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Clarification on MaryAnn's new book (Becky Thorton & all)


From: Judith Decker (jdecker4art_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Jun 23 2004 - 09:38:15 PDT

Greetings ArtsEdNetters,

I am glad there was not a "flood" of angry mail over
MaryAnn's new book. I sure did have my share to answer
yesterday though. Most of the regulars on
the list know how MaryAnn gathers ideas for her books
so they were not surprised. At least THIS time I am
getting a book for all of my help (well deserved I
might add). Please no replies to this... I spent two
hours (from midnight till 2 am contacting folks after
she sent me that "announcement" and ALL DAY yesterday
- helping MaryAnn mainly)... I am done with this
topic...but it was suggested that I make a post to the
list so this will wrap it up for me. I know this will
eventually go out to the world so I am
trying to be careful - her goal is to sell books after
all and I don't want to jeopardize that.

In defense of MaryAnn. All that she is doing is very
legal. All she is doing is getting a spark of an idea
- she rewrites the plans and changes them quite a bit.
We all know ideas can not be copyrighted. When she
gets an idea from someone for her books - she does
credit that individual and she sends them a free book.
Many of you have received books in the past. She
doesn't have to give the free books. MaryAnn will be
contacting all you privately, too (all for whom she
has email addresses). She is no longer a member of
Getty list. If anyone wants to contact her - here is
her address (she asked that I
post her address to the list)

Now about the lesson ideas from Incredible Art
Department. I personally do NOT give permission for
publishers to use your ideas and have that stated on
the Lesson Plan page (I know some of you would like to
write your own book someday). MaryAnn and I spent all
day contacting contributors.... Many are no longer at
the addresses that were given and schools have been
contacted. The majority of the ideas are very common -
anyone could have written them - but MaryAnn wants to
give "credit where credit is due". I
have given her permission to use Becky Thornton's
Nylon Stocking sculpture as that one has been used all
over the country with great success (we both tried to
contact Becky). I believe Becky needs to be given
proper credit(I am very curious if anyone has used it
for primary grades though - grin - In my experience
wee ones had trouble bending/manipulating that stiff
of wire). I have also given her permission
to use Valerie's living paintings as that too is very
common (I even have Nancy Walkup's and Renee Berg's
version on IAD, too - as well as Sara Gant's). FYI -
Bunki and Carolyn have the stockings idea on their
Oddles CD and the sky hasn't fallen yet.

I did go back and look up the threads that MaryAnn
started and she did not state that she was collecting
ideas for a book. We all assumed that at the time she
was, though (she sends her apologies now - grin). All
should be aware that thousands (millions?) of people
are using your ideas each year via the Getty
archives...and how many of them are publishing your
ideas without your knowledge? Tweaking and rewriting
to make them become their own ideas? I wonder when I
see one of "my ideas" appear on a web site. Is it a
case of "like minds"? Maybe - maybe not. I do see my
links collections appear on other sites - using my
exact words. It is risk we all take when we put our
work out there. I happen to think it is worth the risk
and will continue to share as I want my ideas used in
the classroom. I want QUALITY art education in every

A final note on copyright... a Lesson Plan technically
can not be copyrighted. Read thoroughly and you will
see that I am right. Patty Knott
is in the process right now of writing a paper on
"ideas" - what can be used - and what can not - this
is mainly for her students. I am hopeful she
will share it with us. Grab all of the ideas you
can...ideas are free.

Yes....I will be giving MaryAnn a copy of this... I
want her to know what the world will be seeing about
this book. My spark of an idea will be in her
book - but my name will not be listed with it as it is
NOT my lesson plan (the idea is there - but not the
lessons).... My name better be somewhere, though, as
she could not have pulled this one off without my help
(she even admits that). I assure you, MaryAnn will not
be writing a ceramics book for elementary anytime soon
- as that was the thread the last time this
"controversy" came up on the list. She is however,
considering a picture book - all her own work (a grand

My apologies to MaryAnn if this puts a damper on this
new book.... I left last name off on purpose.

Judy Decker

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