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Published: Thursday, 12/20/2012

TPS settles lawsuit over copyright breach


Toledo Public Schools has settled a lawsuit filed against the district by a Worthington, Ohio, publishing company that claimed TPS “engaged in massive infringement” of the company’s copyrighted work.

The Toledo Board of Education voted Tuesday to settle the lawsuit filed by Align, Assess, Achieve in January in federal court. The district had signed a copyright license agreement with the company for books and materials that provide teacher guidance in meeting the Common Core education standards, a voluntary multistate effort to place uniform curriculum standards in schools.

The company claimed the agreement specified TPS could only use the works to prepare pacing guides for its teachers.

Despite the agreement, TPS had teachers transcribe the copyrighted work in its entirety, the lawsuit said. The district later posted the copies on its intranet, making it available to all teachers, the company claimed.

Align, Assess, Achieve argued in its lawsuit that TPS apparently purchased a handful of copies of its work “for the sole purpose of stealing” and then distributed it among teachers.

In the settlement, TPS agreed to buy $38,400 worth of books from the company’ pay Align, Assess, Achieve $11,200 plus mileage for consulting services, and pay $10,000 for the company’s attorney fees. The district also had to acknowledge and apologize for the use of the company’s material.

The board of education voted unanimously in favor of the $59,600 settlement.

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