Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Last Word on Copyright & Plagiarism: Yours!

Last night I went to bed with the decision that I was going to take a break from this copyright/plagiarism topic and do "something else" today. (Something else = long list of topics that kept changing).

Yeah, notsomuch.

I do have a great list of links about the topic that people have been sending me in email and Twitter, but More Importantly, I got this information in my inbox today (courtesy of the fine discussion list for Broad Universe!) (And especially Brenna Lyons and Elaine Isaak):

Dear Copyright Advocates,The Obama Administration is asking to hear from YOU, the creative backbone of our country, about how intellectual property infringement affects YOUR livelihood. The Administration is also seeking advice on what the government could be doing to better protect the rights of artists and creators in our country. HERE'S A CHANCE FOR YOU TO BE HEARD!
BACKGROUND:Last year President Obama appointed and the U.S. Senate confirmed Victoria Espinel to be the first U.S. Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator. Her job is "to help protect the creativity of the American public" by coordinating with all the federal agencies that fight the infringement of intellectual property, which includes creating and selling counterfeit goods; pirating video games, music, and books; and infringing upon the many other creative works that are produced by artists in this country.As you know, the unauthorized copying, sale, and distribution of artists' intellectual property directly impact the ability of artists and creators to control the use of their own creativity, not to mention their ability to receive income they have earned from their labor. This impacts U.S. employment and the economy, and our ability to globally compete.As required by an Act of Congress (The PRO-IP Act of 2008), Ms. Espinel and her White House team are preparing a Joint Strategic Plan that will include YOUR FEEDBACK on the costs and risks that intellectual property infringement has on the American public.Here's how to make yourself heard!
1. Send an email to Ms. Espinel and the Obama and copy the Copyright Alliance on youremail:
2. Begin your letter with "The Copyright Alliance has informed me of this welcome invitation from the Obama Administration to share my thoughts on my rights as a creator."
3. Include in your email: your story, why intellectual property rights are important to you, how piracy and infringement affect you, and what the U.S. government can do to better protect the rights of creative Americans.
4. Also include in your email: your name, city, state, and what type of artist you are.
5. DO NOT include any personal or private information as all comments will be posted publically on the White House website.
All comments must be submitted by Wednesday, March 24 by 5:00 p.m. EST. To read the entire call for comments, click here.
Don't be shy! Take two minutes today to make your voice heard, and don't forget to spread the word to everyone you know. Forward this notice using this short URL - - by email, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, and more!Best,
Lucinda Dugger
P.S. If you received this email from a friend, and you are interested in receiving more information about how you can speak up for your rights, sign up for our network of Copyright Advocates.

Now, I've had a few posts on copyright/plagiarism regarding a number of art forms starting about a month ago. My simplified stance on the topic is a more middle ground than most of what I've seen. More specifically, my stance is as an educator and suggests that people make their own decision based on research.

Regarding the abovementioned Espinel, I found this article at

And more here on Compliance Matters.

One of my favorite writerly resources, Writer Beware!, had this post on recent copyright activities.

Another photography friend sent me this post on plagiarism and art from another photographer blogger. (It also has some gorgeous pictures!)

From Twitter came "What every writer ought to know about fair use and copyright" from and how publishers are being urged to change their focus regarding copyright.

And lastly, from my educational colleague, Julie, came this article about plagiarism in higher ed and even job interviews, which made me very sad.

Do you have any articles on plagiarism and copyright that you would like to share? There's an AWFUL LOT out there and it's important for anyone creating and writing to know the story.

And now to be a part of the decisions made regarding copyright, per the letter above.

Go forth and change the world!


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