Whilst it is a Saturday evening I’m happily sat at my laptop posting my first ever Guest Blog Post. The #Vamoose story has been of interest to me ever since it was published by @TeacherToolkit. The world of blogging, to which I am a rather late entrant, is changing at a rapid pace.
#Vamoose & # Skedaddle may just be the start of teachers being able to create, post and sell for a small fee the resources they produce. There is no such thing as a “free resource”, there is a teacher out there who has spent time and effort putting it together. I’m delighted to say that I have purchased Ross McGill’s new book and I have every intention of buying Alex Quigley’s and Tom Sherrington’s books, when they are published, as well. They may not be able to retire on the proceeds but I’d rather keep my money circulating in the profession then to big corporations. You may agree or disagree.
In this anticipated post, we hope to highlight the concerns that have been raised by the teaching community; allow others to catch up with what has been taking place; and of late, report back to everyone, regarding the outcomes at TSL headquarters today.
1. The background to #Vamoose prior to today's publication, to which the first half of this article has been premeditated. 2. And, the second half of the article, which has been updated today, following a meeting at TSL headquarters in London at 2.30pm on Saturday 5th October 2013.
In the original post, we highlighted that the resources that you upload to The TES website, no longer belong to you and that the TES’s Terms and Conditions are not clear enough. This was compounded by examples shared below.
TES Terms and Conditions: ‘You hereby waive any moral rights you have in the content‘.
As a consequence, the TES can continue to use the resources you upload and share, for free. However, one that has needed clarification for everyone, is charging customers to use TESPro in order to access resources. I will clarify this for everyone below on behalf of Michael Shaw who is director of TES Pro and former deputy editor of the TES magazine.
… to the TES parent company, is the “harvesting” of resources for their other partner websites that may charge for access to these resources. This includes sharing your resources on other sister-sites in the USA (Share My Lesson) and Australia (TES Australia) – without your knowledge and perhaps, even after you have removed them from the TES in the UK.
We (the teacher), freely share resources with everyone and anyone in education. The TES resources page offers:
“Over 662,382 free teaching resources to use in your classroom and school today.” Last updated: 04 October 2013
All uploaded by you and I …
This means that we could assume that no-one would make any financial gain from them. So, therefore the issue of Copyright and IP ownership should be irrelevant. However, since the online exposure of the current TES’s Terms and Conditions, this is now a huge issue for the online community of teachers here in the UK.
The image below by Julia speaks for itself… but will be clarified.
In a nutshell, (we) lose (our) rights once (we) upload a resource to their website!
(For example) “As time has moved on over the past 18 months, I have shared a total of 33 resources on the TES; all of them generating over 496,000 views across the globe and hopefully making an impact on hundreds of teachers and thousands and thousands of students in schools. Great!
These statistics in itself, are powerful.
Using the potential of social-media and blogging, I and a few others, have come to discover the ‘power of the people’, for making your own resources available to thousands and thousands of other teachers, for free. But what other business sectors would accept this? And also doing this for free?”
The TES did have the courtesy to reply to my original post and you can read the full story here. Hopefully, you will also be aware of the following (current) contractual agreement on The TES…
“With respect to all Content you post on the Websites, you grant TSL Education a royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, non-exclusive and fully sub-licensable right and licence to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, perform and display such Content (in whole or part) worldwide and/or to incorporate it in other works in any form, media, or technology now known or later developed. With respect to all Content you post to the Websites, you hereby waive any moral rights you have in the Content. You agree to perform all further acts necessary to perfect any of the above rights granted by you to TSL Education, including the execution of deeds and documents, at our request.
You will… immediately remove and notify us of any Content that does not does not comply with these Terms and Conditions or may infringe the rights of third parties. You agree to … Terms and Conditions.”
It says quite clearly above: "that content uploaded by the user always remains the property of that user".
So, why do they have the statement in their Terms and Conditions about The TES owning any uploaded content, if that’s not the case. This is completely contradictory!
… was that a small number of us and publicly shared resources with The TES and have also started to promote the sales of our own work on our own websites. In my case, a first book on a mere teacher-blog with little or no commercial potency. Furthermore, that some of the links we have shared on The TES resources page, redirect the user downloading the TES resources, from The TES website, back to our own websites for reading-references; not for financial gain.
… is the double standards that exist with regards to links to external resources within resources; resource pages and teacher-profiles within the TES website. There are many, many resources that link to websites where products are offered for sale, or where products are advertised. There seem to be some very cosy relationships between TES, some contributors (although raised today, not intentional), and their own websites offering products for sale.
We (have always been) happy to share freely amongst ourselves; helping the schools we work in and local networks. However, this is gradually changing speed with the introduction of Teaching Schools. Schools are funded to be leading providers for a ‘hub’ area and in return, either use these sums of cash to design and sustain CPD courses, yet quote other schools in return for a service level agreement (fee).
In terms of teacher-produced resources, the online landscape is changing and is yet a further example of grass-roots taking back control of the profession. (similar to #TeachMeets; #SLTchat). It would not take a genius to state, that the profession may bedivided by some the following options …
There are all sorts of further options to consider …
You will be aware that we were invited to attend a meeting with Lord Knight at TES HQ on Saturday 5th October 2013. As of here, the content below is updated based on the meeting today.
So, in true pop-star fashion; all of the team sent their apologies and I (@TeacherToolkit) turned up alone and late to an empty reception. Inside the meeting room, TSL had clearly gone out of their way to meet with us and discuss the teacher-community concerns.
A true David vs. Goliath scenario set the scene with some premeditated cartoon tweets I had posted before I arrived. As I entered the room, Lord Knight was browsing through my Twitter page and had just viewed this cartoon …
In attendance were:
Once the initial sensitive introductions were made, off we set … and then Michael offered me a drink.
Answers in red.
From what I could minute, there were 8 clear outcomes.
All in all, TSL and the team were incredibly hospitable and very open to our suggestions. I’d like to say thank you personally to TSL and the team today; on behalf of everyone in the teaching community who has taken the time to report their concerns. As a group, we can really shift sands. Our next task, is to collectively challenge the Secretary of State for Education! Grassroot teachers can do this, we just need a clear focus which is focused and not personalised …
TSL will make the necessary changes over the forthcoming weeks and report back. I left the meeting highlighting to The TES, that they have 3 options:
TSL: If I have made any of the above details/answers inaccurate, please let me know and I will readjust.