Hi guys. Martina here. I am writing this post because I AM REALLY MAD!

I have about 2 hours of time that I can squeak out of my days (meaning, my days and nights…2 out of every 24 hours…) to work on the computer. Would you like to know how I spent that time today?

TRYING TO TRACK DOWN PEOPLE THAT HAVE UPLOADED MY COPYRIGHTED PRODUCTS TO THE INTERNET. It makes me so mad, I could scream! Or cry! I will probably do both by the time I am done writing this!!

If you purchase something from me, it is NEVER okay to post it publicly (on sites that aren’t protected by passwords) online. This means it is illegal to post it on class websites because you want your students to be able to access them at home. It is illegal to post it on slidesharing websites because you are a college professor and need to be able to access the slideshows from many different computers because you teach in different rooms. It is illegal to post them in google documents with sharing preferences to “public on the internet” so that you can access them from home or from other devices. IT IS ILLEGAL TO UPLOAD THE THINGS THAT I HAVE PUBLISHED to a non-secure, non-password protected website. If you ever have a question, please email me directly to find out if what you want to do is okay. If you want to adapt and re-share something that I have shared for free on my website or on TpT (like the Breakout that I shared yesterday, or the reading that I shared last week, or the Breakout I shared last week, or…or…or…), then please contact me directly via email for permission.

The same goes for novels. IT IS ILLEGAL to upload PDFs of novels or audio versions of novels (even if you are the one reading them) to the internet.

What to do when you find one of my documents online or the PDF or audio version of a novel that you are familiar with? Contact the author and/or copyright holder so that they can deal with it immediately. Don’t download the product. Don’t share the link with your other teacher friends first so they can get it before it’s gone. It’s illegal and IT IS MEAN!

Would you go to a store and buy one book but shoplift 34? NO! It’s illegal!

Would you sign up for cable and then wire in your 3 best teacher friends? NO! It’s illegal!

Would you order drinks for everyone at the bar and then leave without paying? NO! It’s illegal!

I am a real person and THIS HURTS MY FEELINGS!!

51 replies on “Martina Bex is really mad!!!

  1. Martina, I am so sorry that is how you spent those precious hours of your day. You are more than generous with the items you regularly share. You are an inspiration! Many of us have great ideas but you have the ideas and make them tangible and accessible. The items you do charge for are more than fairly priced and worth every penny. I hope as many people who avail themselves of your generosity look at their sites and respect the copyright

  2. You put so much work into what you do. I’m sorry that this has happened and if I ever see it I will definitely notify you immediately

  3. So sorry that this has happened to you today. Thank you for all that you create and share with us.

    1. Sorry for the time you spent trying to track down the ones who did this with your materials. I hope everything was resolved to your satisfaction.

  4. I am so sorry this has happened to you. You are so awesome sharing and helping other teachers out. It is good to remind people that it is not ok to post others work online. I hope you do not get discouraged because you do a great job!

  5. I am so sorry that has happened to you! I so appreciate all the wonderful materials you create you and you deserve to be credited every time!

  6. I am very sorry that this happened. You are so creative, and I feel so lucky to be able to read your blog, learn creative things, and benefit from the free things that you share with us. I hope that you don’t have to deal with this again.

  7. So sorry this happened! And holy moly, checking right now to make sure my student-accessible Dropbox links don’t have your stuff (me not having thought about it that way). Thank you for your perspective and all your hard work!!!

  8. Okay I have to ask to make sure because I was going to do this, this week. If I’ve gotten something from you am I okay to post it to my google docs account that is set just for myself? I feel very strongly about these things and would never want to do something unethical. If I have or ever do, please tell me so that I can correct it!

    I am so sorry that this is happening to you! Jennifer

    Sent from my iPhone

      1. Doublechecking my things too! Thank you for clarifying the permissions so we can check that we’re not unintentionally sharing things unfairly. I appreciate everything you do for the language teaching community.

  9. Martina, you are the best and your work is so valuable to us! I am mad on your behalf and I don’t want you to get a bad taste in your mouth because I don’t ever want you to stop doing the amazing and generous work that you do!!

  10. I’m so sorry this happened to you Martina! That seems very unfair. Although, too be honest, I didn’t realize giving our students access through Google classroom or another source to the documents we had bought was illegal. I have not done that, but am glad to know so I won’t! Thanks again for ask of the hard work you do. I have changed the way I teach because of you!

    1. As long as it is password protected, it’s fine! Some teachers post links to files stored on google drive publicly, and no password is needed to access them. If you use Google Classroom, just make sure that a password is always required to access!!

  11. So sorry this happened. I just found more of my products online yesterday and have been trying to work up the energy to contact the person (I have a bad cold and feel like I can’t even). Fellow teachers, please remember that curriculum writers do NOT enjoy asking you to take products down. Every time I find something of mine posted illegally online, I get a horrible knot in the pit of my stomach — first because someone is disrespecting the hours of work I put into a product, and second because I have to confront a colleague about their unprofessional behavior. It makes me exhausted, frustrated, angry, and discouraged.

  12. I am so sorry that you have to spend your time doing this! You are so generous and you are such a blessing for all of us! Know that you are very much appreciated!!

