Copyright Infringement or Plagiarism…or BOTH?

Copyright Infringement or Plagiarism…or BOTH?

An author recently submitted a manuscript that he said would not be for distribution. He would only be buying a handful of copies for people he knows. Since the author wasn’t planning to earn a profit from the manuscript, no sources were cited. Entire sections of the book contained information taken from websites but no websites or writers were given credit.

So, is this copyright infringement or plagiarism?

In this case, it’s both.

By not giving credit to the original creators of the work, readers might assume the “author” of the book is the creator of all of the text therein. That is plagiarism.

By not obtaining permission to publish longer sections of text, and not citing those, along with the shorter sections, that is copyright infringement.

Just because a book is not being published for the masses is irrelevant. The book could eventually end up in a used bookstore and, thus, would be in distribution.

I actually heard from two authors yesterday who, in the year 2020, still fully believe that taking content from the Internet is hunky dory, and completely legal. I guess those people haven’t read about the countless copyright infringement lawsuits that have arisen since the Internet gave people easy access to the works of others.

Copying and pasting is super easy. Paying a lawyer thousands to defend you in a copyright infringement lawsuit is not. Neither is paying hundreds of thousands after you lose such a lawsuit.

Write your own stuff. If you want to quote from a website, a person, or anything else, research copyright law before doing so.

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About The Author

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Angela Hoy is the publisher of WritersWeekly.com, the author of 19 books, and the co-owner of BookLocker.com (one of the original POD publishers that still gets books to market in less than a month), PubPreppers.com (print and ebook design for authors who truly want to self-publish), and Abuzz Press (the publishing co-op that charges no setup fees).

Angela lives on a 52' Irwin Center Cockpit Ketch (sailboat) with her family and pets. Keep up with her family's adventurous liveaboard lifestyle at GotNoTanLines.com

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Abuzz Press offers FAST and FREE book publication, but only accepts a small percentage of submissions, and only works with U.S. authors.

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The Art and Craft of Writing and Editing


Writing is a constant dialogue between author and reader.



The craft of writing involves an interchange of emotions between an author and a reader. An author creates a story line, conflict, and characters, gives his characters words to speak, and then hands off these materials to a reader. This process results in a constant dialogue between the mental imagery produced by a reader and that proposed by the author.





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4 Responses to "Copyright Infringement or Plagiarism…or BOTH?"

  1. Pingback: Think Someone Copied Your Book? You Might Be Wrong… – by Harvey Randall, Esq. | WritersWeekly.com

  2. Pamela Allegretto  September 26, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Excellent advice. Enjoy your holiday.

    Reply
  3. Ronald Stewart  September 24, 2020 at 11:02 pm

    I intend to write Bible commentary with real life examples from my own life. I’m curious since I will quote from the King James version of the Bible if there are copyright or plagiarism issues to watch out for. Thanks, Ron

    Reply

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