The Importance of Protecting Intellectual Property

The Importance of Protecting Intellectual Property (new updates as of 9/21/16)

There are many intellectual property considerations when entering into contracts or selling your products online.  I have some advice for fellow sellers that is useful when entering into contracts and/or marketing your products.  First, make sure you retain your copyrights and have the ability to enforce them by registering your copyright with the US Copyright office! You can do this online at for a $55 fee. The application is fairly simple to complete.

Within your Products:

Make sure you have a copyright disclaimer in all of your work. In all of my work, even my free items, I have the following on page 2 after the cover page (feel free to use!):

© YEAR Michelle Heisler: The Teaching Bank. All rights reserved. Purchase of this unit entitles the purchaser the right to reproduce the pages in limited quantities for classroom use only. Duplication for an entire school, an entire school system or commercial purposes is strictly forbidden without written permission from the publisher. The Teaching Bank, ADDRESS, EMAIL ADDRESS

Copying any part of this product and placing it on the Internet in any form (even a personal/classroom website) is strictly forbidden and is a violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). These items can be picked up in a google search and then shared worldwide for free.

I have also added the FBI Piracy seal to my TOU page. You can view the information regarding the use of the seal, the requirements and TOU here: FBI Piracy Seal Information

In addition to my TOU page I have included on every page of my products (even free ones):

© YEAR Michelle Heisler: The Teaching Bank

Having these identifiers on your products will leave no question that the work is yours and make it harder for people to outright copy things.

After Publication:

Do google searches on a regular basis for your name, store name, product names, etc. I have the best luck with "@Michelle Heisler: The Teaching Bank" since that is what is at the bottom of every page. You will be amazed that even with these notices on your products many people will upload them to websites. So many people just don’t understand how putting a unit on their personal website really gets it out there to the world through Google. Find an email address for the website, the individual, the school district, etc. and email them a DMCA letter asking for it to be removed. Here is a template letter that I have used and have had success with. Most people don’t honestly know they are doing wrong and immediately comply and apologize.


Subject: Notice of DMCA Violation

I have found in good faith belief that you have posted a PDF of my (PRODUCT TITLE) on your website which is not authorized by me, the copyright owner. By posting copyrighted material on the Internet you have violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). Every page of this document specifies, that I, (YOUR NAME), am the Copyright owner of this material and on the Terms of Use page (page 2) of the work I specifically state that this product is for one classroom use only and I do not authorize it to be uploaded and/or published on any website in any format.

Please remove this item from any place on your website immediately in order to comply with the copyright law.

The copyrighted work at issue is:

The information in this notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, I am authorized to act as owner with the exclusive right of the material that is infringed.

You can reach me at (YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS) for further information or clarification.


**You are free to copy and paste this letter for your use.

In addition to notifying the infringing site it is best to notify google as well so it is removed from their google search function. You can do that here: Google DMCA Complaint 

Other Resources:

Laurah J, over at the Tools for Teachers by Laurah J, has a wonderful, FREE, resource in her store called,  Understanding Copyright and Trademark Law: A Guide for TpT Sellers, that I highly recommend you download. It is wonderful for new and seasoned TpT sellers!

Nothing will protect you 100% from copyright infringement. There are always people or companies out there that will be willing to break the laws no matter the risks, but hopefully these things will make it harder and deter the people not willing to take the time. It may also help educate those out there that are truly unknowing and mean no harm.

If you are looking for some additional TpT selling tips please check out Erica Bohrer's Ed-Venture's phenomenal Blog post titled, "Getting Started on TpT". Click the graphic below!

The Teaching Bank will no longer be affiliated with

The Teaching Bank will no longer be affiliated with

Effective December 13, 2013, The Teaching Bank novel units will no longer be available at  I am still proud to offer my novel units and other curriculum products at Teachers Pay Teachers, Teacher’s Notebook, Tools For School, and Amazon.

Hopefully all my former Enotes customers will follow me to Teachers Pay Teachers, Teacher’sNotebook, Tools for School, and Amazon where they can continue to have access to my original teacher written and tested products! Thank you for your continued support!

Holiday Freebies Galore!

The third annual TpT Winter Holiday Tips and Freebies Ebooks are now available! Click on the cover pictures below to download the free book/books of your choice. There are four books available this year for grades Pk/K, Gr.1-2, Gr.3-6, and Gr. 7-12. Each book has 50 pages of wonderful tips and free activity downloads to make planning this holiday season a breeze. Check them out!

Unfortunately I was not able to participate in the 2013 edition of the Holiday Book but I was lucky enough to participate in the 2012 edition. Here are the free items I offered last year. Click on the pictures to download from my store:

I also offer some other Holiday/Winter themed items in my store. Check them out!

Happy Holidays!

NIne more hours to SAVE!

Just a little over nine hours left to save at the big TpT Cyber Monday-Tuesday Sale. Don't miss out!

The Cyber Monday and Tuesday Sale has Begun!

The Cyber Monday and Tuesday has begun!
At Teachers Pay Teachers The Teaching Bank is offering a storewide sale of 20% off every product!  Use the TpT Code: CYBER at checkout to take an additional 10% off your cart total. This code can be used sitewide! The TpT code and The Teaching Bank sale means you can earn a combined 28% off your The Teaching Bank purchases!

Happy Cyber Monday and Tuesday shopping!