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Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

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Tue May 18, 2010 3:57 pm
Kamas says...



Plagiarism:

(as defined by the Britannica Encyclopedia)

the act of taking the writings [or works] of another person and passing them off as one’s own. The fraudulence is closely related to forgery and piracy—practices generally in violation of copyright laws.


Copyright Infringement:

(as defined by the New American Oxford Dictionary)

the unauthorized or prohibited use of works covered by copyright law, in a way that violates one of the copyright owner's exclusive rights, such as the right to reproduce or perform the copyrighted work, or to make derivative works.


These days, with the open internet plagiarism is easy to do and hard to uncover. But please don't think you'll get away with it. It's a small world and with a large user data base, there's bound to be someone who has seen this picture beforehand, or knows where it comes from.

Firstly, copyright infringement. You've found a really nice picture on the internet you want to colour in, or use part of it in another picture. Anything really. If you take it from the internet, it is not yours. Most of the time, there's a copyright on it. If you want to use it, you have to buy it or receive permission from the owner. But, what is acceptable is citing a picture if you use it.

Say I use a colouring page picture. Colour it in and post it.
If I give the link I got it from, or the name of the colouring book, then I've recognized the source of the art and you aren't punishable for that.

Next, plagiarism. It's quite serious if you decide to take someone's hard work, and claim it as your own. It violates moral ethics and for example in the case of journalism, if you plagiarize and breach journalistic ethics, you are very likely risking your job permanently.

What does that mean on YWS?

On YWS, confirmed plagiarism leads to an autoban. There's no arguing it, the only deliberation that goes into this is finding out where the plagiarism is. The length depends on the severity of the plagiarized material, usually two weeks. Other times, it can be longer.

What about you, the reviewer?

You've run across something familiar, or that you know is not the person's original work. And it is not cited, or the person claims that it was their hard work. What do you do?
Please, contact a mod (anyone in green or red) with a link to the post and possibly where the picture comes from or a link.

Please be careful with your uses of other people's work. :)

If you have any questions, comments, post them below.

Spoiler! :
Removed broken links. - Lumi
Last edited by Kamas on Tue May 18, 2010 9:07 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Tue May 18, 2010 5:20 pm
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Elinor Brynn says...



This is great, Kamas. I figured we'd need an updated guide soon, especially with the increasing amounts of plagiarism in this forum. Really people, you're just asking yourself for a ban from YWS. Besides, how can you enjoy the good comments you receive if they aren't even to your own accord?
Last edited by Elinor Brynn on Tue May 18, 2010 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Tue May 18, 2010 5:29 pm
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Emerson says...



Elinor wrote:Really people, you're just asking yourself for a permanent ban from YWS.


Actually, it is not permanent:

Kamas wrote:The length [of the ban] depends on the severity of the plagiarized material, usually two weeks. Other times, it can be longer.


All bans are considered based on the situation. Still, plagiarism is a serious thing and all members should know what they're getting themselves into if they plagiarize.
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Tue May 18, 2010 5:38 pm
StoryWeaver13 says...



I agree with Elinor Brynn. How can you take pride in anything that you post but didn't create yourself? Seriously, use your own skill and originality, that's what the site is for.
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Tue May 18, 2010 7:08 pm
Kamas says...



Plagiarism usually happens on this site as an ego boost. "Oh my gosh, this is amazing!" kind of thing. It's really not worth it, since it's completely impossible to be respected as well as embarrassing, when the ban is over.
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Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:01 am
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seeminglymeaningless says...



lol, I'm not supporting plagiarism, but what would you call fan fiction? I'm sure that most people don't say, "Harry Potter, Hermione Granger are (c) J.K Rowling" at the bottom of their story.

I agree when it comes to art that if you've made a photo manipulation you should supply a link to all other artworks/artists and (if possible/known) give the name to the artist.




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Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:19 am
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Jagged says...



seeminglymeaningless wrote:lol, I'm not supporting plagiarism, but what would you call fan fiction? I'm sure that most people don't say, "Harry Potter, Hermione Granger are (c) J.K Rowling" at the bottom of their story.

I agree when it comes to art that if you've made a photo manipulation you should supply a link to all other artworks/artists and (if possible/known) give the name to the artist.


If you look around most fanfiction-based sites/communities (FF.net, LJ), it's actually a pretty common thing to see disclaimers of the "The characters/settings/original idea belong/are copyrighted to Author McAuthor, I'm only using them for fun and am not making any profit from them", and it's fine.

More generally speaking, when referring to fanfiction, those are implied. It's written by fans, for fun, shared freely and so most authors are mostly live and let live about it, with a few exceptions. It's more an hommage to the author than anything else, and a way to keep your interest in the book/series/game longer. And keep in mind that there are some fandoms where you have "ascended fic" of sorts, like in the Star Wars Expanded Universe where a number of books are written by people who used to write fic. Those are just accepted as canon, and the writers paid by the franchise.

Fanfiction is playing in someone else's sandbox. As long as you don't try to make it yours, it's perfectly fine.

