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Copyright Laws Strangle Creativity
I'm trying to author some free curriculum for elementary. In doing so, I'm trying not to step on large publishing house toes. But the problem is, it sounds like almost everything can be construed as copyrighted. Some examples:
1. In teaching writing, are phonetic representations copyrighted? For instance, putting the letter "c" and "h" together to teach a child that "ch" is a single sound. Well, that was put out over 30 years ago. So how do authors know where copyright starts and ends?
2. Where do story ideas start and end. If you want to author children stories, will big publishing houses trot out their attorneys if you put out a very short story about a boy who wears glasses and has wizard powers?
3. How about trying to write simple chemistry or earth science experiments for k-3? Are ideas on an a simple experiment copyrighted? I've read somewhere that an idea is common knowledge if you find it in at least 5 published articles or books. How does one know if the idea wasn't stolen?
These issues lead to paranoia. At some point, people then become too worried about copyright and don't put out works, especially ones that could be available for free under a commons type of license. I see the who argument and law as so vague that it takes an attorney to write a simple story for children. And how does that help society?