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Plagiarism

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  • muriel
    started a topic Plagiarism

    Plagiarism

    A colleague submitted my academic work as his own. Apart from the university internal procedures that has now been instigated, what are my options? Can I sue him for theft of intellectual property?
    Tags: None

  • Openlaw15
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    Originally posted by PAWS View Post
    Having been a writer for many years I wish you luck with that. If you want your degree then concentrate all your efforts on proving to the University that this is your work. If you wish to pursue the matter later in a civil suit then that is your prerogative but get the Uni to grade this work as yours first and worry about the frills later.
    Many outside this industry assume suing for reasons of plagiarism and copyright are easy peasy -THEY ARE NOT. I do not want to confuse you further or roll around in the dirt about what your legal rights are. I do not have a law degree but one of my degrees is in creative writing and I do work in an industry where this is a constant issue. Some times practical knowledge far outweighs theoretical.
    Whatever course you decide to pursue please be assured you will get expert advice and support here and I do wish you all the best but please, please get this sorted at the uni first.
    I think it may be more prudent to rephrase what your said Paws. Muriel should be guided that she will not get expert advice here, not at least by any person/ legal expert/ keen legal beagle with anecdotal or other legal experience, who is willing to accept liability for any errors in law whose acts or omissions have a detrimental affect for the Op. The Legal beagle community on this website clearly have offered, and will continue to do so, some reasonable opinions in terms of addressing legal problems (legal problem questions) the Ops encounter; but, this is all it is - an opinion however well intentioned. It is a largely anecdotal opinion in that through trial and error, personal experience, of helping others reach a suitable remedy. Notwithstanding, the relevant expert is actually an experienced copyright legal professional such as a solicitor who practices in higher education prefably.

    Leave a comment:


  • Diana M
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    Originally posted by PAWS View Post
    Having been a writer for many years I wish you luck with that.
    I was also a writer for many years (journalist) and I always saw it as a compliment if someone plagiarized my work

    Obviously it would be different if I had invented something like a Dyson which has a monitory value or was the first person to figure out how to split an atom so felt the need to take credit for it.

    Now I'm involved in law I feel that sometimes the best legal advice to give is to do nothing.

    Di

    Leave a comment:


  • PAWS
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    Originally posted by Openlaw15 View Post
    It is simply fraud if the person tries to pass the work off as their own. It is alternatively breach of copyright where the person tries to pass the entire works as their own, compensatory via tort for losses to do with any would be sales of the publication. Normally, if a party makes reference to a musician's material he has to pay him royalties notwithstanding asking the owner/ author's permission in the first place. So, you may be able to sue the university vicariously if it were to stand in your way, to protect said person.
    Having been a writer for many years I wish you luck with that. If you want your degree then concentrate all your efforts on proving to the University that this is your work. If you wish to pursue the matter later in a civil suit then that is your prerogative but get the Uni to grade this work as yours first and worry about the frills later.
    Many outside this industry assume suing for reasons of plagiarism and copyright are easy peasy -THEY ARE NOT. I do not want to confuse you further or roll around in the dirt about what your legal rights are. I do not have a law degree but one of my degrees is in creative writing and I do work in an industry where this is a constant issue. Some times practical knowledge far outweighs theoretical.
    Whatever course you decide to pursue please be assured you will get expert advice and support here and I do wish you all the best but please, please get this sorted at the uni first.

    Leave a comment:


  • Openlaw15
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    Originally posted by PAWS View Post
    I believe that if the work is by a student on behalf of the university then it belongs to the UNI . For example if the work is part of a particular funded study or project. Although all or part of the students work in this case technically belongs to the uni or funder it may be part of the students over all submission towards their grade. If however, the work was submitted for grading and was not part of a managed project then it belongs to the student. There is no need to go through any elaborate copyrighting hoop la. Once you write something even on the back of a fag packet it belongs to you and you hold the copyright unless you specifically sell/give it to someone else.
    To prove the work was originally yours is tricky. It helps if there is sound proof such as you emailed it or can show when the document was created and modified but basically it is your word against theirs and it depends on who is the more credible witness. Whether it be plagiarism or a straightforward copying of your work will make a difference.
    When composing any form of work all reference to other’s ideas /thesis or published work must be marked clearly and at the end of the work the references are listed showing what publication or work they were taken from and who the originator was. I think the reason there are limits imposed on the number of references you can make to other work varies but 5-15% is about right.
    I think you might have a chance proving this is your work to the uni because you can get staff who know you to vouch for you but to take it through the courts may be a bit of a struggle. If the Uni do not believe you however and you loose out on a Degree as a result I would take it further!
    It is simply fraud if the person tries to pass the work off as their own. It is alternatively breach of copyright where the person tries to pass the entire works as their own, compensatory via tort for losses to do with any would be sales of the publication. Normally, if a party makes reference to a musician's material he has to pay him royalties notwithstanding asking the owner/ author's permission in the first place. So, you may be able to sue the university vicariously if it were to stand in your way, to protect said person.

