3.748 copyright, cont. (187)

Willard McCarty (MCCARTY@vm.epas.utoronto.ca)
Tue, 14 Nov 89 20:45:25 EST

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 3, No. 748. Tuesday, 14 Nov 1989.

(1) Date: Mon, 13 Nov 89 03:58:00 EST (84 lines)
Subject: RE: 3.643 plagarism, cont. (62)

(2) Date: Mon, 13 Nov 89 12:07:25 MDT (25 lines)
From: Skip Knox <DUSKNOX@IDBSU>
Subject: Re: 3.731 copyright, cont. (103)

(3) Date: Tue, 14 Nov 89 08:42:00 EST (36 lines)
From: DEL2@phoenix.cambridge.ac.uk
Subject: Re: [3.731 copyright, cont. (103)]

(4) Date: Mon, 13 Nov 89 22:27:37 EST (12 lines)
From: boyarin <BOYARIN@TAUNIVM>
Subject: Re: 3.731 copyright, cont. (103)

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 89 03:58:00 EST
Subject: RE: 3.643 plagarism, cont. (62)


I want to thank first those who expressed views concerning plagiarism...
a subject that somehow resembles that of copyright. It is about
somebody's work and saving/stealing/making money by using it at
one's own profit. Not only money in the monetary sense, but also
prestige, academic promotions or degrees or credits.

I don't know whether Boyarin (who said in message 3643 that he 'would
have given him/her an A+'...'if one of his student had given him
a copy of Paul's epistle') could stand receiving again and again
the same epistle has term paper from his students. Colleagues of
mine have the weird impression, when reading term papers that
they read that before... a number of times. But what can you do
when you teach 130 students the same course every year. And how are
we to mark these papers? You got to be damm sure when you accuse
a student of plagiarism because it means the end of his/her
academic career... or a court case for you.

Clarence Brown, who mentioned in the same message that he has been
repeatedly the victim of plagiarists using in their own account
his translation works, did point out that they were quite easy to
spot since they tend to reproduce the same mistakes you did. Well,
I would certainly suggest everyone to insert in his or her work
one element which wrong or for example: a forged bibliographical
entry in one's bibliography. Their you have legal grounds to
win your court battle.

I also feel that I might have been unclear in my first message concerning
plagiarism... which prompted Daniel Boyarin's 3630 message.
If one is going to study literary plagiarism, one has to define
the borderline between neighbouring literary practices. By that I don't
mean that plagiarism and parody, irony, intertextuality, imitation, etc.
share the same ''philosophy'', but they all in their own way tend
to re-utilize literary material with a different intention than its
original author had in mind, be it for the sake of originality,
or with the intention of carnavalizing literary standards, or aiming at
transgressing literary conventions. Plagiarists re-utilize, cite
without quotation marks literary passages for their own profit. They
often try to obliterate their theft by using literay or linguistic
make-up. We all know the tricks we used at the primary school, when
we were copying our good friend's math homework. Those here who have
never done that can throw me e-stones... and on top of that they
don't know the fear of being discovered.

There is I guess not only money that motivates plagiarism, but probably
also the feeling of fooling everyone, of being brighter than the
rest of the world. The same must apply with virus conceptors and
developers in a way.

I used to share Daniel Boyarin's view (in 3630) that ""I hardly think
that that love of money per se is what drives the entire literary system",
but in the light of what I recently hear or read I would no longer
be so candid as that. I don't know whether we read the same papers
and the same news agencies' messages, but in Montreal the local
press reported that a very famous italian semiotician and "medieval"
novelist has been accused of plagiarism by an author from Cyprus.
Radio Canada had also an interesting TV programm concerning troubling
resemblance between texts by Colleen McCullough and Lucy Maud Montgomery.
In Paris, there is a court case against the french writer Regine Deforges
and the heirs of american writer Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the wind).
These cases imply all huge amounts of money, TV right, video right and
royalties on book sales. Much much more than we will ever make in the
academic world.

If Italian colleagues are listening, are they aware of any developement
in the recent accusations against Umberto Eco by the cypriot novelist or
was it all but a joke.

P.S. Computer programm plagiarism seems to be trendy these days to...
if not for the love of money, then what for... the thrill of it???

P.P.S. Any resemblance with previous messages is purely accidental.

Michel Lenoble
Litterature Comparee
Universite de Montreal
E-mail: lenoblem@cc.umontreal.ca
(2) --------------------------------------------------------------34----
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 89 12:07:25 MDT
From: Skip Knox <DUSKNOX@IDBSU>
Subject: Re: 3.731 copyright, cont. (103)

I have a question for all you who are discussing copyright. What are the
limits of what I can put on line for student use? If I scan copyrighted
material, say a chapter from a book, can I put it on a disk? That seems
the same to me as copying the chapter on a photocopy machine. But if I
endlessly duplicate the disk, or if I put the material on a campus network,
or place it on our school's BBS, am I then violating copyright?

Can I, in other words, pillage copyrighted material ruthlessly, compiling
what is in effect my own textbook, use only it for an on-line course and
not require the students to buy any books? Somewhere in there I must be
violating copyright.


Ellis 'Skip' Knox, Ph.D.
Historian, Data Center Associate
1910 University Drive BITNET: DUSKNOX@IDBSU
Boise, Idaho 83725
(208) 385-1315
(3) --------------------------------------------------------------44----
Date: Tue, 14 Nov 89 08:42:00 EST
From: DEL2@phoenix.cambridge.ac.uk
Subject: Re: [3.731 copyright, cont. (103)]

The discussion on copyright, inadvertently started by Yaacov Choueka,
has raised some very important points for all of us working on
public (and not-so-public) domain texts. It would be very helpful
to know what the lawyers think (I know Peter Junger has already said
some apposite things). If I do pinch a text and re-format it (eg
add SGML markup or search tags) do I get to hold copyright on the whole
thing? Or only my markup? What if I pinch a text and strip the markup?
(Is that what ATM did? Did it require 'intellectual effort'?)
What if I write a program (=intellectual effort) which automatically
thereafter could add the markup to any text? (This is presumably where
WordCruncher saw their own intellectual effort as lying.) What then
of automatic translation machines? Since, as I understand it, the
original purpose of the copyright laws was to prevent the abuse (not just
financial exploitation) of an author's work, it is presumably true that
I don't have the right (even in a non-electronic environment) just to
take an English text, publish my own German translation, and claim
the copyright--or do I? What rights does the author have if, say, I
grievously misrepresent him? Come to think of it, I once wrote an
article which the in-house editor so mangled that in 2 places it said
the precise opposite of what I intended (he was trying to translate it
into American). I didn't see his final proofs. Does the author
have rights over his editor? It's interesting to think that anyone who
accurately translated my intention might be had up for misrepresenting
my text!

Can I ask Mike Neuman (or others) whether Circular 65 ('Copyright
protection is not available for ... the selection and ordering of
data') means that say a computer-generated concordance is
automatically the copyright property of the author of the original

Douglas de Lacey <DEL2@UK.AC.CAM.PHX>
(4) --------------------------------------------------------------20----
Date: Mon, 13 Nov 89 22:27:37 EST
From: boyarin <BOYARIN@TAUNIVM>
Subject: Re: 3.731 copyright, cont. (103)

on copyright
The point is not that we are against having cheap machine readable texts
available, but that many texts will never become available in machine
readable form unless people can earn something from their labor and
investment. I clearly did not know the law, but I certainly think that
there is a natural moral right to the fruits of one's labor. Again in the
case of the dispute between Bar-Ilan and ATM even the facts are very
murky and I don't think that there is any concern.