On Fri, 16 May 2003, Patricia Solfest wrote:
Learning Page Lessons ARE in the Public Domain. Anyone may
republish them for money without so much as a credit line. Personally, I
have less of a problem with the money-making part than with the lack of a
credit to you for creating them or to the Library of Congress, for making
them available, funding them, whatever.
Not giving credit to others for their intellectual work is just
unethical. If these publishers were your students you'd have to fail
them for this behavior.
There is a rule in the copyright law about "added value" ... for example,
Matthew Lesko claims copyright on his books. He's they guy that gathers
government information in print and on the web, repackages it, edits it,
and re-publishes it, and makes a decent living for himself in the
process. See <http://www.matthewlesko.com/>. It's pretty easy to find
his stuff and it is pretty straightforward reading, which may not always
be said for the originals.
This is one for the lawyers. I would hate to be the one to decide where
"added value" starts.
Perhaps your requestor would agree to a disclaimer indicating that THIS
lesson is in the public domain and is also available at http://....
In theory, the government doesn't mind re-distribution of its materials,
because the good work gets out there without costing additional tax money
and it encourages private enterprise.
Still they oughta give credit.
Anyway, read your contracts, contact your lawyers, etc. Ask for proper
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> Poster: Patricia Solfest <[log in to unmask]>
> Subject: Publication of lesson plans
> Dear Fellows,
> I recently received the following request from a person in charge of a
> website which creates lessons for home schools:
> The Adventure of the American Mind Home School Partner creates online
> lessons for students in grades 3-12. I really like the breadth of your
> unit and would like to use it as the skelaton of an asynchronous online
> unit. This will be similar to our NC Unit at:
> erview.htm . Would this be okay with you?
> I went to the site and noticed that it claimed copyright on the materials
> published there. Has anyone else received such requests? What publication
> rights does the Library of Congress, or we as lesson creators, retain for
> these lessons? As a govenrment agency, are all of these materials "public
> domain"? I have seen publications that are nearly identical to American
> Memory lessons for sale at conferences and wondered about this. Can anyone
> enlighten me? Thanks.
> Patricia Solfest