The Kidnapping of Content

Written by Sam Vaknin and

Latin kidnappedrepparttar word "plagion" from ancient Greek and it ended up in English as "plagiarism". It literally means "to kidnap" - most commonly, to misappropriate content and wrongly attribute it to oneself. It is a close kin of piracy. But whilerepparttar 108513 software or content pirate does not bother to hide or alterrepparttar 108514 identity ofrepparttar 108515 content's creator orrepparttar 108516 software's author -repparttar 108517 plagiarist does. Plagiarism is, therefore, more pernicious than piracy.

Enter An off-shoot of, it was established by a group of concerned (and commercially minded) scientists from UC Berkeley.

Whereas digital rights and asset management systems are geared to prevent piracy - and its commercial arm,, arerepparttar 108518 cyber equivalent of a law enforcement agency, acting afterrepparttar 108519 fact to discoverrepparttar 108520 culprits and uncover their misdeeds. This, they claim, is a first stage onrepparttar 108521 way to a plagiarism-free Internet-based academic community of both teachers and students, in whichrepparttar 108522 educational potential ofrepparttar 108523 Internet can be fully realized.

The problem is especially severe in academia. Various surveys have discovered that a staggering 80%(!) of US students cheat and that at least 30% plagiarize written material. The Internet only exacerbated this problem. More than 200 cheat-sites have sprung up, with thousands of papers available on-line and tens of thousands of satisfied plagiaristsrepparttar 108524 world over. Some of these hubs - like, cheatweb or - make no bones about their offerings. Many of them are located outsiderepparttar 108525 USA (in Germany, or Asia) and at least one offers papers in a few languages, Hebrew included.

The problem, though, is not limited torepparttar 108526 ivory towers. E-zines plagiarize. The print media plagiarize. Individual journalists plagiarize, many with abandon. Even advertising agencies and financial institutions plagiarize. The amount of material out there is so overwhelming thatrepparttar 108527 plagiarist develops a (fairly justified) sense of immunity. The temptation is irresistible,repparttar 108528 rewards big andrepparttar 108529 pressures of modern life great.

Some ofrepparttar 108530 plagiarists are straightforward copiers. Others substitute words, add sentences, or combine two or more sources. This raisesrepparttar 108531 question: "when should content be considered original and when - plagiarized?". Shouldrepparttar 108532 test for plagiarism be more stringent thanrepparttar 108533 one applied byrepparttar 108534 Copyright Office? And what rights are implicitly granted byrepparttar 108535 material's genuine authors or publishers once they placerepparttar 108536 content onrepparttar 108537 Internet? Isrepparttar 108538 Web a public domain and, if yes, to what extent? These questions are not easily answered. Consider reports generated by users from a database. Are these reports copyrighted - and if so, by whom - byrepparttar 108539 database compiler or byrepparttar 108540 user who definedrepparttar 108541 parameters, without whichrepparttar 108542 reports in question would have never been generated? What about "fair use" of text and works of art? Inrepparttar 108543 USA,repparttar 108544 backlash against digital content piracy and plagiarism has reached preposterous legal, litigious and technological nadirs.

Invasion of the Amazons

Written by Sam Vaknin

The last few months have witnessed a bloodbath in tech stocks coupled with a frantic re-definition ofrepparttar web and of every player in it (as far as content is concerned).

This effort is three pronged:

Some companies are gambling on content distribution andrepparttar 108512 possession ofrepparttar 108513 attendant digital infrastructure. MightyWords, for example, stealthily transformed itself from a "free-for-all-everyone-welcome" e-publisher to a distribution channel of choice works (mainly by midlist authors). It now aims to feed its content to content-starved web sites. Inrepparttar 108514 process, it shed thousands of unfortunate authors who did not meet its (never stated) sales criteria.

Others betrepparttar 108515 farm on content creation and packaging. invadedrepparttar 108516 digital publishing and POD (Print on Demand) businesses in a series of lightning purchases. It is nowrepparttar 108517 largest e-book store by a wide margin.

But Amazon seemed to have got it right once more. The web's own virtual mall andrepparttar 108518 former darling of Wall Street has diversified into micropayments.

The Internet started as a free medium for free spirits. E-commerce was once considered a dirty word. Web surfers became used to free content. Hencerepparttar 108519 (very low) glass ceiling onrepparttar 108520 price of content made available throughrepparttar 108521 web - andrepparttar 108522 need to charge customers less than 1 US dollars to a few dollars per transaction ("micro-payments"). Various service providers (such as Pay-Pal) emerged, none became sufficiently dominant and all-pervasive to constitute a standard. Web merchants' ability to accept micropayments is crucial. E-commerce (let alone m-commerce) will never take off without it.

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