A Classroom Teacher on Copying vs Plagiarism

Jessica Ferris

photo by Colin Lieberman

Jessica Ferris is a writer, performer, and teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area. After reading the article "New York University Confuses Filesharing with Plagiarism", she wrote this response, exploring the process by which copying and plagiarism get mixed up with each other.

So an NYU provost confused filesharing with plagiarism. Many people do. How come?

I have a hunch that one of the contributing factors is the "Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten" Syndrome.

The Fight for Fair Use

QuestionCopyright.org doesn't normally focus on economic issues, concentrating instead on the suppressive effects of today's copyright regime on art and creativity. But sometimes a story is just too good to pass up... or in this case, the juxtaposition of two stories.

The first comes from Patrick Ross, executive director of the Copyright Alliance (a strongly pro-copyright group whose backers include the MPAA, NBC, News Corp, Disney, Time Warner, the Business Software Alliance, and Microsoft).

Ross wrote an editorial for news.com entitled "Fair use is not a consumer right". His editorial was a response to Computer and Communications Industry Association (CCIA)'s recent complaint filed with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), alleging that the copyright warnings shown before most movies and broadcasts are intimidating and inaccurate. Which they are, of course. In the words of the CCIA:

Translations of this site.

People sometimes translate pages on this site into other languages. Naturally, we encourage this, and you don't even have to ask permission (because making derivative works shouldn't require permission). But if you tell us about a translation you've done, we'll link to it from the original article, and host it if you want.

Recently, Hua Jin made two new translations into Chinese, which gives us a nice excuse to highlight all the translations here. If you know of more, or are interested in doing some yourself, please tell us.

So far we've got:


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