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The purpose of copyright law is to give protection, for a limited time, to authors of original works-both published and unpublished. These works include literary, dramatic, musical, artistic, and certain other intellectual works.
The exclusive rights of a copyright owner, as outlined in the United States Code (title 17) are:
• To reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords;
• To prepare derivative works based upon the work;
• To distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending;
• To perform the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and motion pictures and other audiovisual works;
• To display the work publicly, in the case of literary, musical, dramatic, and choreographic works, pantomimes, and pictorial, graphic, or sculptural works, including the individual images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work; and
• In the case of sound recordings, to perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.
It is illegal for anyone to violate any of the rights provided by the copyright law to the owner of copyright. These rights, however, are not unlimited in scope. Sections 107 through 121 of the 1976 Copyright Act establish limitations on these rights. One major limitation is the doctrine of “fair use.”
Background: The University has approved the purchase of a license for a web-based antiplagiarism software service, Turnitin, which may be used by students or their instructors to compare the text of writing assignments to an extensive electronic database.
Plagiarism defined at TWU: Plagiarism occurs when a student obtains portions or elements of someone else's work, including materials prepared by another person or agency, and presents those ideas or words as her or his own academic work. The intentional or unintentional use by paraphrase or direct quotation of the published work of another person without full and clear acknowledgement shall constitute plagiarism.
Students are responsible for following guidelines of the appropriate course or discipline (i.e.; MLA, APA):
Antiplagiarism technology should be used as a teaching tool. Antiplagiarism technology is merely a tool. The tool alone does not determine whether a paper has been plagiarized. Conversely, students cannot use antiplagiarism tools to prove they have not plagiarized. Instead, that judgment must be made by the individual faculty member.
Use of antiplagiarism tools is optional, but if they are used, they must be used according to the policies and guidelines set forth in this document. Instructors must discuss plagiarism and academic integrity with students at the beginning of each course.
If students do not consent to having their original work archived in the antiplagiarism tool databases,individual faculty members may use alternative assignments or use other, more traditional, methods for detecting plagiarism.
Student work submitted to Turnitin by an instructor will use an alias for the student name, and delete any personally-identifiable information.
If faculty members suspect that a paper has been plagiarized, the procedures outlined in Chapter 4 of the Student Handbook must be followed.
The following statement must appear on a course syllabus if an antiplagiarism tool is used in the course:
In an effort to ensure the integrity of the academic process, Texas Woman’s University vigorously affirms the importance of academic honesty as defined by the Student Handbook. Therefore, in an effort to detect and prevent plagiarism, faculty members at Texas Woman’s University may now use a tool called Turnitin to compare a student’s work with multiple sources. It then reports a percentage of similarity and provides links to those specific sources. The tool itself does not determine whether or not a paper has been plagiarized. Instead, that judgment must be made by the individual faculty member.
[Optional statements: All required assignments in this course may be checked for plagiarism using Turnitin.com or Some of the required assignments in this course or Assignments will be randomly checked...]
The sections in this Guide are designed to inform the TWU community on Copyright, Fair Use and related topics. It is not intended as legal advice nor is it meant to replace the advice of legal counsel.
Copyright protection exists from the moment a work is created in a fixed, tangible form of expression. The copyright immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Only the author, or those deriving their rights through the author, can rightfully claim copyright. In the case of works made for hire, the employer—not the writer—is considered the author.