"Plagiarism in any form is one of the most egregious violations of professional ethics an author can commit. Submission of plagiarized material, even by accident or through ignorance, is a severe infraction of the professional ethical code and can result in expulsion from the program. "
What is Copyright?
Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution states that Congress shall have the power to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
In other words…
Copyright should balance the rights of creators with the progress of society by:
What can be copyrighted?
All creative works in any medium are copyrighted at the moment of their creation. This includes:
Copyright is simultaneous with creation. You do not have to register with the copyright office or ©, although doing so serves as a reminder and may strengthen your case if litigation becomes necessary.
What cannot be copyrighted?
What is the Public Domain?
Works considered common property of all which cannot be copyrighted. Works in the public domain include:
If you violate copyright…
There are some exceptions to the rights of copyright holders that allows for use of copyrighted material without permission of the copyright holder. The most common of these exceptions is called fair use.
The fair use exemption allows for educational use of copyrighted material. In most cases, books, articles, films, and other copyrighted materials used in a class are covered by fair use. This means the instructor does not have to get special permission or pay to use the materials in class although, of course, credit should always be given. This also means any copyrighted material students may use in class presentations or papers is also usually covered by fair use.
The Fair Use Factors
Sometimes it is a matter of interpretation whether the use of a copyrighted work qualifies for the fair use exemption or not. There are four basic guidelines to follow:
When your professor photocopies and passes out to the class a chapter from a psychology book for you to read, that would be fair use. It is a short section of a long factual work (factors 2 and 3) being used for educational purposes (factor 1) that is not likely to divert sales away from the book (if you really want to read the whole thing, you’d have to buy your own copy. Factor 4).
But if your professor photocopies an entire book and has it bound as a coursepack that you have to buy with none of the money going back to the author or original publisher, the case for fair use is substantially weakened.