Monday, October 12, 2009

Artists to Ask Administration to Protect Copyright

The Copyright Alliance and its grassroots network of creators today announced circulation among creators nationwide of a letter to President Obama and Vice President Biden, asking the Administration to pursue policies supportive of the rights of artists.

"Artists and creators make important contributions not only to our society and culture, but also to our economy," said Lucinda Dugger, the Alliance's Director of Outreach. "Increasingly, creators are finding their work misappropriated, reproduced and distributed without their knowledge, consent or benefit by those who believe intellectual property should be free for the taking. It is important that creators speak up about how the principle of copyright empowers and provides incentive for creators."

The announcement follows a rapid internal response to the letter, which within a few days of circulation among the Alliance's grassroots network garnered nearly 7,000 electronic signatures. With artists encouraging participation within their personal networks on blogs and Twitter feeds, the letter already has been signed by creators in all 50 states and representing a full spectrum of creative disciplines.

Signers include authors, photographers, songwriters, graphic designers, filmmakers, musicians, publishers, jewelry designers, web designers, photojournalists, illustrators, video game developers, architects, cartoonists, composers, playwrights, voice actors, animators, sculptors, painters and videographers.

Individuals interested in signing the letter can do so at The Alliance intends to deliver the letter to the Administration later this fall.

Consequences of Plagiarism by John Halasz

Plagiarism is a wide-spread problem in academia, and its personal and societal consequences are equally diverse. Although the penalties for plagiarism vary among different academic institutions, it is not acceptable in any college or university. Consequences may range from a simple warning to being expelled from the school.

Personal Consequences of plagiarism

On a personal level, being caught plagiarizing can be quite embarrassing. People usually view those who plagiarize as being a fraud or phony, a cheater and even a con. In essence, plagiarism can be viewed as theft. In addition to stealing someone else's work, the plagiarizer also deprives someone else, who is arguably more qualified, from gaining employment,

Societal or Economical Consequences of plagiarism

Plagiarism is a widespread problem in the education world. It is so rampant among academic institutions that it does not find its way to newspaper headlines anymore. Educators not agreeing with the practice made it a rule to have their students written works submitted to plagiarism check software or company like Turnitin. This ensures that the written works are original and not copied from any other author, as the software will check phrases duplicates with other sites.

Student Consequences of plagiarism

Students who are caught face serious consequences of plagiarism. Consequences include receiving a verbal warning, a failing grade, or expulsion from the university. The Dean of Student Affairs usually implement the failing status and expulsion of the student when found guilty. The student may not be aware of the intensity of the act and the penalties that go with it. This is a serious offense and educational institutions are implementing harsh punishments to students caught practicing plagiarism. The use of another student's work or even another author's work in the internet is a serious plagiarism offense that can damage your career and future. The instructor usually decides the kind of punishment to give the student.

Plagiarism does not take into account the time and effort one puts into the study or research. This is quite unfair to other students who had been spending significant amount of time to complete their projects. Plagiarism often makes original authors feel angry and betrayed. The consequences of plagiarism include the eradication or suppression of creativity and critical thinking. The objective of education is to keep a learning environment that would encourage students to become independent and original thinkers. When a student plagiarizes, they lose their creativity.

A student found guilty of plagiarism incurs severe disciplinary consequences. There are serious consequences of plagiarism implemented by the instructor, such as receiving a failing grade. The case reported to the University's Dean of Students will also be included in the student's school records. Repeated practices of plagiarism can lead to expulsion from the university. Plagiarism can also lead to serious damages like lawsuits, disgrace, and loss of position.

With graduate students, the consequences of plagiarism tend to be swift. The plagiarizer cannot participate from graduate programs and usually obtains a failing grade. Most universities also ban them from enrolling in another course for a period of five years. Junior faculties could lose their jobs. If is an MBA or PhD program, the school will probably allow the plagiarizer to withdrawal their degree. Administration is reluctant to charge plagiarism with graduate students who are in an MBA or PhD program. Some educational systems treat plagiarizers as troublemakers. Furthermore, they received lectures concerning defamation and libel.

The definition of plagiarism is rooted in dishonesty. There are many factors to consider why a student could commit plagiarism. One is the absence of citation or improper use of referencing. A student's failure to know the rules and regulations in citing sources could make him commit unwanted plagiarism. The instructor could penalize the student to redo the writing assignment and coach him to improve citing text. Students who plagiarize usually obtain a lower grade or a failing grade. The student may still have the chance to pass the course provided his other works are good. However, if the instructor were convinced that the student lied about the research materials resources and cheated about the project, then he would implement stiffer penalties. The student may get a failing grade for the assignment at the same time get a failing grade for the course. The most common consequences of plagiarism are a failing grade for the course. Plagiarism is a growing epidemic, which transcends to students and professors.

John Halasz is a former writing teacher and currently a professional writer and internet marketer. He has written SEO articles and ghostwritten novels, books, and scholarly articles.

A Canisius College graduate, he went on to the University of Buffalo for his teaching certificate in English writing, earning a 3.934 GPA before going on to teach in Brooklyn, NY.

To learn more about writing or to hire a ghostwriter, see John Halasz's Writing Services and SEO copywriting services.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Software Could Pave The Way To End Tune Plagiarism

Software developed by an academic at Goldsmiths, University of London could spell the end for future melody plagiarism.

Dr Daniel M├╝llensiefen, from the Department of Psychology and formerly working in Computing, has co-published research on how to predict court decisions on music plagiarism using cognitive similarity algorithms. The study has recently been published by the European specialist journal Musicae Scientiae and results were presented publicly for the first time at the international conference of the European Society for the Cognitive Sciences in Music (ESCOM) in Finland in August.

Daniel worked alongside Marc Pendzich, an expert on cover versions and music re-mixes from the Institute of Musicology University of Hamburg, on the software which is based on modelling court decision for cases of alleged melodic plagiarism employing a number of similarity algorithms.

The two researchers used court cases from the US as a testbed for their software and 90 per cent of the court decisions were predicted correctly by the newly developed algorithms.

Tune plagiarism in pop music is a common and often feverishly debated phenomenon, so controversial due to the vast amounts of money involved in today's pop music industry.

Artists as high profile as Madonna, George Harrison and the Bee Gees have all been involved in music plagiarism cases.

The similarity between melodies is assumed to be a very important factor in a court's decision about whether a new tune is an illegitimate version of a pre-existing melody.

Under the current system, the jury is advised by expert witnesses to come to a decision – something both Daniel and Marc have indeed done – but they admit that one of the long term effects of their work could substantially alter the need for a jury and expert witnesses.

"The most provocative question you could ask is whether this software could replace a jury and expert witnesses in court," Daniel said.

"Also, on a very popular level you could claim that the software can detect melodic plagiarism in popular music automatically. Thus, in principle we could develop this into a business where songwriters and music publishers submit songs and we test against a database whether there are any highly similar pre-existing melodies in it."

Currently these developments are hypothetical due to the sample of cases it has been tested on being so small (20 cases), but Daniel and Marc are working on a follow-up study to include more US cases and to test whether the prediction accuracy holds also true for British and German plagiarism suits.