Sunnyvale Businesses: Be aware of Copyrights
Easy access to information via the Internet increases a writer’s need to respect the intellectual property of others. Words copied directly from web sites and included as one’s own original thoughts in blogs, e-letters and other communication devices without citing the source is plagiarism.
Similarly, using copyrighted material without permission is copyright infringement.
Do be aware that the existence of a copyright by itself does not prohibit copying. The Copyright Act of 1976 established the conditions under which copyrighted material can be copied and distributed without permission of the copyright holder or payment of royalties. Known as fair use, the statute allows material to be used for purposes such as commentary, criticism, research, teaching and news reporting.
To avoid plagiarizing work from any source, take notes rather than copying verbatim, and paraphrase the thoughts in your own words. It may help you to have the reference material out of sight when you are paraphrasing.