Hello fellow teachers,
I am just found this site and registered. Itīs amazing. Such a delight.
I have an English academy and I had a visit from CEDRO which is the same as CLA, the copyright body in the UK. They pointed out that we need a licence to photocopy documents from a book and I believe they mean from the Internet too.
I have designed my own worksheets over a period of twenty years and they are not a direct copy from a textbook. Naturally they follow the same grammar points as any book or teaching would. They want a certain amount for each child for their licence. I am not willing to pay this when it is my own work (which of course I havenīt registered as copyright)
My question is, has anyone else been in this situation or can they throw any light on it please. I eagerly await your answers.
Re: copyright laws
NOT A LAWYER
You really need a lawyer rather than a teacher, though it may be that some teachers have had experience of this.
If, as you say, you have not copied directly from any book, then you should have nothing to fear. I suspect that the onus will be on them to prove that you have infringed copyright (but check with a lawyer if this organisation threatens legal action).
Ask them for details of which books/sites you are supposed to have copied from. Certainly do not pay a penny before you receive this information. After you have received the information, check carefully to make sure that you did not, inadvertently, use somebody else's material. If you didn't, then consult your lawyer. Actually, if you did, consult a lawyer!
Don't be nervous if your notes are similar to those of others. It is very difficult, if you are writing notes or exercise for learners, not to say what several people have already said. If, for example, you have said that the present progressive/continuous is often used for activities going on at the moment of speaking and for arranged activities in the near future, you may well have used exactly the same words as half a dozen writers. That does not mean that you have stolen their words any more than it does if you use the sentence, "If you heat ice, it melts" as an example of a zero conditional.