# 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, and plagiarism.
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 copyrighted works.)
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." 
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.