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Elementary Library: Copyright and plagiarism

Rose Van Grinsven


What is Copyright?

Copyright protects the rights of the author. It means you have to ask permission to copy, manipulate, perform or communicate a creative work.

Did you know that whenever you write a poem, story, or research paper for your class, you automatically own the copyright to it?

Authors of work have to give permission for the following actions:

  • Making copies of the work;
  • Distributing copies of the work (such as for plays, film, dances or music);
  • Displaying the work publicly (such as for artwork, or stills from audiovisual works, or any material used on the Internet or television); and
  • Making modifications, adaptations or other new uses of a work, or translating the work to another media.

In general, it is illegal for anyone to do any of the things listed above without the author's permission, but there are some exceptions like citation for academic purposes. This means that students can give credit to the author for the original work and use the information in their own homework and research projects. Maybe someday YOUR work will be cited by another student!

What is Copyright

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