Copyright and the CyberWorld
February 6, 2013
This essay was written to to serve as a survey of part of copyright law. This essay is intended only to present general information about an interesting topic in law and is not legal advice for your specific problem. This essay shares some information on several topics in regards to copyright and technology: plagiarism of text, infringement of copyright when using photocopy machines, duplication of web pages and text on the Internet.
A polite assumption would be that people are not aware that copying is unlawful: it is a violation of copyright laws and the property rights of authors. This document gives a ...view middle of the document...
An author of a copyrighted work has the following exclusive rights: (1)to reproduce the work, (2)to prepare derivative works, (3) to distribute copies to the public, (4) to perform the work publicly, and (5)to display the work publicly
Plagiarism is defined as quoting or paraphrasing text from another author without both (1) the indicia of a quotation and (2) a proper bibliographic citation. The indicia of a quotation is either (1) enclosing the text in quotation marks or (2) formatting the text as an indented, single-spaced block.At a minimum, a proper citation must contain the author's name and enough information about the source of the quotation, so that the reader can easily find the quotation in the original. For quotations from a webpage, the author's name and the URL of the webpage must be given.
Amendments to the U.S. Copyright statutes in 1998 included a new section making it wrongful to "intentionally remove or alter" any one or more of the following items: the notice of copyright, the title of the work, the author's name and other identifying information about the author, the copyright owner's name and other identifying information about the copyright owner, or "terms and conditions for the use of the work." These new penalties for removing or altering a copyright notice give authors and owners of copyrights a new tool to prosecute plagiarists.
Under the doctrine of fair use, an author may make short quotations for purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, or scholarship, without first obtaining permission of the copyright owner of the quoted work. However, every quotation must be clearly identified with the source of the quotation and the name of the author of the quoted text.
There is little guidance that gives a precise, quantitative determination of the line that divides fair use from infringement. The concept of fair use is one of the most difficult topics in copyright law.
Post infringing copies on the Internet
The copyright owner has the exclusive right to publicly display the copyrighted work. That means the copyright owner does not need to explain to copyright infringers why the copyright owner objects to unauthorized public display of copyrighted work. However, there are several rational reasons why it makes sense to display an author's work only at the author's website.
Aside from legal implications of copyright infringement, reposting of material from other web sites can be an inconvenience to other users. The author may revise the original document frequently, but copies posted by other users will not be revised. The easiest way for everyone on the Internet to have the freshest information is to have only the author post the document. Other people can post a hypertext link to the author's document, to refer their readers to the most recent version of the document at the author's site.
The author may spend more than 100 hours of unpaid time to research, write, and revise one...