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Q

How does intellectual copyright law affect me as a homeschooler?

Q

Why does Tapestry DE need to use LockLizard?

A

We view Tapestry of Grace primarily as a stewardship. Ultimately, it is a work of grace to which many people have contributed. It belongs to God, and not to us. And, it is a gift of God to the homeschool community: His precious, faithful saints.

As you know, the digital age is upon us, which has changed the face of copyright laws because it is increasingly easy for people to copy and/or distribute materials to others. Twenty years ago, it was very apparent to most people that it was illegal to photocopy a portion of a book and give it to a friend; most Christians would not venture to engage in such an activity. However, today, with modern electronic devices, many people, including Christians, think nothing of copying a CD and giving to a friend, or isolating a group of pages and printing content to distribute. Worse, our culture seems to be drifting towards a new expectation (even a demand) that we should receive digital content for free, because there is no cost (in their minds) with copying and distributing it.

While we would love to be able to provide our materials for free (because we'd love to help more homeschoolers), it simply isn't possible for us to support Tapestry users if we do so. There are many costs associated with distributing and updating Tapestry materials. We cannot maintain this ministry if we allow people to copy Tapestry materials and give (or sell) them to others. In a sinless world, we would be able to assume that most Christians wouldn't even consider doing so. Unfortunately however, we hear weekly (and sometimes several times a day!) from people who have purchased year-plans that clearly say "not for resale" (and thus such callers do not have all of the material they need, such as the Loom) and we find many instances of people selling these types of copies on the Internet. We regularly contact these people (which costs us valuable time), and some sellers are making honest mistakes and quickly amend their ways. However, many others state that they are going to sell these products regardless of the illegality of doing so.

At Lampstand Press, hearing these stories on a regular basis causes us concern. Beyond questions about Lampstand Press' viability, we pay royalties to contributing authors and to World Book for the use of their material. We have provided assurance that their work is not being distributed illegally, and need to keep faith with them. So, again in our effort to be good stewards, we found a type of software that does not allow for redistribution. LockLizard is the program that allows you to view and print the protected files you have purchased from Lampstand Press. It can limit the ease with which you do your daily work with Tapestry materials, and we get complaints about this. Again, we wish that a protection software wasn't necessary, but we feel that fair dealings in a fallen world demand some form of safeguard so that the illegal activities of some won't ruin the benefits for all.

Yes, there will still be those among us that print the materials and sell to other unsuspecting folks. We certainly can't fully police these behaviors, but we hope that this information will help each of you understand why LockLizard is the software that we use. Hopefully over time, people will better understand and reaffirm the value of intellectual property and become less willing to take steps that are not supportive of authors and artists.

Our goal in writing this article is to alert you to the challenges of piracy that are very much a factor for us in supporting Tapestry. You can help by praying for us. You can also aid us by verifying that those reselling Tapestry products have copies that are offered with that resale value included (this would be printed copies not associated with DE auxiliaries or supplements) if you buy them.

With your help, we will better be able to meet the needs of those that purchase their products new from Lampstand Press, as we attempt to offer more and more new and improved services in 2013. If you have any questions about this subject, or products that you've seen listed for sale, please don't hesitate to call Customer Service.


Author: Alex Holt
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