Misused of Internet

Topics: Copyright, Copyright infringement, Fair use Pages: 15 (5024 words) Published: September 13, 2009
--- On Sun, 9/13/09, Adibah Siti wrote:

From: Adibah Siti
Subject: betol tak?if tak ke apa u bgtau kay.
To: as_danias@yahoo.com
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Date: Sunday, September 13, 2009, 3:12 PM

Classroom Concerns: Legal and Ethical Implications of Internet Misuse



Classroom use of the Internet by both instructors and students has increased markedly in the last few years, especially as a tool for research. Unfortunately, too often the information obtained from the Internet is being misused or abused by students and faculty, with related legal and ethical implications. Perhaps the biggest problem related to this misuse involves plagiarism. A number of studies report that the incidence of plagiarism has reached epidemic proportions. Less recognized is the fact that plagiarism may also involve a copyright infringement or a trademark infringement. For those of us in academia there are two areas in particular where misuse of the Internet presents special problems. One of these problem areas, plagiarism, has received considerable coverage and discussion. The second of these problem areas, infringement of copyrights and trademarks, has more recently become a concern. Each of these topics will be discussed below, with special emphasis on potential copyright infringement problems and the availability of “fair use” as a defense to any allegations of copyright infringement.

Plagiarism and the Internet

The problems associated with plagiarism and the Internet are well documented, and it seems that these problems are becoming worse. According to a 2003 study by Donald McCabe, a management professor at Rutgers University, thirty-eight percent of the undergraduate students surveyed admitted to committing “cut-and-paste” plagiarism in the past year. [1] Professor McCabe had conducted a similar study three years earlier in which only ten percent of the students admitted to such conduct. Of even more concern, nearly half of the students in the newer study viewed such conduct as being trivial or, even worse, felt that it did not constitute cheating or plagiarism. Studies similar to the one conducted by Professor McCabe indicate the breadth of the problem, and also the attitude of the students.

Virtually every college or university in the country requires at least one class in English composition, a class in which the students are expected to hone their writing skills and also to improve their research abilities. In addition, many instructors assign term papers or research papers for their students in a number of other classes. It is common for these students to use the Internet for the research portion of these assignments, and such usage is perfectly appropriate. Many, if not most, of these students will then use the research materials and information they obtained in drafting their papers. However, as indicated by Professor McCabe, a distressingly large number of these students misuse the materials and information they find on the Internet. These students will use the Internet to find a paper for submission rather than using it to find the information needed to begin generating a paper of their own. There are a multitude of web sites that provide papers to anyone who wishes to purchase one on any of numerous topics. [2] In addition, an enterprising student who does not wish to purchase a paper can download one or more papers or articles on a topic, and then “cut and paste” the material into an “original” paper the student can then submit. As Professor McCabe has pointed out, many students commit such “cut-and-paste” plagiarism, and nearly half of the students surveyed either consider such conduct to be trivial, or they do not recognize that this is a form of plagiarism.

The problem has become so pervasive that a number of universities have web sites devoted to the topic, [3] and several organizations...
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