Plagiarism is not a legal issue it's an ethical one. Giving
credit to the author does not exonerate you from complying with
copyright. Denying credit will weigh against you, though.
A notice serves to strengthen the protection but it is no
longer a requirement. It is best to assume a work is copyrighted
until proven otherwise.
Giving away copies of a work like music, without charging is a
violation of the law even if the work has no commercial value.
Copyright law is mostly civil law and so you could get sued,
but you won't be charged with a crime. The rights accorded to
criminal offenders therefore, do not apply. However, it is now a
felony to violate commercial copyright when more than 10 copies and
a value of over $2,500 are involved. This has yet to be
Because information is stored somewhere on an Internet server,
it is fixed in a tangible medium and qualifies for copyright
protection (except of course government documents, public domain,
works dedicated to public domain). Being on the Internet does not
make it public domain.
Just because you can easily download or print does not mean you
On the one hand, it is a reasonable assumption that when a
copyright owner uploads a work there is an implied license to
download it for personal use (although this has yet to be tried in
On the other hand, only the legitimate owner can upload the
work and Internet users have no way of knowing who put it there in
the first place.
On the other hand, someone who innocently downloads an
illegally uploaded work, only for personal purposes of course has
done nothing wrong.
On the other hand, the courts have determined that a person who
wrongfully uploads a work can be held liable for copyright