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Copyright theft

Discussion in 'TES Authors' Group' started by TheKnowledgeHouse, May 13, 2018.

  1. TheKnowledgeHouse

    TheKnowledgeHouse New commenter

    Just discovered a teacher who has been running a campaign to give my resources 1 star (TES have been removing them for being completely unfair) has literally purchased my lessons, put them in their own bundles and is selling them exactly as I made them!



    I can't believe a teacher would do this!

    Am I being naive? Has anyone had a similar experience? Should such an immoral person be allowed to even teach?

  2. Alice K

    Alice K Occasional commenter

    Absolutely shocking!
  3. harsh-but-fair

    harsh-but-fair Lead commenter

    How do you know they are a teacher?
  4. marlin

    marlin Star commenter Forum guide

    I do hope you have reported this to TES and that some action has been taken.
  5. TheKnowledgeHouse

    TheKnowledgeHouse New commenter

    I suppose I can't be certain but they have photographs and slides on PPTs they have included with 'Read Miss Jones' work and complete the following activities.
  6. TheKnowledgeHouse

    TheKnowledgeHouse New commenter

    They are taking action. I find TES help excellent. I've no doubt they'll find in my favour the theft was so obvious, it'll just take a couple of days.
    Lara mfl 05 and marlin like this.
  7. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Personally, I find trying to get my head around the issue of copyright and licensing of resources on TES a bit of a minefield. The TES FAQs pages show lots of information, but it's not always easy to grasp the meaning behind it all.

    Why is TES not allowing users to make use of the non-commercial variants of the Creative Commons licences?

    Tes does not allow users to make use of the non-commercial variants of the Creative Commons licences.

    This is because the non-commercial licences prohibit using materials shared under them for reward.

    If you are concerned about someone reselling work based upon materials you licence under a Creative Commons licence, we suggest using a ShareALike licence or a no-derivatives licence as these licence types will never be able to be sold through Tes.

    So TES doesn't allow the use of these variants, as they would prevent you from being able to charge anything for them.

    We ask that every free resource uploaded to the Tes site is given a Creative Commons licence. There are lots of CC licences to choose from, but we have decided to offer the three that best apply to your resources.

    What are my options?

    The licence that is closest to how your resources are currently shared on the site is the Attribution ShareAlike Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA) licence. This means that you would continue to share your resource for free and give permission to others to share it in the same way.

    Share alike (CC-BY-SA)- Share and share alike.
    Attribution (CC-BY)- Share openly.
    No derivatives (CC-BY-ND)- Share, but don't modify.

    I read this as saying that unless you specifically state otherwise, then your resources will be licensed under the Share alike model (CC-BY-SA).

    The 'human-readable-version shown on the link:

    Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

    You are free to:

    Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format
    Adapt — remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose,
    even commercially.

    This license is acceptable for Free Cultural Works.

    The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

    Under the following terms:

    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes
    were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor
    endorses you or your use.

    ShareAlike — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you must distribute your contributions
    under the same license as the original.

    No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally
    restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

    As I read it, this allows the recipient to:

    • Add your work into a work of their own, under the pretext of "building upon the material for any purpose, even commercially".
    • They can then "copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format".
    • The only caveat I can see, is that they must "give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made." They may do that "in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use."
    • The recipient is then required to "distribute your contributions under the same license as the original." I take that to mean they just need to use the same Share alike (CC-BY-SA) licence as your work did.
    Unless I have misunderstood this, it appears that the CC-BY-SA licence being used, (on the basis it allows the author to charge money for the resource), does not do an awful lot in terms of restricting what the recipient is allowed to do with that resource once they have it, as long as they stay within the terms of that licence.