    Leave a comment:


  • PAWS
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    I believe that if the work is by a student on behalf of the university then it belongs to the UNI . For example if the work is part of a particular funded study or project. Although all or part of the students work in this case technically belongs to the uni or funder it may be part of the students over all submission towards their grade. If however, the work was submitted for grading and was not part of a managed project then it belongs to the student. There is no need to go through any elaborate copyrighting hoop la. Once you write something even on the back of a fag packet it belongs to you and you hold the copyright unless you specifically sell/give it to someone else.
    To prove the work was originally yours is tricky. It helps if there is sound proof such as you emailed it or can show when the document was created and modified but basically it is your word against theirs and it depends on who is the more credible witness. Whether it be plagiarism or a straightforward copying of your work will make a difference.
    When composing any form of work all reference to otherís ideas /thesis or published work must be marked clearly and at the end of the work the references are listed showing what publication or work they were taken from and who the originator was. I think the reason there are limits imposed on the number of references you can make to other work varies but 5-15% is about right.
    I think you might have a chance proving this is your work to the uni because you can get staff who know you to vouch for you but to take it through the courts may be a bit of a struggle. If the Uni do not believe you however and you loose out on a Degree as a result I would take it further!

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    I have just thought that generally even photocopying books or downloading some ebooks the student is limited to 10%. Not sure if this is relevant but it is an example of how the law works

    Leave a comment:


  • Joanna C
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    I have just finished my MBA and was asked at that stage whether I would give permission for the Dissertation to be in the University library.

    It is a condition of enrolment where the University uses the Turnitin system that your work can be used for the purposes of checking plagarism. However Turnitin only uses your essays/work for that purpose.

    Leave a comment:


  • R0b
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    The student will not own the rights to the submissions unless it is stated in the conditions of enrolment. The general reason that universities say that the student will give up their rights to the works is because the company who made the Turnitin software has a policy of stipulating that any works submitted through their system will want ownership. So the university will state the student gives up their right to the university and in turn the university gives up their rights to the work when it is submitted through the software.

    That will be subject to each university and their agreement they may have with any plagiarism software company they use. So sometimes universities will say works submitted by students will still be owned by those students whereas others will state that the condition of enrolling onto the course is that you give up your rights to the works.

    So it will depend on the various colleges/universities as to whether they would specifically state that ownership of the material stays with the student. I do believe however there has been a relaxtion on students giving up ownership of their work in recent years because it could potentially fall foul of the unfair contract terms.

    Therefore, I stick to what I have said previously, depending on what was initially agreed at the time of enrolment, the student may or may not own the works submitted.

    Leave a comment:


  • Openlaw15
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    Originally posted by EXC View Post
    Indeed. Just briefly looking around it seems that with most universities in most circumstances the student holds the copyright but there are obviously exceptions which as you say need to be established first.
    The exceptions guidance relates to copyrights in part so that universities may accidentally use external sources, or that students may also use other works 'in part', however these exemptions are only in part. The law of tort is not affected in relation to passing the entire works off as your own as it is for commercial use more likely and not for education use. I believe what I said stands.

    Leave a comment:


  • EXC
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    Originally posted by R0b View Post
    @EXC So basically what I said in a nutshell.
    Indeed. Just briefly looking around it seems that with most universities in most circumstances the student holds the copyright but there are obviously exceptions which as you say need to be established first.

    Leave a comment:


  • R0b
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    [MENTION=332]EXC[/MENTION] So basically what I said in a nutshell.

    Leave a comment:


  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    I was told that if a student was found to guilty of knowingly plagiarising someone's work, not only would they be thrown off the course but also barred from enrolling on another course at any HE establishment.

    Leave a comment:


  • leclerc
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    Many universities may have a policy on plagiarism. Here's one that is from a well known university: http://www.admin.cam.ac.uk/univ/plagiarism/

    Leave a comment:


  • EXC
    replied
    Re: Plagiarism

    ...some universities and colleges may ask that the students assign their copyright over to the establishment when enrolling
    https://www.gov.uk/guidance/ownershi...opyright-works

    Leave a comment:

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