/0.02$
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Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:31 am
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seeminglymeaningless says...



In my limited experience, the fan fictions I have stumbled across don't say who the original authors are (except on deviantArt where everyone is so afraid of getting picked up for plagiarism that they include a quick statement, as you've given as an example). I assume they don't give credit because it's obvious that Edward Cullen is Stephenie Meyer's, and Harry Potter is Rowling's, etc etc.

I wasn't trying to say that people who write fan fiction are purely plagiarising, as my own sister wrote a humorous parody of Twilight. I'm just saying that people can plagiarise absolutely by accident, and it's not their fault. In some cases I'm not sure if the original author/artist would like to be acknowledged as the inspiration of a fan fiction.

Prime example: http://myimmortalrehost.webs.com/

Here's a snippet (and I know I'm going slightly off-topic, but I can't resist sharing. Spoilered for length):

Spoiler! :
Chapter 3.

AN: STOP FLAMMING DA STORY PREPZ OK! odderwize fangs 2 da goffik ppl 4 da good reveiws! FANGS AGEN RAVEN! oh yeah, BTW I don’t own dis or da lyrics 4 Good Chralotte.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

On the night of the concert I put on my black lace-up boots with high heels. Underneath them were ripped red fishnets. Then I put on a black leather minidress with all this corset stuff on the back and front. I put on matching fishnet on my arms. I straightened my hair and made it look all spiky. I felt a little depressed then, so I slit one of my wrists. I read a depressing book while I waited for it to stop bleeding and I listened to some GC. I painted my nails black and put on TONS of black eyeliner. Then I put on some black lipstick. I didn’t put on foundation because I was pale anyway. I drank some human blood so I was ready to go to the concert.

I went outside. Draco was waiting there in front of his flying car. He was wearing a Simple Plan t-shirt (they would play at the show too), baggy black skater pants, black nail polish and a little eyeliner (AN: A lot fo kewl boiz wer it ok!).

“Hi Draco!” I said in a depressed voice.

“Hi Ebony.” he said back. We walked into his flying black Mercedes-Benz (the license plate said 666) and flew to the place with the concert. On the way we listened excitedly to Good Charlotte and Marilyn Manson. We both smoked cigarettes and drugs. When we got there, we both hopped out of the car. We went to the mosh pit at the front of the stage and jumped up and down as we listened to Good Charlotte.

“You come in cold, you're covered in blood
They're all so happy you've arrived
The doctor cuts your cord, hands you to your mom
She sets you free into this life.” sang Joel (I don’t own da lyrics 2 dat song).

“Joel is so fucking hot.” I said to Draco, pointing to him as he sung, filling the club with his amazing voice.

Suddenly Draco looked sad.

“What’s wrong?” I asked as we moshed to the music. Then I caught on.

“Hey, it’s ok I don’t like him better than YOU!” I said.

“Really?” asked Draco sensitively and he put his arm around me all protective.

“Really.” I said. “Besides I don’t even know Joel and he’s going out with Hilary fucking Duff. I fucking hate that little bitch.” I said disgustedly, thinking of her ugly blonde face.

The night went on really well, and I had a great time. So did Draco. After the concert, we drank some beer and asked Benji and Joel for their autographs and photos with them. We got GC concert tees. Draco and I crawled back into the Mercedes-Benz, but Draco didn’t go back into Hogwarts, instead he drove the car into……………………… the Forbidden Forest!

Chapter 4.

AN: I sed stup flaming ok ebony’s name is ENOBY nut mary su OK! DRACO IS SOO IN LUV wif her dat he is acting defrent! dey nu eechodder b4 ok!

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX666XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

“DRACO!” I shouted. “What the fuck do you think you are doing?”

Draco didn’t answer but he stopped the flying car and he walked out of it. I walked out of it too, curiously.

“What the fucking hell?” I asked angrily.

“Ebony?” he asked.

“What?” I snapped.

Draco leaned in extra-close and I looked into his gothic red eyes (he was wearing color contacts) which revealed so much depressing sorrow and evilness and then suddenly I didn’t feel mad anymore.

And then…………… suddenly just as I Draco kissed me passionately. Draco climbed on top of me and we started to make out keenly against a tree. He took of my top and I took of his clothes. I even took of my bra. Then he put his thingie into my you-know-what and we did it for the first time.

“Oh! Oh! Oh! ” I screamed. I was beginning to get an orgasm. We started to kiss everywhere and my pale body became all warm. And then….

“WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING YOU MOTHERFUKERS!”

It was…………………………………………………….Dumbledore!




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Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:12 pm
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Jagged says...



Oooh, good old My Immortal :P Everyone's favorite bad!fic. Bets are still off as to whether or not it's the best troll ever or a genuine fic. I link my friends to it when I'm feeling sadistic.

people can plagiarise absolutely by accident

While I do see what you mean, the odds of actual accidental plagiarization is extremely low, if you go by the definition of plagiarism that it is the "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work." Ideas can be reutilized, plot similarities can happen, and while that may be intentional, oftentimes they're just coincidence. Nothing new under the sun, and all. The actual copying of the original author's text is indeed plagiarism, but we police each other pretty well, and any actual community will ban/delete those if they happen.

