Previously published in Examiner
Part 4 of the policing the Internet series
Copyright laws are very complicated. We all know that we are not supposed to steal other people's work. Some people don't care and do it anyhow. However, most writers are very respectful of copyright laws. But again, the issue of policing the Internet comes up. If a Montrealer, or American writes something and someone in India steals it and calls it his or her own, what is the legal reparation?
Here is the problem, it is a very sticky matter legally and even more sticky when you cross boarders. Copyright laws are governed by the country that you live in. Writers who start a lawsuit soon find that it is not easy to settle.
Stealing the work of others
Stealing the work of others can cause a lot of mental stress, which in turn leads to physical stress, to the victim. Most people do not have the means to go through a law suit. Large companies have a means, but many don't want to get involved with the individual writer whose work has been stolen. Most people just end up asking the offending party to take their work down and hope for the best.
Schools and copyright violation
Then again what stops children from downloading copyright material, for school assignments or pleasure?
The school board usually uses software that will fish out copyright violations. This software becomes a powerful tool to eliminate copyright violation as the kids fear a failing grade.
The good news is that many of these same programs are available to Montreal writers and writers everywhere as well.
Paying to have papers written by writers on the Internet
Apparently this is a lucrative business. CTV Montreal carried a story on how some writers will make hundreds of dollars writing papers for college students. This examiner was approached by student who was violating copyright laws by rewriting an entire scholarly paper and wanted this examiner do it. The payment was $250.00. This examiner refused, with the comment, “I graduated by doing my own work, I will not do yours.”
Though some people may not have a conscience, this examiner does. The practice of cheating is rampant in the school system. Unfortunately it eats away at the moral character of our youth and the adults who indulge them.