Plagiarism and Piracy

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Jason_Bryan, Jul 10, 2004.

  1. Jason_Bryan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #1
    As someone who is involed in what may be called the creative industry, I design and develop Training and Development materials, I am more than aware of the cost of plagiarism. I spend a huge amount of time and resources on the development of courses and worksheet/books, only to find that within a short amount of time someone has copied it and is selling/using it as their own.
    I am sure the same feelings are shared by software developers and musicians who suffer at the hands of priates.
    I don't copyright my work because I don't believe you should beable to own ideas or knowledge, the only thing I ask for when people use my work is for them to reference my contribution. Is this too much to ask.
     
  2. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #2
    no, but life isn't fair either, and people are not so idealistic as you. if you don't copyright your work and protect your own IP and people steal you work, it is your own fault regardless or your ideals or morals. i guess what i am getting at is why are you complaining about people not referencing you when you didn't take steps to protect yourself. that is like someone complaining about why someone stole their car when they left it running in the parking lot.
     
  3. Jason_Bryan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #3
    Are you a supporter of DRM? I am a great believer in personal responsibility. It seems to be the norm for people to pass responsibility in todays society. I have worked for over 15 years with young people with social and behavior problems. I often use the outdoors as a training medium, e.g.. climbing, hill walking and kayaking. If I push someone off a cliff edge I would say that was my responsibility. If however if someone walks to the the cliff edge and falls over after being told that the cliff edge is a dangerous area and going there endangers their own safety I believe the responsibility is theirs.
    The analogy you use where the car is left unlocked and running in a car park is humorous, but lets take it a step further. Is it the old persons fault when after withdrawing money from the bank they get mugged? Should they have employed security guards to walk with them? The responsibility for an action lays with the person committing that action.
     
  4. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #4
    it not the old person fault that he or she got mugged. however, if the person lived in a bad area are they more likely to go withdraw money during a safer time, yes. the question becomes would a reasonable man hirer a security guard to protect them all the time? if it was within their means and their situation warrant it, yes.

    if the old person that got mugged lived in a nice neighbor with a security and got mugged. that situation would be unlikely and therefore a reasonable man probably wouldn't have done.

    what the point of the rant is most reasonable people that would not want their work copied, would copyright it. that would at least provide then protection in a society that has the rule of law. so the lawless people can be handled and held up to their responsibility. think of getting a copyright of like telling one of your kids the cliff is dangerous. calling your lawyer then would them falling off the cliff.

    i maybe wrong, please correct be but i get the sense you are trying to equate responsibility with morality? the thing is in our society law and morality are mutal exclusive.
     
  5. Squire macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #5
    Someone correct me if I'm wrong but I believe just writing something actually is an act of copyright in itself. I read somewhere that some people who submit novels and screenplays put one copy in a safe deposit box just in case someone decides to steal their ideas. Having written it yourself is sufficient enough, I believe, but putting it in the safe deposit box shows that it was completed by a certain date.

    As far as I know, you don't have to copyright everything. I think the law works in your favor there.

    Squire

    <edit> After a Google search, I found this interesting link:

    http://www.templetons.com/brad/copymyths.html

    In Summary

    *These days, almost all things are copyrighted the moment they are written, and no copyright notice is required.
    *Copyright is still violated whether you charged money or not, only damages are affected by that.
    *Postings to the net are not granted to the public domain, and don't grant you any permission to do further copying except perhaps the sort of copying the poster might have expected in the ordinary flow of the net.
    *Fair use is a complex doctrine meant to allow certain valuable social purposes. Ask yourself why you are republishing what you are posting and why you couldn't have just rewritten it in your own words.
    *Copyright is not lost because you don't defend it; that's a concept from trademark law. The ownership of names is also from trademark law, so don't say somebody has a name copyrighted.
    *Fan fiction and other work derived from copyrighted works is a copyright violation.
    *Copyright law is mostly civil law where the special rights of criminal defendants you hear so much about don't apply. Watch out, however, as new laws are moving copyright violation into the criminal realm.
    *Don't rationalize that you are helping the copyright holder; often it's not that hard to ask permission.
    *Posting E-mail is technically a violation, but revealing facts from E-mail you got isn't, and for almost all typical E-mail, nobody could wring any damages from you for posting it. The law doesn't do much to protect works with no commercial value.
     
