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Copyright and Your DIRECTIONS Lessons by Carol Hawkey
This article was published on Sunday 19 February, 2006.



The official definition of copyright means that Sewing Prose and its assigns and licensees are the only entities that may reproduce the items encompassing "DIRECTIONS"™, or any similar renditions thereof. Here are some examples to help you stay within the copyright rules so we can all make a profit while we enjoy learning to sew and sharing our sewing skills with every new generation.


Many people would like to use one DIRECTIONS™ lesson for several children. For the most part, this is just fine. One person's use of the lesson will still leave the words on the page for the next person to enjoy. Photocopying the pages for the second person is crossing into illegal activity. So is tracing the pattern so each person has their own copy. Now, if one person cuts out a larger size, and the next person cuts out a smaller size from the same tissue, that is alright. Indeed, our pattern tissues are designed to make this easy because we nest all the sizes instead of allowing the cutting lines to cross over and twist.

Here's a super idea:

Instead of allowing two people to trace patterns so that each have their own (which costs you time and money for supplies and crosses the line of infringement), we recommend using our "no tracing needed tissue replacement policy" which allows you to purchase a replacement tissue for $1.50 plus the old tissue, postpaid. This is the best way for parents to address the situation of teaching several of their own children using one lesson packet - they can all get a fresh tissue while using the same learning materials.

Of course, if you would like each child to have their own packets and build their own Skillcard Reference Organizer, we will be glad to accommodate your order! I personally feel this is best, not because I want to sell more packets (although that's always a lovely thing) but because children need to have their own stuff. They like knowing that [THIS thing] is [MINE]. Think long-term here: when your children grow up and move out on their own, this is a wonderful legacy you have provided for them to take with them wherever they go - college, family, business - specialization - even a sewing career! They will always have their learning materials ready to aid them when they need it.


A similar situation could arise in the classroom, especially if you are dealing with low-income families who may prefer to spend their limited cash on things other than the lesson packet. As a teacher, our recommendation is that you purchase four or five DIRECTIONS™ packets and keep them as classroom supplies when dealing with a limited cash supply of your students. Each of the lessons would be cut in one of the four or five sizes available. The entire packet would remain in the classroom. Of course, this does deny the student the ability to have their own supplies.

Here's very important notice for teachers: As sewists, we tend to believe that all sewing should be free for everyone all the time. Now, you KNOW this simply isn't true, just look at the last bill you got from your favorite fabric store. But that doesn't prevent us from thinking that no one else is willing to pay for patterns and lessons. Go figure, eh? The important thing here is that you consciously prevent yourself from making money decisions for your student's family! How rude of you! They are allowed to choose what to spend their money on and it is quite wrong of you to [ Ass/U/Me ] that they are unwilling or unable to make their own decisions.

The intent of the copyright law in this situation is to avoid copying lessons so each child can have their own without paying for their own original packet. Copying information to help a student avoid purchasing their own copy is definitely wrong. The rule to remember is that sharing is a wonderful thing - copying to give or sell is illegal. I've found this good start to understand copyright rules. There are additional links from there about the ability to copy under fair use rules.


We will continue to provide you with the best learning materials, and keep the cost low enough that you will be able to buy lesson packs for everyone in your family or classroom instead of resorting to copyright infringement. Our discounts for multiple sewing lessons for kids packets are generous and we ship promptly, even overnight if necessary. Every product's pricing and description page has a chart of discounted pricing for buying multiple copies. Considering the sixty-plus pages of educational materials in every packet, copying is more effort than buying!

There is one piece in the lesson packs that we encourage you to copy as much as you wish, and that is the Total Control Practice Papers. Some of them need to be set on a very light copy to come out clear. The only restriction is that the copies can only be used in a classroom, open house or community service activity. The intent of allowing you to freely copy the Total Control Practice Papers is so it is convenient for you to have plenty on hand for your family's and student's use. Giving them away or selling them for profit crosses into infringement activity. We also sell 25-packs of the Total Control Papers for teachers, so you can get more official Total Control Practice Papers without buying a whole lesson pack. You should print this page and take it to your copy-store to prove permission to copy Total Control Papers.

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