What copyright/licensing concerns should I have about pro bono SAT prep tutoring?
November 11, 2009 6:50 AM   Subscribe

What copyright/licensing concerns should I have about pro bono SAT prep tutoring?

I am thinking about teaching a free SAT prep class for students at a failing school in my NYC neighborhood. I would like to use the official books published by the College Board as part of my curriculum. I would not be profiting off the classes and the prep books would be purchased by each student. What, if any, legal issues should I be aware of?

I have successfully taught SAT prep to disadvantaged students before, so my question is really about the legal issues involved in this undertaking.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (7 answers total)
IAAL, IANYL, TINLA ... as long as you and your students buy the materials I believe you are in the clear.
posted by jannw at 7:27 AM on November 11, 2009

I don't know what legal issues there would be if the students are purchasing books.

That said perhaps you ought to contact the College Board directly. They are located in NYC.

I would hope they are politically savvy enough not to oppose having someone prep poor kids for the SATs.
posted by dfriedman at 7:28 AM on November 11, 2009

The same advice you'll probably give your students: don't overthink it.
posted by chesty_a_arthur at 7:48 AM on November 11, 2009

Maybe we misunderstand you.

Why would this be any different than a college professor having his students buy text books? The professor doesn't need any license or run into any copyright issues by teaching from a textbook. The only way it would be a problem is if the professor bought one text book, photocopied it, and gave or sold the photocopies to his students. That would violate copyright.

If you went to a seminar presented by this College Board, video recorded it without permission, then screened the video tape for your students, that might be a problem.

If you are teaching a class to students who each buy a textbook, I don't see how there could be any copyright or licensing issues.
posted by paulg at 8:56 AM on November 11, 2009

Call it a free neighbourhood study group. As long as you aren't making money using or reproducing their materials for a larger group, I can't think of a legal issue with your plan.
posted by variella at 8:57 AM on November 11, 2009

Your plan: not a problem. The books are purchased and being used for their intended use.

The problem: you're almost guaranteed at some point to run into a student who wants to participate but can't afford the book. What are you going to do then?

Answer: buy them a book somehow. Not photocopy the parts they need. It's easy to kind of slip into doing the wrong thing for the right reasons, even when that was not your original intention.
posted by ctmf at 9:07 AM on November 11, 2009

As long as they purchase the book and there isn't any photocopying involved, you're fine. That particular book is much less money on Amazon than it is on the College Board's site, by the way.
posted by katie at 11:51 AM on November 11, 2009

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