  6. Jason_Bryan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2003
    Location:
    Sheffield, UK
    #6
    You are right about the fact that copyright is automatic when you can prove that you have produced something on a certain date. One of the first organizations I worked for would post copies of work to their head office via resisted mail so that if required they could submit it to the courts. As your quote pointed out it is a civil matter and therefore if you wish to pursuit cases of copyright infringement and you are self employed like myself, you just can't afford to chase it.
    The fact is people in the creative industries are loosing money because of theft. How many people do you know that download music illegally and blame the record industries for not allowing them to buy on line. I love the iTunes music store, and use it when I need, are most of it's users the same people that used to buy music on CD and then rip it? I think so. Theft is theft, whether ideas, music or software.
     
  7. King Cobra macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    #7
    I think you are correct. There was a Copyright Act signed around the early 1970s, in which anything you write or design is automatically yours under copyright. The problem is such a law is enforced selectively. Example: If I want to borrow a "<meta...>" tag from a website to test it out and to get to know its functionality so that I can use it later for something like keywords, most people don't have a problem with that, since people don't care to file a lawsuit for usage of a single line of HTML elsewhere on somebody's website. So copyright infringement there is never enforced. But if we're dealing with college plagerism, then copyright infringement there -- or simply poor citation -- is usually enforced.

    Then there's also the issue of personal willingness to seek at least acknowledgement of a work. I personally don't care too much if somebody uses some part of the code from my site for some beneficial purpose, just as long as if I find out someone is doing it, I am credited somewhere, even if it's just a <!--credit goes to [me] for the following code-->. Same goes for desktops. Other people, however, like to guard their own work like a hawk, and you don't want to mess with those people.
     
  8. Squire macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #8
    One of my students - one of the best students in the class, in fact - submitted a paper last month that was copied from an Internet site. The intro was original and the conclusion was original but the body was taken directly from the Net. I was generous and gave him 2 out of 10.

    Squire
     
  9. CaptainHaddock macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2004
    Location:
    Nagoya, Japan
    #9
    Jason, I applaud your refusal to wield copyright as a club to hit other people with. However, there seem to be some contradictions in your statements.

    "I don't believe you should beable to own ideas or knowledge," a laudable statement, but followed by "Theft is theft, whether ideas, music or software."

    I agree 100% that ideas and knowledge cannot be "owned", only used. Copying is not theft, legally or morally, because with theft you deprive the owner of the thing you stole; with copying you do not. Culture has survived all of human history without the notion of "copyright".

    Plagiarism is another matter altogether. It is deceit and fraud if someone's using your materials and claiming to be the author. It's commendable that you won't go after them for copyright infringement, but you should threaten them with action if they won't acknowledge your authorship. It's quite likely that if you file a claim (not expensive to do), the other party will rectify the problem to avoid trouble.
     
  10. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #10
    wow that was some good info, here is some more

    http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-general.html
    Do I have to register with your office to be protected?
    No. In general, registration is voluntary. Copyright exists from the moment the work is created. You will have to register, however, if you wish to bring a lawsuit for infringement of a U.S. work. See Circular 1, Copyright Basics, section “Copyright Registration.”

    Note: this applies to US copyright laws, the orignal poster is from the UK

     
  11. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #11
    my unversity subscribes to a service that makes deals with school and the trove the internet for papers. they keep the stuff in a large database. when students submit papers, they are compared and given a score then the professor decides on weather it is violation. this works for essay style papers as well as computer source code. to make a long story short in a class of 90 people, 25 people got caught copying papers from the internet after the first paper. however, certain cultures in the world do not look at cheating as other places do in the world. regardless of that fact it was still in violation of the policy of the school. anyways i just thought that was fun fact to share. i think you were very generous to your student. you could have probably seek alot worse punishment.
     
  12. Squire macrumors 68000

    Squire

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2003
    Location:
    Canada
    #12
    I heard about a student at a Canadian university (I think it was McGill) who won a case for not having his paper scanned by one of those services. His point was, basically, if he's paying x-thousand dollars for an education, his paper better be graded by a professor. I can't remember all the details.

    With respect to my student's behavior, unfortunately, a lot of Asian cultures do not see cheating/plagiarism the same way we do. Korea is definitely one of them. I used to loathe the task of exam proctoring simply because I would always catch somebody and, in most cases, they weren't punished enough (or at all).

    Squire
     
  13. superbovine macrumors 68030

    superbovine

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2003
    #13
    Well in this case, the papers where read and graded by a professor, they just want to catch the cheaters. my university about 3-4 years ago had a scanndal where all the engineering students were graduating, and going to work in the industry. It so happens basically the entire Engineering body of students was cheating off each other. They got caught because once they were getting jobs they didn't know how to do anything. Now, that is a pittfully way to get caught.
     

Share This Page