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Neville Alexander Library (South Campus)

Copyright and plagiarism

What is copyright?

"Copyright protection grants the creators of works of the intellect certain legal rights over their works. These rights are both economic and moral: economic rights allow authors to profit from their work, while moral rights allow them to protect the integrity of what they create.

Copyright regulates what others may do to the owner's intellectual property. Since the underlying principle is to protect the right of authors to be acknowledged as creators and to receive remuneration for their work, only the author may do, or authorise another person to do, certain acts in relation to the work:
  • reproduce it in any manner or form
  • publish it
  • perform it in public
  • cause it to be transmitted in a diffusion service
  • adapt it
If you want to perform one of these acts you need to request a license to do so from the copyright owner or administrator. The copyright owner is not obliged to grant a license."

- from the DALRO website.

Copyright implies that an information source may not be copied in order to avoid buying the source. Students who make photocopies of text books in order to avoid purchasing them are breaking the law. Exceptions are made for fair use, allowing the copying of a part of the work for personal, educational or research purposes. Fair use does not apply if money is being made, the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the work as a whole is unacceptable, if the nature of the work is such that any copying is unfair, or if the copying of the work prevents sale or payment of some type. Remember, even with fair use you should always list your source of material - credit still needs to be given to the author/creator of the work.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism is using other people's ideas from books, journals and other sources without acknowledging the original author. While you are writing an assignment, you should take care not to write down information from a source and present it to your reader as your own. Copying a friend's assignment is also plagiarism, as well as copying work from the Internet. These are serous academic offences and you may face expulsion.

Avoid plagiarism by:
  • writing down the complete bibliographical reference of each source you use.
  • using quotation marks when you repeat another author's words exactly.
  • always giving credit to original authors for their information and ideas.
  • writing down exactly which ideas you found in which source.
  • using your own words.
Last updated: 22 April 2014 09:27