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Thursday, May 11, 2006

A plague on all you plagiarists.

More and more we are reading about bloggers having their blog posts ripped and re-posted on other blogs without any attribution or linking to the rightful owner.  Luckily I have no posts clever or funny to be worth plagiarising, but I have had some of my digital images copied and re-posted elsewhere without attribution.

We all struggle to find original or amusing things to write about, but when we succeed, copyright is automatically owned by us.  However, to set up a creative commons licence or assert our copyright by means of a simple statement on our written material or digital form (such as blogs) does warn others not to copy or infringe our copyright without permission and/or attribution.

Plagiarism is not cool, is illegal (without permission) and is disrespectful to the owner whose copyright has been infringed.  Once digital (web or blog) plagiarism has been discovered, it should be relatively easy to identify the ISP hosting the offending website and request them to remove any copyrighted material. 

Failure to comply with such requests to remove stolen material is theft, a breach of intellectual property rights (IPR) and could be construed as *passing off* if the plagiarist purports to be the person who authored the material.
The claim of *passing off* is especially relevant to established bloggers who write in a particular genre or style.

Any breaches of copyright are a serious legal issue and once the theft has  been established, can lead to the plagiarist being sued for damages, compensation and legal costs, etc.  Enough to make all but the most hard-nosed plagiarist back off and cease and desist from repeating the act.  This applies equally to ISP's who are well aware of the laws of digital or electronic copyright infringement.  Many ISP's when asked, will simply take down offending sites if they are blatently plagiarising other peoples digital copyrights.

Many ISP's in USA have signed up to the Digital Milllennium Copyright Act (DMCA) which amends secton 104 of the Copyright Act.   ISP's in the UK are also sensitive to copyright issues (and easier to get at since they are in the same legal jurisdiction as UK bloggers) as our UK Copyright laws also clearly protect our digital words and images.

There is a very good blog at:  http://www.plagiarismtoday.com
This guy (Jonathan Bailey) really seems to know his stuff in the USA and offers straightforward *how-to* action points on tracking down the ultimate responsible person or ISP in the USA.  His helpful advice also shows how to send a DMCA notice to ISP's hosting websites who are plagiarising other author's works.

"Luckily I have no posts clever or funny to be worth plagiarising"

Well, I thought this one made for a good/interesting read?
Thanks, Mr.D.
I dunno, I don't particularly care if someone takes stuff I put up onto the internet for free. I wouldn't put anything on the internet that I didn't expect to lose ... to misinterpretation and irrational consequence, if nothing else.
For those that don't see the point of Copyright law. You have to remember it exists to protect intellectual and artistic work as a commodity and to support the owner's right to benefit from that work commercially. For anyone who works in a creative field or is interested in doing so it is not just important law but fundamental..
I suppose one can hope that a riposte or particular insight may become embedded in culture like a Poe novel or Beatles song (dollar signs are dancing), I'm under no illusion that my words are that important. However, they are still mine. My blog has photos that I took and these are also mine, so I want recognition if someone decides to make postcards out of them. If I take info from another's website or blog, I always comment or link to that person's efforts and try to give full recognition. By the by, I am giving you a link, Luke, on my site.
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