Shocking Homeschool Piracy

Revealing the Truth about Copyright Violation

I have to admit, I was unaware of the truth. I guess I simply live in a sheltered world where everyone is trying to do the right thing. 

Homeschool Honor Copyright

Oh I know there are those in the world who think nothing of taking what isn’t theirs. I know there are those who think that they are just sharing,  after all sharing is a good thing. I also know that many are simply ignorant about the reality of copyright laws. It isn’t their fault really, or maybe it is, because they do not take the time to look, read and educate themselves of this subject. It wasn’t until recently that I began to see all of the misinformation there is regarding copyright law.

Perhaps you don’t even know what I am talking about because you are unaware of the reality happening within the homeschool community. Did you know there are homeschoolers who are copy curriculum and distribute it for free and/or for profit? It’s true. Doing this is illegal. It is a violation of copyright laws to copy printed materials without the express written permission of the copyright holder. Most curriculum publishers will include their permission and/or their copyright guidelines within the first few pages of their materials. If you don’t see permission to make copies and/or to share copies then it is a violation to do so.


Examples of Copyright Violation:

  • A homeschool parent purchases a science textbook with a separate workbook. The parent realizing that they have multiple children decides to keep the text book for the following years, (not a violation) additionally to save extra money they decide to make copies (most likely a violation) of the worksheets found in the workbook so that each of the multiple children can use the workbook as well. (To know for sure, check the usage policy found at the front of the book)
  • A homeschool family purchases a language arts workbook, uses a few pages, then erases those answers and re-sells the book to a family friend.
  • A homeschool mom finds a great e-book on line, purchases it and uses it in the homeschool for the school year printing copies of the worksheets from the downloaded e-book (Not a violation). Because it is such a good curriculum the mom decides to share it with her homeschool co-op and makes additional copies for that use. (A violation).
  • A homeschool parent buys a great music appreciation curriculum while at a convention. The material is great and comes with a separate audio cd, so the mom makes a copy of the audio cd to share with her friend who only purchased the text/workbook.
  • You host a science lab in your home for several homeschool friends. Each family has purchased and is using the same science text book, but to enhance the lab you buy one copy of the companion notebook and copy those pages to share with the students in the lab.
  • You join a homeschool share group on an internet site. In this group you share materials, one parent might share their material for art curriculum while you share your material for history. To do this, each parent scans the material into a pdf document then uploads it to a document server, then shares that document link with the group.

Maybe you are, reading these examples and thinking, ‘Wow, I can’t believe people are actually doing that.’ Or maybe you are reading them and thinking, ‘I do some of those but didn’t know it was a violation of copyright.’ Then again, perhaps you are reading these and thinking, ‘What’s the big deal? So what? It doesn’t hurt anyone, in fact it’s very helpful to me or my friends families.” The big deal is, it is ILLEGAL, IMMORAL and it does hurt the authors, publishing companies, their employees, and their families.

This week (Sept. 30 – Oct. 4, 2013) the bloggers at  iHomeschool Network are teaming up with many of the top homeschool publishing companies to reveal the truth about copyright laws and violations. The goal of this is to help homeshcooling families become aware of copyright laws and copyright violations. The goal is to help Homeschoolers Honor Copyright

 Please join us so that you as a homeschooling family or blogger can consider for yourself what you are allowed to copy, how you are allowed to copy it and for what purposes you may copy it while at the same time informing you of what is a violation of copyright laws so that you are not without knowledge and without excuse. The responsibility to Honor Copyright lies with you.


Whether you are a homeschool parent 
or a homeschool blogger
 won’t you take the #HonorCopyright Pledge?

**Photograph copyrighted stamp: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

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