This Page Outlines Our Copyright And Plagiarism Policy
What Are Copyright Laws?
Copyright laws were designed to protect IP (Intellectual Property). By using somebody’s original expression of ideas, words, content or information you are in breach of Copyright laws and committing an illegal act. Copyright law covers written words, video content, images, or a variety of other media. Since 1989, original works can be considered copyright protected with or without a copyright trademark symbol (the © symbol). Prior to 1989, work could only be considered protected if the symbol was present.
It is a fact that today those who reproduce copyrighted material improperly can be prosecuted in a court of law. The content does not have to be exactly the same, even if the content reproduced can be attributed to another source or it can be shown to be substantially similar to the original it is in breach and a violation of copyright law.
What Is Plagiarism?
Plagiarism is using someone else’s original content, words or images and claiming them as your own without giving credit to the owner. Anytime you take work from an original source any give no credit you are stealing somebody’s original work and you have committed an act of plagiarism, by doing so you have violated copyright laws.
What Is Copyscape
Copyscape is an online plagiarism detection service that checks whether similar text content appears elsewhere on the web. It was launched in 2004 by Indigo Stream Technologies, Ltd. We regularly do a Copyscape (www.copyscape.com) internet scan to determine who has copied our original content and have claimed it as their own content. We then contact these websites containing our content to have the articles removed. In some cases, we have contacted the web hosts, whois, and the search engines to get these offending websites de-listed or shutdown and have successfully had our content removed. Google take plagiarism very seriously, and we have been successful in having sites who plagiarize our content shut down for this reason.
Does It Matter How Much Was Copied?
How much was copied from a website is not important in determining whether or not plagiarism is a crime. If even a small part of a work is found to have been plagiarized, it is still considered a copyright violation. However, the amount that was copied probably will have a bearing on the severity of the offence and therefore punishment. A work that is almost entirely plagiarized will almost certainly incur a much greater penalty than a work that only includes a small amount of plagiarized material.
If I Cite The Source, Can I Still Be Accused Of Plagiarism?
You are allowed to borrow ideas or phrases from other sources provided you cite them properly and your usage is consistent with the guidelines set by fair use laws. As a rule, however, you should be careful about borrowing too liberally – if the case can be made that your work consists predominantly of someone else’s words or ideas, you may still be susceptible to charges of plagiarism. Also, if you follow the words of a source too closely, and do not use quotation marks, it can be considered plagiarism even if you cite the source.
If you are using the article commercially, for example, to make money, that is not fair use and is certainly considered plagiarism. If you claim you are a “non-profit website” and you have Google Adsense ads on your website, that is considered commercial use!
Court Costs and Legal Punishments
Most cases of plagiarism are considered misdemeanors, punishable by fines of anywhere between $100 and $50,000 and even up to one year in jail.
Plagiarism can also be considered a felony under certain state and federal laws, especially in America and Canada. For example, if a plagiarist copies and earns more than $2,500 from copyrighted material, he or she may face up to $250,000 in fines and up to ten years in jail. Several web site owners have already been successfully prosecuted, and with the rise of the internet there will no doubt be many more to face the courts.
How Do I Know If Something Is Public Domain Or Not?
The terms and conditions under which works enter the public domain are a bit complicated. In general, anything published more than 75 years ago is now in the public domain. Works published after 1978 are protected for the lifetime of the author plus 70 years.
The website www.ericbakker.com was originally published in 2011 and is therefore protected and is registered with the Copyright office. It is very easy to check your page through www.archive.org wayback machine. Whois will also tell me when your domain name was first activated.
We Will Take Action
We cannot prevent you from unlawfully taking our content and using it as your own website, but if we do find any copied content we will do these three things:
- We will make efforts to have your website de-listed from Google, Yahoo, Bing, and Windows Live through the DMA Act (Digital Millenium Copyright Act). It is not difficult to take a website down with plagiarised content.
- We will also file a complaint with Google Adsense if you have Google Adsense advertisements on the webpage and have you banned for life for violating their strict policies.
- We will also inform your web host of the infringement and you may lose your account and domain name.
Legal Content Sharing
You are allowed to use 5 lines of my content but you must link directly to the page on my site giving me credit for the article. If you are using any content on this site (http://www.ericbakker.com) for your own purposes, i.e. to treat your own health complaints and want to print it out for your own use, that is fine, as long as you abide by our disclaimer.