Fedex Sued for Printing Eureka Math Without a License
Eureka Math (also known as EngageNY) was once owned by the nonprofit, Common Core, Inc., which is now the nonprofit, Great Minds, Inc. If you click this commoncore.org link, it will redirect you to greatminds.org.
The nonprofit, Common Core, Inc., predated the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). Whereas CCSS did not originate in connection to Common Core, Inc., the nonprofit, Common Core, Inc., AKA Great Minds, Inc., it is proud to note that its products are Common Core-aligned:
ABOUT GREAT MINDS
A group of education leaders founded the non-profit Great Minds in 2007 to define and encourage content-rich comprehensive education for all American schoolchildren. In pursuit of that mission, Great Minds brings schoolteachers together in collaboration with scholars to craft exemplary instructional materials and share them with the field. Great Minds’ Eureka Math curriculum has won accolades at the state and national levels, and is the only comprehensive math curriculum aligned to the Common Core State Standards at every grade. The non-profit also just released Wit & Wisdom, a new English curriculum that taps the power of literature, history and science to meet the expectations of the new standards.
Great Minds even brags that Eureka Math/EngageNY is featured on David Coleman’s Student Achievement Partners (SAP) website. (Coleman and his SAP were at the center of CCSS development.):
Eureka Math is the only curriculum found by EdReports.org to be fully aligned to the standards for all grades, K–8. Lessons from Eureka are exemplars on Student Achievement Partners’ AchievetheCore.org and at Achieve.org/EQuIP. The version of the curriculum on EngageNY.org has been downloaded 13.5 million times, reaching every state in the nation.
I wrote about Eureka Math in September 2014 because the Louisiana Department of Education (LDOE) tried to promote it as “grass roots”– “LSU developed.” However, the copyright for Eureka Math has never been tied to LSU.
The copyright for Eureka Math belonged to commoncore.org, which has since become greatminds.org… which brings us to the purpose of this post:
The nonprofit, Great Minds, is suing Fedex for reproducing Eureka Math without a license to do so.
Great Minds allows members of the public to reproduce materials free of charge, so long as such reproduction is for noncommercial use. However, it appears that Fedex is reproducing and selling Eureka Math, and it refuses to stop because it says that it is only doing so as a service to school districts; in other words, Fedex maintains that it is reproducing Eureka Math to “assist school districts in the noncommercial use of the materials.”
It seems that the key issue is whether Fedex is reproducing Eureka Math on a case-by-case basis as individual teachers solicit the reproduction, and in such cases, charging only for the cost of printing and finishing– or whether Fedex is reproducing the materials in bulk and advertising that it has such materials available for purchase.
Even if Fedex is only charging for the cost of copies and finishing (e.g., binding), in the latter case, Fedex is soliciting business that it might otherwise not have and is therefore indeed profiting from Eureka Math without purchasing a commercial license.
Stay tuned to find out what the US District Court, Eastern District of New York, thinks.
It is funny when two major drivers of corporate ed reform, the nonprofit and the for-profit, lock horns over boundaries associated with the likes of CCSS curriculum promotion.