I have content placed on my web-site and I'm interested in the ways I can protect it from plagiarism. And what exactly will be considered as plagiarism if someone use the content from my web-site?
Thanks in advance!
Plagiarism is more an ethical concept than a legal one. In terms of protecting your own creative works, you will be relying on copyright.
You own a copyright every time you create a work (literary, visual arts, music, etc.). If someone copies your original creative expression, that is copyright infringement. There are some limitations. For example, copyrights do not extend to ideas, short phrases, or facts.
There are some benefits to Federally registering copyrights, which may or may not make sense depending on the nature of your works. An attorney can help you understand what is best for your situation.
In terms of protecting against infringement, you can proactively address infringement using a service that detects copying on the internet.
My colleague's answer was very much on point. Plagiarism is more of an academic concept, where the copying would not necessarily be illegal, but rather a violation of ethics in an academic or scholarly environment.
What you are describing is copyright infringement. First, I would register any and all creative expression that can be protected with the US Copyright Office. While the copyright affixes automatically, registration perfects those rights and affords benefits such as the right to access the courts for infringement matters, the right to ask for statutory damages (sometimes the only damages possible), the right to ask for attorney fees, among others.
Not everything is covered under copyright as well. If the copy you are referring to is quite generic and more in line with standard forms or terms of service, etc. this would be quite difficult to enforce against.
I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your objectives in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Lapin, LLC on the basis of this posting.
Registering trade names and trade marks can help, as well as indicating on the web site itself that the material is copyrighted.
Plagiarism is the appropriation of another's words or ideas without permission or attribution, and representing such material as one's own. Determining the nature and extent of plagiarism can involve a long court proceeding, unless the misappropriator has committed a flagrant act.
You have received some thoughtful answers from my colleagues. The only thing I would add specifically is that you can obtain a copyright registration for your website; if the website is comprised mostly of text, then a "Form TX" would be appropriate. Anything you seek copyright for, however, must satisfy the originality requirement, which is a determination that an attorney can help make for you.
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Plagiarism is immoral not illegal. It's copyright infringement that is illegal. Registration of representative content will help protect the website. There are many copy copy protection schemes, and describing them is a computer security technology question not a legal question. You won't get a list of exactly what constitutes infringement you might STAR with www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/501 and 106. My cool leagues have given you good guidelines. Good Luck
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