Wednesday, August 19, 2009

E-books, copyrights, and two FREE ebooks from TOS Magazine.

I have enjoyed buying e-books and downloading free e-books that are offered throughout the internet over the last few years.  I've found some fun activities and some great treasures!  I try to pass on these finds to others by sending links for them to download their own free copy, before the offer is gone.  Sometimes it's easy to forget that copyright laws apply to those little PDF documents, too ... especially if it was a freebie.

I asked my friend Heidi Strawser, the Special Projects Manager for The Old Schoolhouse Magazine and the leader of our Homeschool Crew to help me introduce the new e-book that The Old Schoolhouse has published on this very topic. 

From Heidi:

E-Books and Copyrights

Homeschoolers are a rare breed.  We are always trying to help each other and share with each other.  I have seen this played out, time and time again, since I began my homeschooling journey about 10 years ago.  I’ve had opportunity to both give and receive homeschool curriculum from friends and family – and, either way, it’s always such a blessing (either to receive something that we need, or to be able to bless another family).


With the recent insurgence of E-Books, though, I’d like to caution you ---
Even though E-Books are downloadable and able to be stored on your computer, a disk, or a zip drive, they are still copyright material.  What this means is that you cannot resell or even give away an E-Book (once you have opened it and used it).  That may seem silly, trivial, or insignificant, but it’s really a big deal.  Suppose I would purchase a $12 E-Book from the Schoolhouse Store … maybe I love it so much and I’m sure that my friend April would love it too … so, I make a copy of it on a cd and mail it to her … she loves it, and decides to print out a copy for her neighbor … who turns around and gives that copy to a friend  … who passes it on to her cousin … and so on and so on.  Pretty soon, that one $12 purchase has passed through so many hands (and the Schoolhouse Store is being ripped off because all those recipients of said E-Book really should have ordered and paid for their own copy). 

You’re probably thinking “What’s the big deal?  I could pass on a print book after I’ve already used/read it.” This seems like a valid point; however, E-Book copyrights are even stricter than print book copyrights for this very reason.  If you don’t understand this, I’d really encourage you to check out the newest E-Book project from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine®, E-Homeschooling:  Embracing the E-Book Revolution – because they feel so strongly about the value of E-Books, they are even making this E-Book available for FREE to anyone who wishes to read it.  The very last chapter of this book is written by our very own legal counsel, Susan Spann, and it deals with this very subject.

After reading the E-Book, if you still have questions, please feel free to contact me. 
-- Heidi Strawser


E-Homeschooling: Embracing the E-Book Revolution addresses more than just the copyright laws of e-books.  It also addresses storage, organization, and the benefits of e-books.  It's free, so download your copy ... and then tell your friends to come download their own copies. And remember that authors and publishers of e-books have the same rights and protections as those publishing printed books. 




And speaking of FREE e-books, The Old Schoolhouse Magazine has a few other freebies right now.   First, their most recent e-book asks Are Public Schools An Option For Christian Kids?, and it can be downloaded at this LINK.  (Click near the top where it says "Download HERE FOR FREE" in red.)  And if you think this e-book will be beneficial to others you know, send them the link to download it themselves, as well.


You can also download this Homeschool With Confidence Special Report article from The Old Schoolhouse Magazine for FREE.   Forward this link to others who need the encouragement, as well!

And TOS has put together two FREE brochures that you can download, print, and hand out to fellow homeschoolers and parents.  (I love that word ... FREE.   The email I received today invited us to print these two brochures and hand them out.  It's permitted to share these two brochures!) 

Keep an eye on the FREE section of The Old Schoolhouse Store for more free e-books from TOS Magazine.

I hope you'll find something beneficial in these free e-books, articles, and brochures to help inspire you as you begin your new homeschool year!  

Trusting in Him,

April E.


  1. Great post!

    Tristan from the Crew

  2. Great post! I linked to it on my blog as well.


    Fellow First Mate on the TOS Crew


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