Because it is stealing… every time.


Sharing. It’s not just something I learned in preschool. It’s something I believe in. I believe we are better, together. Creating. It’s not just something I do because I want something to do. It’s something I do because I need to. The art inside my head, it tugs at my heart and I have to pour it out, into something, or it builds up and makes my head feel like a New York Subway station. Creating isn’t just about making stuff, it’s about sharing a piece of my heart.

This blog? It’s become my space. Our space.  A place to share. A place to give freely. A place where I hope, even one thing I create, will give back to another educator in some small way. Because that’s what sharing is about. Giving your time, your heart, your passion to help others be better. Because others? They help YOU to be better.

So this is personal. I can pretend it’s not, but it is. The posters here? They are not just graphics. They are me.


Yesterday I stumbled across a share on a teacher sales site. It seemed to look a lot like one of my designs, “Classroom Norms: In Our Classroom” that I have been giving away for free for a couple of years.  It was recreated. It was for sale. Ouch.   There’ve been more, others, the details are not important.

I’m not going to share the name of the store, that’s not why I’m writing this.  I just want people to be aware. To think twice about this.


 Then another discovery. Time time, a company, the second company this month.  Copying to sell.   Last time,  the company “accidentally” removed my watermark and was using the posters on their website, a paid subscription website.  This time, I got a similar response, “Sorry, we made a mistake.” (Mine is on the right, shared here on my blog, a couple of years ago.)  If you can share this with your students, and it sparks a discussion, please do.  Engage them in a debate. Help them understand.  Creative Commons. Intellectual Property. Share and share alike.  It’s not confusing.  It’s about respecting each other.


Every second we use digital tools with our students is a chance to educate them. To model. To guide. To facilitate their understanding that copying is stealing. So many times they want to use “Google” as the image source. Help them to see that that image? There is a person behind it. You wouldn’t allow them to copy their neighbor’s diagram on an exam. You wouldn’t let them trace another student’s work of art and display it in the hallway. You wouldn’t even let a kid make a photocopy of your lesson plan and turn it in for an assignment. Those things all sound crazy, right? Well, it’s just as crazy to copy from the internet. Just because copying a digital file is so easy to do, doesn’t make it right.

Let’s let this experience start a bigger discussion.  What can WE do as educators to prepare kids? Please share your best resources.  How can we help kids (and adults) understand “Creative Commons” and copyright?  

  1. Kathleen Diver says:

    Hey Krissy,
    Great blog post! I have often wondered where I could get some of your posters. You should contact those companies who have stolen your graphics and demand 1) payment for any that have been purchased and 2) that unless they get direct permission from you to see them, they need to take your graphics down off their site.

    I am pretty sure none of them wants a copyright law suit on their hands.
    I am sorry this happened to you.

    • Thanks, Kathleen. I just want this experience to help people think twice about the “copy/paste” that many kids think is okay in classroom work. We need to help them see that it’s wrong. I appreciate you reading my blog. :)

  2. This is Zac from PosterEnvy – we have pulled the poster in question and apologize whole heartedly. This was a mistake caused by one of our young poster designers who unfortunately didn’t understand that just because your poster design was listed on Flickr for “free” doesn’t mean that it isn’t still a copy protected work. This is not what we do at PosterEnvy – we strive to design original classroom posters and we know what it feels like when someone steals our work. Please contact me so that I can repair the damage.

  3. Krissy, I’m sorry that so many think it’s OK to lift your work and claim it as their own. I have a TpT store and would like to help you get that poster set taken down. Email me and I’ll get the contact info you need. Pam

  4. Krissy

    This points to a larger debate I have had with many folks about my images and why I do not put them in Creative Commons AND why I register them with the US Copyright office. We must protect our own works and hope that through blog postings like this, workshops, social media, and the like we educate enough folks about respecting others works. I have found in most cases if one simply asks permission the author more often than not will work with you.

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