Fair Use Fees
Please read and honor our copyright restrictions. TOPS is a small, home-based, nonprofit publisher, and book sales are our livelihood. The essence of our copyright is one book may be used by one teacher (or one classroom) in any one school year. We operate in a spirit of good will, and presume that this is also true of our customers.
We ask individual teachers to either purchase their own new copy of each title or to exercise one of the options below, and not to loan, borrow, trade, give or resell to colleagues without compensating TOPS. Our suggested situations offer guidelines for compensation which we hope will meet your needs for economy and fairness, and our needs to cover our expenses and continue our work.
If you doubt that you are using TOPS within the intent of our copyright restrictions, please find the situation below that best fits yours, and calculate an appropriate contribution that you may donate at the bottom of this page. You may also email firstname.lastname@example.org to ask for help with your contribution, including requesting a PayPal invoice, or you may mail a check to TOPS Learning Systems, 724 Elliott Road, Paradise, CA 95969.
You are teaching TOPS materials borrowed from the library or from another teacher or homeschooler.
- If you are a classroom teacher photocopying lessons for many students, please compensate TOPS $0.50 per lesson, up to half the price of the book.
- If you homeschool, tutor, or otherwise work with only a few students, please calculate half those amounts.
You're one of two or more teachers assigned to use the same copy of a book in the same school year.
- Please advise your school or district that a copyright violation is occurring, and request that they take advantage of our economical license to copy option.
You teach children from several families in a homeschool co-op.
- If you or one of the participating families have purchased the book from TOPS (or from a retail supplier that carries our books), we have been fairly compensated under the same guidelines as for classroom teachers. Thank you!
- If you're copying used materials passed on from previous families or obtained on the cheap at a book fair, please compensate TOPS $0.25 per lesson, up to half the price of the book.
You wish to use a few lessons in a workshop or teacher training program.
- Thank you for introducing other teachers to TOPS! If you own the book and will collect the handouts at the end of the session, TOPS has been fairly compensated.
- If you will allow participants to take the lessons for their own use, please calculate $0.50 per lesson per teacher.
You're using TOPS lessons for an after-school or homeschool science club.
- If you have purchased the book from TOPS, we have been fairly compensated under the same guidelines as for classroom teachers. Thank you!
- If you have borrowed the book, please calculate $0.50 per lesson, or half the price of the book, whichever works best for you. If the club consists of only a few students, you may calculate half that amount.
You have been given for free, or have purchased cheaply, a used book.
- This violates the intent of our copyright restrictions, and we would appreciate a contribution toward our continued work. We suggest $0.50 per lesson (or half the price of the book) for classroom teachers, or $0.25 per lesson (or one quarter the price of the book) for homeschoolers.
- Please follow your conscience in this grey area. Thank you!