Copyright. Plagiarism. Piracy.

People like us in the society today expect things to be free on the internet. We download free movie, free song, free image, free video and others. We search for free things on the web everyday. Who really cares about copyright, piracy and plagiarism? What if someday we have to pay for everything we use in the internet? Well, how much do you really know about them?

[ 1. Copyright ]

copyright all rights reserved logo Blogging Rules: Knowing About Copyrights

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What is copyright? According to Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department, copyright is a type of property that is founded on a person’s creative skill and labour. It is designed to prevent the unauthorised use by others of a work, that is, the original form in which an idea or information has been expressed by the creator. The law on copyright in Malaysia is governed by the Copyright Act 1987 (the “Act”) which came into force on 1 December 1987. The law has undergone various significant updates since then, with amendments to the Act taking effect in 1990, 1999, 2000 and 2003 (MIPA 2011). According to MIPA as well, literary works, artistic works, musical works, films, sound recordings and broadcasts are the kinds of works protected under copyright law.

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The left side of the diagram is copyrights which it is exclusive to the owner  or creator of something. Copyright is needed to reward all those creative people. In the middle of the diagram which is fair use means copyright works can be use without permission for some purpose. While the right side is use of copyrighted works which we actually don’t need any permission from the copyright owner.

[ 2. Plagiarism ]

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Are you familiar with the words and symbols in the image? How often do you use it? How much you need it when doing your assignment? Many people think of plagiarism as copying another’s work, or borrowing someone else’s original ideas. In fact, plagiarize means to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own, to use (another’s production) without crediting the source, to commit literary theft and to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source (Plagiarism. org 2012). In short, plagiarism involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward, it is an act of fraud.

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We are always told by lecturers to aware of plagiarism. It is very important to give credit to anything we copy form someone’s work. We should not copy something completely from the internet and we have to remember give credit to anything we used.

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[ 3. Piracy ]

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According to UNESCO (2007), piracy includes he reproduction and distribution of copies of copyright-protected material, or the communication to the public and making available of such material on on-line communication networks, without the authorization of the right owner(s) where such authorization is required by law. It looks into few different type of works including music, literature, films, software, videogames, broadcasting programs and signals. Today, we could find a lot of pirate goods in the market. For instance DVD, CD, games, branded bag and so on. There are too much of pirated goods and why people goes for them? Simply because they are cheaper.

The technological society today brought up a lot of piracy and plagiarism issues. In the abstract of Snapper’s article (1999), he explained that piracy is the infringement of a copyright while plagiarism is the failure to give credit. I had discussed about copyright, plagiarism and piracy before this to let everyone clear about them. According to Snapper as well, plagiarism matters more than copyright piracy on the web. Do you agree with it? I do agree with Snapper because the failure of giving credit to the author is like using someone’s work as your own work. Why shall we need copyright? That’s because people who created and put a lot of effort in their work need to be protected. Besides, Snapper (1999) also said that plagiarism is the failure to abide by scholarly standards for citation of sources and these are important to assure us that information can be verified and traced to its source. For instance, you did an assignment and you did not give any credit to the original author, how could u trace back all the information? However, the rapid growth of internet leads to the increase of online plagiarism.  People today copy and paste information without thinking about plagiarism. Because everyone think that (continue with the image below).

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Australian Government Attorney-General’s Department, n.d., What is Copyright? accessed 12/9/2012,

Malaysian Intellectual Property Association (MIPA) 2011, Copyright, accessed 12/9/2012,

Plagiarism. org 2012, What is Plagiarism? accessed 12/9/2012,

Snapper, J 1999, On the Web, plagiarism matters more than copyright piracy, accessed 8/9/2012,

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) 2007, What is Piracy? accessed 12/9/2012,

4 thoughts on “Copyright. Plagiarism. Piracy.

  1. it is true what you said about most people thinking it is morally polite to share, but it is also unfair to plagiarize another persons work and consider it your own. That is the reason for these laws to exist, so people can use the work of others but be sure to give credit to the original creators, whether in a monetary form, acknowledgement form or any other form. I feel it is only fair to do so, to avoid wrongful acknowledgement as most times, it is not easy to come up with intellectual property, be it in the literary sense or even creative sense. Another thing I would like to add is that personally, I think piracy is theft because when it makes a copy, the profits that come with that copy go to the wrong hands, hence, the monetary gain goes to the wrong person making it unfair to the original creator. Therefore, it is theft, basically almost like daylight robbery.

  2. It is a fact that everyone love freebies because of we no need spend money on certain things but we still can get it for free. So if someday we have to pay everything that we use in internet such as pay for movie, song, video and picture, I believe that there must be less than 40% willing to pay for it. Why? This is because it is not something necessarily to us and we can use the money to do with other purpose.

    Copyright is important to creators or else who willing to spend their precious time, effort and money to create something new?

  3. In my opinion, I don’t think taking money is the main issue for people to purchase the original version of the work. I mean I do purchase original albums from the artists but only because I do enjoy the album. The question here is maybe because the original work was not as trustworthy anymore? You see sometimes we wouldn’t know the results till we have our first hand experience on it right? Therefore many of us would not want to pay something that we have no confident with or taking a risk of trying it. I also agrees that people should take copyright lightly, I mean of cause we should always give credits to the original ownership for something new they invented but idea can always be inspirational. Hence, I actually agrees that people should at least copy some of the owners’ work with some modification in it. For an example, if the first invented phone doesn’t allow any copyright to people who could come out a idea of something so amazing like APPLE? I mean I believe if someone invented something new, he or she should ave share it to people and maybe expend it to be better in the future right? After all new is always a beginning, not an end to it so why take it so hard if people actually took some of your idea and made some modification on it ?

  4. Rights to intellectual property had been an issue for such a long time. Credits to the tools, stealing an intellectual property and plagiarism are easily tracked nowadays. Intellectual property should be a concern for all of us and we should make more conscious choices when it comes to social networking.

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