I’ve been reading an informative post on the IPWatchdog blog “How to stop online copyright infringement“. Whilst in our line of work we think more often about issues that arise from plagiarism or lack of attribution there are certainly principles worth noting about avoiding copyright infringement.
The IPWatchdog article says:
“Copyright infringement is rampant on the Internet…”
and goes on to explain:
“Copyright infringement has nothing to do with citation or linking back. A copyright owners rights have been infringed if another reproduces the work without their permission with or without citation. In the minds of some copyright infringement is synonymous with plagiarism. Plagiarism, however, is the passing off of the work of another as your own without citation. Legally, however, copyright infringement is merely copying, with or without appreciation of the wrong. So those who cite and link back are not absolved from copyright infringement. They are misappropriating an original work and free-riding.”
The author goes on to explain what practical steps can be taken to try to prevent online copyright infringement (in the US).
Scanning other sites dealing with this topic I noticed again the use a tool that inserts an automatic citation if you cut and then paste their text. For example, visit the post “How to Handle Plagiarism, Content Theft Online“, then cut and paste something from the body of the post. You will see following your pasted text their citation and invite to read the full item.
Of course this isn’t going to stop plagiarism or copyright infringement, but it is a great tool to act as a reminder to attribute, and could also help ensure the correct citation is included! I’d like to find out how to set it up. Does anyone know?