Plagiarism and copyright

In this digital, millennial, modern world, there are many sources of information that people tend to think that information is free to use without an obligation to pay or even give gratitude to the author of the source that they used. People tend to do the “Ctrl + C & Ctrl + V” on the source into their word for a group project, term essay, etc. As Stewart Brand (1984) said “On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and lower all the time. So, you have these two fighting against each other.” (Brand, 1984). Actually, this behavior on using the information is wrong because they do not realize the importance of Intellectual property in using that information, resulting them to be penalized, accused, or even drop out from their institution for taking information without giving any credit to the source’s author. This brings that Intellectual property is vital in the nowadays human environment by definition it is the intangible property of the result generated by the Human property. Intellectual property works as the warranty for the authors that their work will be prevented from plagiarism actions. It is the property that forces anyone whose fancy to use it must to give recognition to the author that created that information. It stands for three different applications: Copyright, Patent, and Trademark. Copyright is the IP (Intellectual Property) that gives an exclusive right to the creator for a limited period. Meanwhile, the patent is the right that was given by the government to acknowledge creator’s innovation and excludes others to admit it as their own. Trademarks, on the other hand, is the proof that dignified a good or service of one provider from another (the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region). In this essay, it will be focused on the copyright, commonly bad behavior that violates the fair use of copyright and ways to prevent those behaviors.

Copyright as mention before is the exclusive right that is given to creator for a limited period. The exclusive right may include on legal right to recreate, trade, or distribute their creation for a limited time. It is needed in the reason for protecting creator’s creation from being used wrongly by the public without giving acknowledgment to him. In order the author can get that exclusive right, His/her idea must be fixed in any tangible medium of expression, it can be book, blueprint, source code, etc. (Crash Course, 2015). The history of copyright is founded back on the 18th century as the English parliament reaction to printer’s monopoly that copying book without giving any credit to the author. Copyright laws were designed to preferentially exploit and incentivized creations of human’s activities. As a result of the problem that the English parliament encountered, it produced the first ever copyright law, The “Statue of Anne” (Patterson, 1965). It gave the publishers rights for a period of time before it expired. Following the “Statue of Anne”, in 1787, United States certified the copyright legislation (The Copyright Clause of the United States) by the reason is “To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to Authors and Investors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.” (U.S. Constitution, 1787). It was later used in German states later in the early 19th century, leading it to the proliferation of books and enhanced knowledge (Höffner, 2015).

Nowadays, Copyright law protects the works of authorship following of 8 categories that are listed in the copyright act (17 U.S. Code § 102): Literary works; Musical works; Sound recordings; Dramatic works; Pantomimes and choreographic works; Pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works; Motion pictures; Architectural works (17 U.S. Code § 102, 1976). But there are some things that cannot be copyright like a fact, scenes from a fable or a folklore, and even works done by government are not covered by the copyright. Moreover, according to the 1976 copyright act, ownership initially goes to the author of the work, but the limitations of it only give the right to the human being, not to animal, robot, and employee (Crash Course, 2015). It may be understood if animal and robot do not have a copyright since it is only applicable to the human being, but it is a different story with the employee, the reason employee does not get copyright because he/she works for hire and get compensated for that work, so the author is the boss or the company (Crash Course, 2015).

Furthermore, the copyright enforcement might be hard to be realized in the modern days. Take an illustration, on one day, someone is studying at his room, he is really bored and start drawing about Naruto that published by Shueisha, and because he loved it so much, he would like to have a T-shirt from his own Naruto drawings and use it on the other day without any notice about copyright existence (Crash Course, 2015). According to 17 U.S. Code § 503, “The copyright act allows for the impounding and destruction or other reasonable disposition of any infringing work” (17 U.S. Code § 503, 1976), forcing him to destroy his newly made T-shirt. Not only the illustrated actions, but people in daily life activities also tend to forget about the existence of the copyright and disobey the copyright law. According to Ian Hargreaves, “The copyright regime cannot be considered fit for the digital age when millions of citizens are in daily breach of copyright, simply for shifting a piece of music or video from one device to another. People are confused about what is allowed and what is not, with the risk that the law falls into disrepute.” (Hargreaves, 2011). In other words, when the law becomes so broad and deep, people tend to not give any attention to it; when the law cannot catch up with technology development, it declines its legitimacy (Crash Course, 2015). Regarding this problem, copyright law has developed to have exceptions and limitations to adapt and work with the digital age. There are some of the specialized copyright exceptions, but fair use is the broadest, most controversial, most famous, and commonly used copyright exceptions (Crash Course, 2015).

