This set of pages comprises a CopyLeft document.

CopyLeft is a concept that began with computer software but has now extended to other "texts" broadly defined that might have once applied for "copyright."  What is the difference? Well, a copyright makes it "mine."  I can sue you if you take my ideas, make them better, and then share them with other people. I don't think my ideas are perfect--I know they are not--they are a draft in process.  I will revise them until I get bored with them, and for them to be of use to you, you need to revise them as well. Suppose your revisions make them better for me?  I think that is fabulous, and everyone should benefit from your contribution. But that benefit should be intellectual/practical; it should not be financial.  If you want to sell the material on these pages, charge others to use them, or generally restrict their use, you have violated the spirit of CopyLeft.  If you want to improve them and share them with others, you have acted totally within the spirit of CopyLeft. And if you send me your revisions so that I can incorporate them here, the circle is complete and we are all better off for it.  Get it?

To learn about the origins of CopyLeft in the computer world, check out this site and the links within it:

Interesting questions I've been asked:  

So can I use this CopyLefted material as the "text" in an on-line class for which students pay?
I am not sure how I feel about this.  If it is a resource, then I think it is cool--especially if the teacher improves on the material and sends those improvements to me.  If it is the text for which students are paying, I am uncomfortable.  They could get the material for free, so what role is the "teacher" of the course playing in the academic content of the course?

I'm writing a handbook for a major publisher, can I list this CopyLefted URL as an additional resource?
Well, someone did this and did not bother to ask me.  Had they asked, how would I have answered?  I'd have been flattered and said yes.  I am all in favor of resources beyond the material in the text/course being made available to as many people as possible.  Because I was not asked I admit I was rather upset.  I guess this is the old "mine!!" mentality I should have recovered from when I was three years old--or at least when I started extolling the virtues of CopyLeft.

Can I use this material in my class?
I always answer yes, but I like to know where, how, and who is using the material.  And of course, I love to receive revisions.  Lots of people ask if they can use this material; however, no one ever sends me revisions.  If they do, you'll see that I give them credit.

Sandra Jamieson
Drew University,
Madison, NJ 07940