By Russell J Barnstein
Plagiarism is an unbridled problem on the internet and the only specific protections for content owners are under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. Passed by the Clinton administration in 1998, this copyright law seeks to protect writers, web developers and content owners from illegal infringement and plagiarism by extending the reach of copyright law, thereby offering recourses in order to prevent, stop, and report plagiarism.
Plagiarism is all too easy on the web, but the Digital Millennium Copyright Act makes it all too easy to have plagiarized work taken down. Under the DMCA, internet service providers are protected from liability for acts of plagiarism by their users. However, websites are exempt from this protection, and if you request to have plagiarized work taken down, website owners and administrators must immediately comply in order to avoid liability under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
Plagiarism and its Definitions: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act
Plagiarism and copyright infringement was more clearly defined by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to include cases where individuals circumvent measures put in place to prevent unauthorized access to materials or to prevent plagiarism. Criminals that do this are subject to being tried, fined and incarcerated under the DMCA.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act also seeks to prevent plagiarism by preventing others from linking to plagiarized work. While this legislation is currently in place, there have been no court cases involving a person being tried for linking to plagiarized work, unless that person was previously admonished for or found guilty of plagiarism.
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act relies on the self-education of users to take action in specific steps, the easiest of which is to simply notify the webmaster of an offending site and request a take-down of plagiarized work. This almost always achieves results, but if it does not, plagiarism can be pursued by contacting the Better Business Bureau, the State's Attorney General Office, by reporting plagiarism to the major search engines, and by seeking litigation.
Unless you take steps to prevent, detect and report plagiarism, thieves will have no incentive to discontinue stealing your valuable content. And if you think plagiarism isn't happening to you, think again by visiting this link to learn more about the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and report plagiarism now.
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