According to Iowa State University Research Found, that fair use defends “avoid rigid application of the copyright statute when, on occasion, it would stifle the very creativity which that law is designed to foster.” (Iowa State University Research Found, 1980). But to have a fair use defense, he/she have to be admitted by the court or told by the judge because fair use is an affirmative defense, it has to be something proven before being admitted of fair use. There are 4 factors that court use to determine fair use according to Stanford university. Firstly, the Purpose and the character of the use. Noncommercial and educational purpose are usually a fair use. The transformative use of the information also be a consideration of fair use, example: Google books convert books into e-books to be searchable and discoverable that is transformative use with public benefit (Stim, 2017). Secondly, the Nature of copyrighted work. The more innovative the work, the more protection is given. The more general and informational the work is, the less protection from fair use defend (Stim, 2017). Thirdly, the amount and substantiality of the portion taken. There are two parts of this factor which are Quantitative Substantiality and Qualitative Substantiality. Quantitative Substantiality includes the numbers around the source, example: how long is the video or music and the pages of the website and book. Meanwhile, Qualitative Substantiality this includes the use of the most important part of the source (Stim, 2017). Lastly, the effect of the use upon the potential market. This cover whether the use is affecting or decreasing the creator’s ability to make money (Stim, 2017). With this fair use policy, there are many students tend to manipulate the purpose for fair use especially in education background to be their reason of using the source without giving credit to the creator either they know it or not, this commonly bad behavior is called plagiarism. Plagiarism word is originally generated from the Latin word “plagiarius” means ‘kidnapper’ from the 17th century (Merriam-Webster, 2018). Plagiarism also projected the “free-rider problem” that has the same perception of taking the benefits from someone’s creation without giving a pay, or in the intellectual property area is a citation that gives a credit to the creator or author who’s the product of creativity is utilized.

There are some factors that cause plagiarism. The first reason is the feel that plagiarism is just a small thing to teachers. When students are having their term paper, they usually use “copy and paste” on information that they really like to be in the part of the essay and think that a little “copy and paste” will not affect their score, especially when the student has done most of the part of the essay and just need a perfect conclusion that they found it perfect in the website, this happened to one of the famous YouTuber “TheOdd1sout” in his “Times I Plagiarized video” (TheOdd1sout, 2016). Secondly, the lack of knowledge that leads to plagiarism. For this reason, it is based on my experience. In Indonesia back then, there are no rules about plagiarism and no one telling me about copyright school ever since I was at the educational level. Until I finished my high school, I was never be alerted to this kind of infringe. I was doing all of my essay based on “copy and paste” action and “seasoned” it with some good word in the end or at the beginning. That time every long essay and presentation or even projects was really easy with that action targeting to plagiarize the whole Wikipedia page and the teacher still gave us great marks without giving us a notice about plagiarism because they do not notice as well. But here, all feel different, I do not know how to cite information to avoid plagiarism and was really stressed because this is my first essay and I have to cite things, write, struggling to get minimal 2000 words in this essay. Because of all of that reason, I want to challenge myself to write an essay about the “Intellectual Property Rights and Research Ethics”.

There are two ways in avoiding plagiarism and the first one is with citation. Citation means giving the credit to the author or creator of the source that is used. There are three method in citation according University of Pittsburgh. The first method is APA (American Psychological Association) 6th Edition. Originated in 1929, APA citation was created by psychologists, anthropologist, business managers to establish a simple set of rules and procedure in codifying many components of scientific writing to increase the ease in reading comprehension. There are two types of APA citation which is the in-text citation and Directly quote from the text.

In-text Citation is citing with the format as ……… (Author’s last name, Date of publication).

Example: ………… (Lai, 1980).

Direct quote from text is citing with the format as “……” (Author’s last name, Date of publication, Page No.).

Example: “………….” (Lai, 1980, Pg. 10) (University of Pittsburgh Library System, 2018).

Secondly, MLA (Modern Language Association) 7th Edition. Used in humanities, especially on language and literature. Features brief parenthetical citations in text to an alphabetical list of information cited that appears at the end of the work. You have to do in the text

Citation with this format: ……… (Author’s last name Page No.), and make a works Cited Page at the end with this format:

Author’s name (Last name, First name). Book Title. Publisher, Year Published. Method (University of Pittsburgh Library System, 2018).

Lastly, Chicago 17th / Turabian 8th Edition. Documentation style that was published by the Chicago University Press in 1906.

This style incorporates rules of grammar and punctuation common in American English.

There are two basic documentation systems which are notes and bibliography style and author-date style. Notes and bibliography style are Preferred in humanities, including Literature, History, and Arts. This style presents bibliographic in notes. Author-date style is Used in Physical, Natural, and Social Sciences. Sources are briefly cited in the text, usually in parentheses, by Author’s last name and date of publication (University of Pittsburgh Library System, 2018). The second way to avoid plagiarism is with VeriGuide. VeriGuide is a service that is provided by most of the universities, including CUHK in the next step of educating University Students and prevents plagiarism. VeriGuide Uses its own text similarity detection engine to assists in the detection of plagiarism for educators (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2005). There are some features in VeriGuide that promotes the development of CUHK students writing skills including Originality reports and Readability statistics that are given to students and teacher (Originality reports only) to be reviewed and improved the writing skills before the student continue to submit for learning and improvement (Department of Computer Science and Engineering, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, 2005).

As a verdict, Intellectual Property Rights should be learned by students starting from the elementary school or junior high school to educate them about there is the existence of The Intellectual Property Rights in the form of Copyright, Patent, and Trademark. The reason to teach them about this is to prevent them from not knowing the real application of Copyright, Patent, and Trademark; and do plagiarism with the reason that they do not know about the existence of IP (Intellectual Property Rights) and the easiness to plagiarize others creation by using “Ctrl + C & Ctrl + V” or can be called “Copy and Paste” action. Legal Institutions also responsible to teach their students on how to cite sources in order to give credit to source creator and avoid plagiarism. Not only Legal Institution held responsible to teach about IP and Citing, but Legal Institutions can also support them by providing plagiarism detection, Originality report, and Readability statistics service like VeriGuide to help them develop their writing and citing skills better.

This essay was donated by a student on 20.11.2018 in exchange for a free plagiarism scan.

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