curriculum copyright & usage
hemenway at jeffnet.org
Tue Aug 8 12:17:43 EDT 2000
> What part(s), if any, can qualified PDC use in their curriculum to
> teach and consult in permaculture?
Just to clarify: the use of the curriculum's subjects--the ideas--is not
restricted by copyright or anything else. Any PDC graduate--and perhaps
anyone at all--can consult or teach permaculture and its ideas. Only the
text of the Design Manual, permaculture handbook, and other printed matter
is copyrighted. That just means they can't be physically reproduced without
> If I have to "invent" a whole new curriculum, why should I call it a
> permaculture curriculum?
The confusion stems from the two meanings of the word "curriculum:" one
refers to the subjects covered in a course (which can't be copyrighted) and
the other refers to the text Mollison wrote to describe the material (which
is copyrighted and can't be reproduced without permission). Graduates are
free to teach permaculture any way they want, though ethically they should
adhere to the subjects that Mollison has chosen. And anyone is free to
write paraphrases of Bill's writings, re-word them, and add new material,
and we can quote him within reason (fair use). I suspect one could, at a
design course, read to students from one's own purchased DM [snore] and not
be guilty of infringement, as long as the source was named.
So it's not as dire a situation as it seems. BTW, the restriction on who
teaches permaculture may be unenforceable, since no institute has diligently
kept records of who is eligible, something the law usually requires.
If anyone has questions about use of copyrighted material in courses and
consulting, I can probably help, though we should do it off-list or in a
separate thread ("boring copyright details"?) to avoid charges of
More information about the permaculture