I'm not sure if the original author/artist would like to be acknowledged as the inspiration of a fan fiction.

Rowling, herself, has shown signs of knowing about HP fanfiction... and of being quite amused by it. Of course the quality of some/most fanfics is bad (Sturgeon's Law applies) is low. A lot of people who write it are writing as a hobby, not particularly mature or just using it as wish fulfillment, and not everyone's a good writer. Some others use fic as a way to practice, before they move on to their own novels.

That said, some fics are simple gems. Lightning on the Wave, on FF.net, actually took the Harry Potter premises, added a couple of common fanfic twists (namely, what if Harry had a twin brother and had been sorted into Slytherin) and rewrote all seven books (and his were longer, to boot). And it was brilliant, and original, and definitely not plagiarism. And again, no profit was made from it, it was all in good fun, and it made those of us who were sad of not having any more HP to read happy.
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Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:44 pm
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seeminglymeaningless says...



I'm hoping the person who wrote My Immortal wasn't a troll :P The idea that someone can be so fantastically bad at writing is just. . . phenomenal.

Yes, I must concur that "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work" does make it quite hard to *not* commit plagiarism. Speaking of no new ideas:

Spoiler! :
Do your favorite movies sometimes seem a bit...familiar? When discussing Harry Potter, do you sometimes mistake Voldemort for Darth Vader? Do Neo's abilities in the Matrix remind you of the Force, only just a little bit different? Well, you would be right, as the most wildly successful franchises of the last 40 years are basically the same recycled story you have heard over and over again. To highlight the (few) differences between some of the most famous franchises ever produced, I have color coded them as follows:

Star Wars is blue Star Trek is red The Matrix is green Harry Potter is orange

The Plot

Once upon a time,

Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry



was living a miserable life. Feeling disconnected from his friends and family, he dreams about how his life could be different. One day, he is greeted by



Obi Wan | Captain Pike | Trinity | Hagrid



and told that his life is not what it seems, and that due to some circumstances surrounding his



birth | birth | birth | infancy



he was meant for something greater. Deciding to leave with



him | him | her | him,



Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry



is taken to



Mos Eisley | Starfleet Academy | the real world | Hogwarts



where he meets lots of new, fascinating people. For the first time in a very long time, life is exciting, and



Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry



explores the new life that has opened up for him. With his new friends, he starts to work hard to become the sort of man that



Obi Wan | Captain Pike | Trinity | Hagrid



said he could be. Although



Han | Spock | the Oracle | Draco



challenges his abilities, things go relatively well until suddenly,



Alderaan is destroyed | Vulcan is attacked | Morpheus is captured | Voldemort returns.


Leaping into action,



Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry



prepares to fight against the insistence of his teacher. Despite not having finished his training, the lessons have made him cocky and through a combination of skill and luck



Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry



is able to beat



Vader | Nero | Agent Smith | Quirrell



and destroy



the Death Star | Nero's ship | the Sentinels | Voldemort's body.



Greeted as heroes,



Luke | Kirk | Neo | Harry



realizes that he has become



powerful with the force | a great leader | the One | a great wizard



just as



Obi Wan | Captain Pike | Trinity | Hagrid



said he would be. Right before the story ends, there is a sense that this is just the beginning of an extremely lucrative franchise. Er, I mean adventure.

http://www.spitefulcritic.com/2009/06/h ... same-movie


Wow, that was time consuming to colour code :P

I would love to discuss this topic further, and I'll certainly be looking up that HP fan fiction you mention, but I've got a bunch of friends urging me to play DotA. It's a refreshing change to be talking to someone with a way with words and isn't angry with me :P

-Jai




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Tue Jul 20, 2010 12:07 am
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Kamas says...



Plain and simple: If you don't claim an original piece or idea that has been copyrighted as your own and you credit the original author, then it's fine.
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Wed Nov 17, 2010 6:47 pm
Idraax says...



What if you have an account somewhere else, like DA, and you put the same pic up on both? How can you tell if that's the case? Some people have accounts on both, just under different names.
Check these out please! :)
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AquaMarine says...



What if you have an account somewhere else, like DA, and you put the same pic up on both? How can you tell if that's the case? Some people have accounts on both, just under different names.


That could easily be confirmed, so I'm sure it wouldn't be a problem. :)
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Wed Nov 17, 2010 9:22 pm
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Kamas says...



As Amy, said, that could very easily be checked. But first and foremost, avoid posting the picture on two different accounts.
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Thu Feb 21, 2013 1:50 am
AerozelFatalis says...



I hate plagarism. Someone's stolen from me before. I drew a picture on deviantart and then on some warrior cat site there was same picture with someone claiming that it was theirs. It even had my signature in the corner. People are so ridiculous these days. Just because you add some fancy filter doesn't make it yours.

Seriously, do your own work you pirates.