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Copyright Act and Fair Use

Updated on January 11, 2017
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Plagiarism and Copyright

-Mahavir Sanglikar

I have been writing on internet for last 10 years. I have observed that many of my articles have been copy-pasted on other websites and blogs without my permissions. The worst thing is that, at many places my name as the author is removed, and the articles are published with a different name as the writer.

This type of stealing is being done not only by the amateur bloggers, but also by some professional writers and websites.

Many original writers are facing this problem.

True writers write using their knowledge, research, thinking power and creativity. They give a lot of time for every single piece of their writings. Further they give their time to modify or rewrite the already written articles. This makes them devoted writers. Such writers get a wide readership.

But some so called writers just copy the articles already published on net. They publish such article with their own name as a writer. This is just a theft. Theft of intellectual property. Why do they do this? This is not just because it is easy to do, but an important reason behind this is that they do not want to give their time for creativity. Some smart writers copy the main theme and present it by modifying the original article.

But such copy-paste writers are not long term gainers. Eventually they got caught. This can lead them to problems, and they can face legal actions. Even the websites, who have published such stolen articles can face problems.

I know some copy-paste writers, who were fined and who had to spend 1 to 3 years in jail.

Copying articles written by others and publishing them in own name is unethical and illegal. So never copy.

The best way is to be original. You will gain a lot in long term, only if you use your own intellect.

Esther Dyson, a former journalist says, "I think copyright is moral, proper. I think a creator has the right to control the disposition of his or her works - I actually believe that the financial issue is less important than the integrity of the work, the attribution, that kind of stuff"

What is Copyright Act/Law

To protect the rights and interests of authors, artists and the expressions of the ideas, many countries have legislated a law which is generally known as Copyright Act or Copyright Law. This act grants exclusive right to make and sell the copies of their work, to perform their work publicly, to create derivative works and to sell, transfer or license the rights partially or exclusively.

Their is a time limit to this right which varies according to the countries. In USA, and UK, the right expires after 70 years of death of the author. In India, it is for 60 years after death of the author.

The works subjected to copyright act include literary, musical, pictorial, graphic, dramatic, audio-visuals and performing arts.

A simple formula of the copyright concept to know is the Copyright act protects expression of ideas, and not the ideas.

There is provision of huge penalty and imprisonment for voilating the law.

Fair Use is not Infringement of copyright

However, the copyright act permits limited use of the works of the original authors to others, without acquiring permissions of the right holders. This limited use, known as Fair Use includes usage in reviews and criticism, news reporting, quotes, citations, commentary, teaching etc. One should remember that such use should be a limit, and excessive use is not fair use.


Submit a Comment

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Thanks, Nathan

  • profile image


    6 years ago

    Great article, totally agree with you.

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India


  • Hubpages Hubber profile image

    Hubpages Hubber 

    6 years ago from USA

    Well. Copy-Paste was never a good idea to do - both offline and online. I just shared this with my followers and on all social networks. Thanks for Sharing!

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    AudreyHowitt, you are right

  • jainismus profile imageAUTHOR

    Mahaveer Sanglikar 

    6 years ago from Pune, India

    Thanks samsons1, for reading and commenting on the Hub, as well as fo voting up and sharing it.

  • samsons1 profile image


    6 years ago from Tennessee

    Very well written and to the point. I agree completely. Voted up and useful + shared...

  • alisha4u profile image


    6 years ago from New Delhi, India

    I do have the same view point... Copy Paste is not what a Hubber should do...

  • profile image


    7 years ago

    Great Hub. I totally agree that eventually, if people copy and paste they will be found out. It's much more satisfying to write words of your own anyway. It's a skill we all can hone over time, one which copy-pasters will never get to truly enjoy.

  • Cyndi10 profile image

    Cynthia B Turner 

    7 years ago from Georgia

    There are many who probably need to read your article but are not with Hubpages. Good information. voted up. Thanks!

  • msshandriaball profile image

    Shandria Ball 

    7 years ago from Anniston

    WOW ,i am new to hubpages and this is useful info.

  • FloraBreenRobison profile image


    7 years ago

    This is what happened to me with my biography on hubpages. Copyright was easier to defend in printed form.

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 

    7 years ago from California

    I think this is a growing problem. With the ease of the flow of information over the internet, it becomes very easy for people to lose sight of the issue of copyright infringement. It is something that we should all be concerned about and keep our eyes open for. Great article!


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