    I realise there are other issues around 'copyright' and 'fair useage', both of which have some sort of FAQ lising on TES, but it's not hard to see how the the use of such a licence might muddy the waters.
  8. TheKnowledgeHouse

    TheKnowledgeHouse New commenter

    Great answer. So maybe the user is doing nothing wrong. Still, if they somehow incorporated that work into their own it's one thing; giving 1 star reviews and then selling that material for themselves is another. I doubt TES would want members like that. Your post is an eye-opener though. I have a lot of material on TES and am going to have to go over their terms and conditions in a lot more details. Thanks elder_cat
  9. captain scarlet

    captain scarlet Established commenter

    Can you not embed your data/name into the work?
    I write spreadsheets, some are quite big ones. If anybody tries to remove my name from them, they crash.
  10. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Technically perhaps, but dodgy ground morally.

    Giving negative reviews seems a bit off. But as I see it, the terms of the licence don't prevent them from selling their resources (with your contribution included).

    Hopefully not, and I would like to think most authors would agree.

    I can see no reason why you should not do so. At least then you would still be getting some credit for the original piece of work if it were subsequently "added into" something else.

    Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported (CC BY-SA 3.0)

    The licensor cannot revoke these freedoms as long as you follow the license terms.

    No additional restrictions — You may not apply legal terms or technological measures that legally
    restrict others from doing anything the license permits.

    Putting my Devils Advocate hat on for a moment, by causing the resource to become unusable you could argue you are thereby in effect revoking the licence.

    IMHO the whole area of licensing could do with a simple easily understood guide for end users that doesn't require a 2:1 in Law to understand it. :(
  11. EC_Resources

    EC_Resources Occasional commenter

    @TheKnowledgeHouse Hiya. Unfortunately through my time on here I've noticed one thing. YES teachers WILL do that.

    Tes don't / can't check all uploaded resources - we have to stay very vigilant - for ourselves and other authors. I'm sure it will all be taken down as the Tes team are good at sorting it once alerted.

    Keep checking new uploads in your subject. It's a faff and time consuming but it's the only way to prevent this :S
    TheKnowledgeHouse likes this.
  12. thinky

    thinky Occasional commenter

    Except that the part prior to that stated this requirement applied to free resources (not commercial ones):
    In the (tricky to find) FAQ it states:

    Please note: Our Teaching Resource Licence is not a Creative Commons licence

    You can:
    Teach With — copy, edit and provide the licensed material to those students you teach in any medium or format for the purpose of educating them and/or their private study.

    But, No Sharing – you have been issued a single licence for your own use and the right to grant a limited licence to your students to use the licensed material as part of your teaching and their own private study.

    TES Education Resources Limited has been granted a licence by the owner of the licensed materials to share those licensed materials with you. As long as you comply with the licence terms, TES Education Resources Limited as the licensor cannot revoke these freedoms other than in certain limited circumstances (such as if the licensed material is found to be in breach of our website terms and conditions).

    Attribution — You must give appropriate credit to the author of the resource, provide a link to the licence, and indicate if you have made changes to the licensed material. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor, the author of the resource or its owner endorses you or your use of the licensed material.

    No Sharing of Derivatives (except to teach) — if you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material except to those people you teach.

    It also states:

    It means that you must check that you own the copyright to all content in your resources before you upload them to Tes Resources. If you do not own the copyright, then you must:

    - either obtain the prior consent from the copyright owner to upload them
    - or ensure that you can rely on certain permitted uses under applicable law,

    otherwise you could be liable for infringing the copyright of another person (See “Can I ever quote from or use work created by others in my resources?” for further information).

    But notably the link to the guidance on 'Can I ever quote from or use work created by others in my resources?' is broken and this is probably the most abused/least understood aspect of copyright infringements on here.
    TheKnowledgeHouse likes this.
  13. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Maybe it's just me being thick, but I find the wording difficult to digest. I was thrown by the use of the word reselling, as opposed to the word selling. I don't see how you can resell something, unless it was sold previously, in which case it couldn't have been a free resource?

    If they are indeed classed as FAQs, then they should be easy to navigate.

