The Internet & Copyright"Copyrighted works on the Net include news stories, software, novels, screenplays, graphics, pictures, Usenet messages and even email. In fact, the frightening reality is that almost everything on the Net is protected by copyright law. This can pose problems for the hapless surfer." The Copyright Website
What is protected on the WWW?Content includes the unique underlying design of a Web page; its contents; and: links | orignal text | graphics | audio | video | html, xml, vrml, other unique markup language sequences | List of Web sites compiled by an individual or organization | and all other unique elements that make up the original nature of the material.
When creating a Web page, you CAN......link to other Web sites. (However, some individuals and organizations have specific requirements when you link to their Web material. Check a site carefully to find such restrictions. It is wise to ask permission. Cite sources, as you are required to do in a research paper, when quoting or paraphrasing material from other sources. How much you quote is limited.) ...use free graphics on your Web page. If the graphics are not advertised as "free" they cannot be copied without permission.
When creating a Web page, you CAN NOT......put the contents of another person's or organizations web site on your Web page.
...copy and paste information together from various Internet sources to create "your own" document. (You CAN quote or paraphrase limited amounts, if you give credit to the original source and the location of the source. This same principle applies to print sources, of course.)
...incorporate other people's electronic material, such as e-mail, in your own document, without permission.
...forward someone's e-mail to another recipient without permission.
...change the context of or edit someone else's digital correspondence in a way which changes the meaning.
...copy and paste others' lists of resources on your own web page.
...copy and paste logos, icons, and other graphics from other web sites to your web page (unless it is clearly advertised as "freeware." Shareware is not free). Some organizations are happy to let you use their logos, with permission - it is free advertising. But they want to know who is using it. They might not approve of all sites who want to use their logo.
Many aspects of the issue of copyright and the Internet are still not resolved. This information however, should serve as a useful guide to help avoid violation of copyright rules and the pitfalls of unknowingly plagiarizing someone else's material.