Issue 37

 

The Forensic Teacher Magazine is volunteer teachers working to help teachers share forensic lessons, labs, and exercises. Each issue is free when it is published, and then for sale for only a couple dollars after it is archived. We depend on the sale of back issues to stay in business and most years we are lucky to break even.


If a friend asks you personally for a copy of a recent back issue you have, please share! But if a stranger asks you for one and you oblige it hurts us. Likewise, when you put a request on Facebook or a forum or a listserv seeking a particular back issue you hurt us twice because not only are you depriving us of a sale, but also others who see your post will ask whoever responds if they can have a copy too. And if you make back issues of our magazine available on your website for visitors to pick up like free samples at Costco you're hurting us. What can you do? If you see a request for a particular issue in a public space, and you have that issue, tell the seeker to visit our site and get his or her own copy. Both of you will be helping us immensely.


The purpose of this message isn't to remind you about copyright, it's to remind you how our consciences work. Teachers are inherently good people, and when we see someone in need we instinctively want to help. It's tempting to think, 'It's just this once,' or 'What's the big deal?', so we rest easy knowing we did the right thing by sharing. It doesn't intuitively occur to us there's a tangible downside to this act of kindness.


This year some of us donated the money we’ve made from tutoring to keep FTM going. It might be our last year of publishing, and that’s not only going to break our hearts because it’s been 14 years we’ve been at this, but also those of you who look forward to each new issue. Back issues are what keep us in business. An issue here, an issue there, and soon they all add up. If those issues are shared instead of purchased this magazine will go the way of bite-mark admissibility in court.

I feel you


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