Alison and Chris,
Title 17 of the United States Code, section 101, makes the following definition:
“Copies” are material objects, other than phonorecords, in which a work is fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The term “copies” includes the material object, other than a phonorecord, in which the work is first fixed.
It is well-established that loading a work into an electronic database is "to reproduce the work in copies." The section that Alison quoted, 106, provides that the copyright owner has the "exclusive right" to "reproduce the work in copies" subject to the limited exceptions of fair use.
I'd say that putting student work in the anti-plagiarism system is making it publicly available. But that doesn't matter, because a violation occurs even if the copy is not publicly available.
And I also disagree that this company is giving students credit for their work. They're doing the opposition. They're taking students' work and creating a proprietary database, which they then claim to own, and from which they are deriving revenue.
Under current international convention, it is not necessary to "register" a work to receive copyright protection. Unless the author explicitly puts the work in the public domain, the protection is automatic. However, most students don't know this or care much about it. This company is taking advantage of their ignorance.
The draft UVM IP policy affirms the fact that students retain copyright on everything they produce, even if it's required course work. This is typical. As a student, I think it would be rather awkward for UVM to charge over $100k for an undergraduate education and then tell students UVM or some third party owns what they produce.
At 2006-03-10 16:58 -0500 Friday, you wrote:
>Quoting [log in to unmask]:
>>If understand this correctly, professors submit papers to this web site to be
>>matched against a database of previous works. Then the paper itself becomes part
>>of the database for future matches. If that's the case, it's a massive violation
>>of students' copyright.
>I'd say, partly based on Alison's posting of the copyright bullets, that this is not the case, in as much that none of the material posted in the "system" is publicly available.
>And actually, if you want to really think about it... having your writing IN the system is in fact a way to add PROTECTION of your copyright, such that each time someone does see your paper in real life and copies a part of it, but then your paper is in the db and their teacher/prof then has it scanned, they can no longer take credit for your work, which to ME is the real point of copyright... CREDIT. I advocate copying music, movies whatever to a great deal... "whatever, I'll do what I want" - Cartman
>But when someone copies your stuff and claims they wrote/created it... that's what is worthy of complaint.
>Of course there's the bullet about reproducing the work... and that may be the one possible arguable violation, but what constitutes a copy?
>What about the 1000 monkeys in a room with typewriters? :)
>The copyright argument is a dance around bigger and better issues, IMNSHO.
>Perhaps one work around, for individual schools, is to have student permission in advance... or to request the services scan for plagiarism, but not store the new data without the permission.
>I just think the service itself is worthy of being put to use. In a perfect world, people wouldn't just copy stuff. When I was in HS, I must have had the fear really put in me, because I was always worried even about quoting material that I referenced.
>Chris [log in to unmask]"no comment"
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