  13. NOOOOO! You of all people do NOT deserve this kind of disrespect! I hope it was an “error” meaning a teacher who did not really understand the copyright laws….and that it will not happen again. I’m so sorry Martina! Your work has been a support system and VALUABLE resource for so many teachers. You have our love, admiration and support, you are NOT alone! Please let us know what we can do to help!

  14. Martina —
    Thank you for sharing your feelings with us. I hope that the people who are doing this illegal activity will stop. I cannot imagine posting your materials or sharing them as you are seeing your materials shared — but I think your post reminds us of how important it is to respect the legal issues we all face in this area. Your materials are so wonderful and you share so many things for free or for a very affordable price. I appreciate your work, your creativity, your passion for teaching and your strength to continue providing new materials regularly. You are an inspiration. I’m sorry that some people are so unethical and continue to use your products illegally.

  15. Grrrr. Frustrating. Sorry to hear. I am very thankful to you for all of the ideas you provide and inspire.

  16. I’m sorry you have been having to deal with this, but thank you for the reminder about how not to share materials and, more importantly, thank you for your honesty about how this has affected you. I appreciate your willingness to share ideas and thoughts on teaching and, indirectly, my students do too.
    Take care, God bless, and I hope it gets easier soon.

  17. Hi Martina! So sorry this has happened to you! May I suggest a small editing change in your post, for clarity? I was confused at first when I read the phrase “a non-secure, password protected site,” and it seems “non-secure, non-password-protected site” would make more clear what is legal to do. I normally wouldn’t be picky about little things but in this case the little thing makes a big difference! Thanks again for all you do for our profession — I learn so much from you!

  18. Martina, that is horrible. Your work is incredible and fairly priced and I’m so sorry you are going through this right now. Thank you and I hope you know what a positive difference you make for us and our students.

  19. Martina I am so sorry that you have to deal with this. Please hang in there and know that we are all sending you positive vibes.

  20. This is terrible! I am so sorry that is happening to you! I value the lessons and activities that I purchase from you so much, and it makes me sad that people are sharing those resources without paying. You have been such a help to me and to my students!

  21. Keep producing content Martina – you’re a rock star! Too many people share stuff in the name of “education” as if it were open source; it happens to all of us who produce. Folks don’t realize that for every “lesson” or digital product that you put out it represents $ invested and time away from your family to make that available to others. You deserve to be paid for the paid products you pour your heart and expertise into. Keep letting people know it’s not cool… that’s the only way it will slow down. The CGI family is rooting for you!

  22. How many workshops have you been to in which the speaker says that hardly anything that she/he has produced is original? It has been stolen, says the speaker. The audience is then encouraged to do the same. The audience laughs and life goes on. No one challenges the speaker. I experienced this again for the umpteenth just eight days ago, with a nationally known speaker. That may just be a need for greater accuracy in expressing oneself. But it is not unrelated. Thanks for addressing the issue.

    1. That’s a great point! It IS a common ‘joke’ that great teachers are great thieves; that we beg, borrow, and steal ideas from others…everyone knows what is meant, but you are right! It sends a subtle message, even if subconscious, that it’s okay to steal ideas in the name of teaching. AND on a related note (to your post)…it’s NOT COOL to take and share ideas and not credit the person you got the idea from! Crediting the source creates a genealogy for the idea and allows us to trace where it came from, how it has morphed, and if it is true to the original concept (sometimes it matters, sometimes not). Thanks for sharing 🙂

  23. I am sorry to hear this. I am curious what you would recommend in my situation as far as “sharing” material goes. I share a classroom with a colleague who teaches mostly elementary while I teach middle school. Of course, I would not share things like worksheets, unit plans, and the like with her, but what is your take on things like posters? It came to my attention the other day that, because we share the room, anything I put up could potentially be used by the other teacher. I will not know if it is being used, but it is always a possibility and I can’t imagine putting up 2 of everything. Your take?

  24. Let me add another one. It is ILLEGAL to photograph an entire book and then use the photographs of it instead of buying the books for your class. And in the feelings-hurt category, this is double bad when you do it while standing in front of the author. I am not making this up.

    It’s also ILLEGAL to take the content of an entire book or copyrighted piece of writing and “just make it into a PowerPoint” to use in class. Think about it. How much do people charge when they DO sell PowerPoints of things? A lot more money than for a single book. Why? Because the use the purchaser gets fro that item is much greater.

    The legality of using an Elmo or document camera on a single copy of a book is also a very gray area. This could be interpreted as what copyright lawyers call “broadcast”. Basically, if you end up being able to do something with the book by using technology of some kind (a photocopies, a document camera, the Internet) that allows a different use of the material than what you could have done with what you bought without using any technology, you need to think about that. If you buy one copy of a book, you could not have 30 kids read it at once, but if you project it, that changes. And the author is still only being compensated for a single copy.

    Write a TPRS novel and you will have a better sense of this. Before you do (I was the same way) you feel like making materials or writing a book is just something someone does in their spare time, no big deal. Spend your own time and effort making a tight, high-quality teaching product and your opinion may change.

    1. You betcha I am 🙂 I used CC licenses for awhile and got away from it; this post was a great reminder for me to start using them again, at least on my shareable materials!!

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