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Treat and apply information ethically: Copyright

Module 5: How will I use the information?



Plagiarism is using someone else’s ideas without giving them credit and is considered dishonest.

Copying, performing publishing, or distributing someone else’s work may also be illegal. Anyone who creates an original work--including books, articles, music, computer programs, artwork, movies, videos, choreography, or architectural designs—has legal protection under U.S. copyright laws. An original work is automatically protected as soon as it is created; it doesn’t have to be published or registered with the Copyright Office. Registering a copyright makes it easier to collect damages if infringement occurs.

Copyright has legal and often financial dimensions, where plagiarism is more a matter of ethics and academic reputation. The legal system imposes consequences for copyright violation, and an institution imposes consequences for plagiarism.


Violations of copyright

Just giving the original creator credit is not enough when you use a significant portion of a work.  You violate copyright when you fail to get the copyright holder’s permission to:

  • email copies of an article to all of your classmates.
  • download popular music that was put on the Internet illegally. 
  • make copies of commercial software or music to give to your friends.
  • download images to use on your own web site.

Copyright law protects the right of an author, artist, designer, or performer to earn income and recognition for creative works.




Creative Commons License

This contents of the Online IamInfoSMART may be reused with attribution. Please copy the following into new works based on the IamInfoSMART. The Online IamInfoSMART bthe DLSU Libraries is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported LicenseBased on a work at guides.library.uwm.eduPot of Gold Information Literacy TutorialTutorial for Info PowerUC Santa Cruz University Library.