    I found that too. It kept sending me back to the FAQs main page, rather than the appropriate section.
  14. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    Hi @thinky @elder_cat sorry to hear that section of the FAQ is not working for you. Can you please provide a screenshot / link to what you are seeing so we can rectify any issues, it currently appears to be fine on our end. We agree this is very important information and want to ensure the community has access to it.

    See below for the answer taken from this section:

    Can I ever quote from or use work created by others in my own resources?
    With prior consent

    Yes, you can always use the work of others in your resources if you obtain their prior consent to such use (e.g. by obtaining a licence from them). If you are employed, your employer will typically have obtained all necessary consents so that you can carry on your duties in the course of your employment. For instance, schools will typically hold licences to photocopy extracts of books or to record television broadcasts, allowing their teachers to carry out those acts for the purposes of teaching their classes.

    However, such general consents obtained by your school may not cover resources that you create and upload to the Tes Resources platform. This means that you may have to obtain additional consent from the owner of the material you intend to use and upload.

    Without prior consent

    You can also use the work of others in your resources without obtaining their prior consent if you use the work of others in certain ways permitted by law.

    Here are some examples to help you along your way (but this is not an exhaustive list). Note that in each of the following cases:

    • your use must also constitute “fair dealing” (See “What is'fair dealing'?” for more information); and
    • if possible, you must acknowledge the owner of the work (See “How do I need to acknowledge the owner of the copyright in another work?” for further information)


    You can quote from works to which you do not own copyright without obtaining permission, but only if the extent of the quotation is not more than is required for your specific purposes.

    As a rule of thumb, this means that you can usually use one or two lines from a poem, or a couple of sentences from a novel, in the resource that you are creating. But you cannot copy the entire poem or the whole (or even a chapter) of the book.

    Please note that the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office has indicated that this exception is unlikely to apply to the use of photographs.


    You can use extracts from the work of others in order to criticise or review, without obtaining the owner’s permission. For example, if you want to criticise or review someone else’s teaching materials, you could copy an extract of the work in question to prove a point that you want to make, but you cannot copy the whole work of the other person.

    Information contained within these pages is intended as general guidance only. This information is not intended to be, and should not be, relied upon as legal advice.
  15. thinky

    thinky Occasional commenter

    Which is a fair point.

    If I click on the link it goes to the main FAQ rather than the relevant section: Can I ever quote from or use work created by others in my resources?
  16. elder_cat

    elder_cat Established commenter

    Hi @tesAuthorTeam ... It's in the RESOURCES FAQs section:


    Clicking on the hyperlink, opens the following page:

  17. tesAuthorTeam

    tesAuthorTeam Administrator Staff Member TES Authors' forum host

    thinky likes this.
  18. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    :eek: to the OP. Glad it's being sorted.

    I haven't uploaded any resources since retiring, but when I did at the end one had to agree to a statement
    saying something like 'I state that this resource is all my own work'.
    I know a couple of times I didn't share some resources, because my work was based on another colleagues work which although I'd adapted it, it was therefore was not 'all my own work'.

    How someone can deliberately underrate your resource and then simply copy and put it un-adapted in any way, shape or form and charge for it beggars belief! :rolleyes:
    Dodros, thinky and Littlesherbetlemon like this.
  19. MissEHoney

    MissEHoney New commenter

    The amount of people passing off other peoples work as their own is shocking! TES need a full time moderator to go through this stuff. Maybe before it's published and get rid of the most obvious examples (e.g. a user has uploaded Pearson PPT's for BTEC and passed it off as their own!). I spend a really long time making sure that any images i use are able to be used for commercial use and I have permission to use them (or i create my own) and it's really frustrating that people are getting away with it. Although in the case of the OP i'm really glad it has been sorted, i've had someone use my work before and it's horrid!
    TheKnowledgeHouse likes this.
  20. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    Hello @MissEHoney, please can you report resources that you believe are copyright infringement or alternatively you can send the URL of the resource to the Customer Services Team by emailing help@tes.com? Thank you.

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