copyright, plagiarism, and open source
Collaboration in academic settings is generally a
good thing. However, you must be clear about two
issues when using other people's work: copyright,
Copyright is a legal issue: does someone else own
this image or video or phrase?
The details of what exactly you're allowed to use and
in what context aren't trivial.
In this age of the internet, it's particularly easy to grab
an image or whatever off a website somewhere,
and use it in your presentation or paper.
However, unless the creator specifically grants
you permission, that's usually illegal.
(The most often used academic exception is called "fair use",
which can allow non-profit academic use of small portions of
Plagiarism is an ethical issue: implying (even
without intent to mislead) that something is your work when it isn't.
Whenever you submit academic work,
you must make it clear what you did
and what is due to other people.
Be sure you understand this: serious infractions can
get you flunked from a course or kicked out of school.
From Marlboro College's "Policy on Academic Integrity" :
"It is the responsibility of all students to inform
themselves of the of the content of Marlboro College's
Statement on Academic Integrity which describes
student's responsibilities in ensuring the academic
integrity of their work."
For more information, see these Marlboro College sources
and these off campus sites.
open source and creative commons
Many software packages and artistic works now
have "free" licenses that encourage people to
use, share, modify, and re-distribute them.
There are a variety of such licenses for various
sorts of materials including "open source" for software
and "creative commons" for artistic works. Sometimes
these are called "copyleft" rather than "copyright"
licenses since they are designed to ensure that others
can re-distribute the work, rather than prohibit them
from doing so.
These sorts of materials are still subject to
copyright and plagiarism issues. When you use
(or re-use) them, please make sure you do so within the
appropriate legal and ethical rules.
Here are a few starting points for more information.
in Computer Science courses
In Jim's courses, collaborating
on homework assignments is generally fine - just make it clear who did
what when you submit the work. Likewise, it's often
perfectly reasonable to use open source software as
a basis for your project - as long as it's clear what
your contribution is, and that the work you've put
in and the understanding you demonstrate is appropriate
to the assignment.
Usually what is and isn't OK should be clear from the assignment.
If in doubt, ask.
campus computer and internet policies
The rules for using campus computers and networks are
pretty straightforward: academic work has priority,
use common sense, don't break the law, and don't violate the AUP
(Acceptable Use Policy) of our ISP (Internet Service Provider).
The details are in the following documents.