[Humanist] 27.488 online publication

Humanist Discussion Group willard.mccarty at mccarty.org.uk
Thu Oct 31 07:49:34 CET 2013

                 Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 27, No. 488.
            Department of Digital Humanities, King's College London
                Submit to: humanist at lists.digitalhumanities.org

        Date: Wed, 30 Oct 2013 12:04:25 -0700
        From: Rob Myers <rob at robmyers.org>
        Subject: Re: [Humanist] 27.485 the fact of online publication
        In-Reply-To: <20131030062635.4D1BC76A1 at digitalhumanities.org>

On 29/10/13 11:26 PM, Humanist Discussion Group wrote:
> A librarian at Connecticut College recently informed me that several
> of my poems from magazines and my own books, were lifted by a fellow
> named Morgan in England, submitted under his name and published, even
> entered in contests, at least one of which he won.  Morgan pirated
> the work of other writers and put them out under his name.

This is possible because copyright restricts the ability to check
previous texts and discover plagiarism.

Fair Use makes this kind of checking via systems such as Google Book
Search legal.

Sadly we don't have Fair Use in England, we have the much more
restrictive Fair Dealing system. Detecting plagiarism by the
industrialised scanning of texts is therefore of dubious legality.

If only the UK had Fair Use, discovering plagiarism (which is a moral
problem) would not be prevented by copyright infringement (which is a
legal problem).

Abolishing or reducing Fair Use in the US would leave educational
institutions such as Prof. Kessler's employer, or poets who wish to
quote the work of others, with large costs. Plagiarists and large
corporations would not care. The former would be better protected as
finding them would be harder, the latter can afford costs that would
bankrupt those individuals who are pleading to be defended from them.

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