.



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#7
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
(08-30-2013, 04:58 AM)WendiC Wrote: (please, please, don't anybody read this and apologize to me for doing this. I did not keep a 'hit list' and don't remember any names to associate with such behavior, but i am almost certain if you feel like apologizing, you probably aren't one of them).

That made me chuckle. You're a nice lady Wendi.
Zami
with three boys (10, 7, 4) one girl (1.5), and one mystery due this fall.
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#8
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
(08-30-2013, 04:54 AM)LeslieNoelani Wrote: or one of Anne White's entire Plutarch studies,

Yes, I recently found one of these offered under someone else's name on Scribd! Goodness... Sad
Brandy Afterthoughts | Scholé Sisters
Co-Overseer of CM Study Hall (from Bible to PR Typing)
Moderator of General CM Series Discussion, PR Articles, and CM Co-ops and Schools
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#9
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
I would imagine there are enough of us who would be willing to pitch in ten bucks or so to cover the cost of hiring a lawyer to take care of this once and for all. There are a lot of AO users.

Just a thought...
ozark mama
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#10
Announcements/RE: Please Read: Regarding Ambleside Online's Copyright Policy
(08-30-2013, 10:59 AM)ozark mama Wrote: I would imagine there are enough of us who would be willing to pitch in ten bucks or so to cover the cost of hiring a lawyer to take care of this once and for all. There are a lot of AO users.

Just a thought...

That is very kind. It has always been our hope and prayer that it would never, ever come to that.
Brandy Afterthoughts | Scholé Sisters
Co-Overseer of CM Study Hall (from Bible to PR Typing)
Moderator of General CM Series Discussion, PR Articles, and CM Co-ops and Schools
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