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Web Publishing Ethics


Intellectual Property

All new ideas are the property of the person who expresses them first. Laws regarding intellectual property rights have been established throughout the world at many different levels of government. Since the development of the Internet as a means of distributing and reproducing information, these laws have become even more important than they were originally. The introduction of cross-referenced hypertext and multimedia into the world of publishing has complicated the issue and made interpretation of existing laws extremely difficult and highly subjective. Authors are cautioned to apply the most conservative standards to their use of another's intellectual property.

Many articles and web pages are being written about intellectual property rights and related issues. Below are a few links to some of the ones that you might find useful.


Plagiarism

Regardless of the stated copyrights, you are morally prohibited from taking credit for another individual's work. Most authors of web pages would be flattered if you asked them to reproduce one of their pages as long as you promise to give them credit for the work. Most authors make it very easy for you to contact them by providing address information at the beginning or the end of their documents.

When using most web browsers, all that you have to do to contact someone who has provided a mailto link for you is to click on it. (This is assuming that the computer that you are using has an email client installed and properly configured with an email account defined for you.)

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