Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...

Subject: Re: On illegal software in an academic assignment ...
From: Kevin Austin (
Date: Sun Nov 13 2005 - 20:35:56 EST

At 3:03 PM +0000 11/13/05, Owen Green wrote:
>>>At 9:44 AM +0000 11/13/05, Owen Green wrote:
>>>As for plagarism, I don't see how you get there at all. Accepting
>>>'theft' for the moment; if I write an essay with a stolen
>>>ballpoint on stolen paper, is that now plagrism?
>>That may depend upon the intellectual property content of the pen and paper.
>The same order of magnitude of innovation has, I would think, been
>invested in its development up to this point; much of it may be far
>enough in the past to have ceased to be 'property'.

The pen will not transpose my tune up a third, Finale will.

>>As I recall, one never "owns" the software, one purchases a licence for use.
>Which is something software companies decided, along with the
>sometimes nutty terms of such licenses. Most software users
>('consumers', yechh) aren't, it seems, aware of this fact, which is
>possibly why vendors haven't been called on it.

I think they have used the model drawn from literature. I own a copy
(or three) of Ulysses, but I do not own Ulysses. The copyright
remains with the creator or their designate.

>Where, in the case of software, do the boundaries lie?

This is a basic question to be answered by parties with a "stake" in
the business.

>The University asks that work which is not the student's be credited.

The same happens in University research.

>>One could imagine the President of a large university being asked
>>the question: "It has come to light that students in your audio
>>programs are using illegal software. Does your university support
>>or condone such violations of applicable copyright laws?"
>And one could equally imagine a very vague and political reply :)

 From my limited experience, maybe this would have happened 25 years
ago, but Universities are starting to ask faculty to relinquish
'owners'' rights for all work done in the University. A bit like
working for an advertising or multi-national drug company.



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