plagiarism and re-use

The Custody is as Barbarous as the Crime. Francisco de Goya. ECA Library Image Collection http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/n25sfo
The Custody is as Barbarous as the Crime. Francisco de Goya. ECA Library Image Collection http://images.is.ed.ac.uk/luna/servlet/s/n25sfo

I was in a discussion to day where the suggestion was made that licensing materials as Creative Commons for re-use would promote plagiarism. I was able to refer to the online papers from the BIS 2013  consultation about open access which explains:

At least one commenter suggested that the adoption of CC BY “[(a)] offers virtually no protection against plagiarism … [and (b)] unfettered creative commons licensing would constitute a serious infringement of intellectual property rights and pose a threat to UK intellectual capital.”

As to (a), plagiarism is the practice of taking someone else’s work and passing it off as one’s own. Plagiarism is a completely orthogonal issue to copyright infringement, and there is simply no evidence to support a claim that CC BY would promote or encourage plagiarism in a way any other solution would not as well.

As to (b), CC licensing does not infringe IP rights; rather, it is a conditional permission for the public to exercise some rights on specific terms that can only enhance UK intellectual capital by making it more readily available for wide distribution and innovative use.

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