An extremely important note about Copyright


Remember to “always give credit where credit is due” and not plagiarize. Not only are you breaking the civil law if you plagiarize, but you are also breaking God’s law. Plagiarism is both “stealing and passing off.” In other words it is stealing and it is also lying because you are not truthfully stating that the ideas or words are not your own.

As a student at PMCA, you should not just avoid plagiarizing but you should abhor it. How do you avoid plagiarism - cite! Why do we cite?
  • We cite to document whose intellectual property we used for our research. Learn more about it - take the Copyright Crash Course.
  • We cite so our teacher can see not just that we did our work but that our work can be found and read.
  • We cite because it is not our ideas or writing or work. We cite because we must, as Christians, be honest.

Copyright laws are very explicit and, as a Christian school student, you are responsible for following those laws. If you did not write the words, take the photograph or do the statistics then you must give credit where credit is due. Unless otherwise stated, everything in books, magazines and on the Internet is copyrighted. You must, therefore, build citations for all the material you use which is not yours.

One clause of the copyright laws is called the “fair use” clause. The definition of fair use is “the use of copyrighted material that does not constitute an infringement of the copyright provided the use is fair and reasonable and does not substantially impair the value of the work or the profits expected from it by its owner.” (Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster, Inc. 19 Oct. 2010. <Dictionary.com http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/use>.)

Since the passing of the copyright laws, the “fair use” clause has not been altered. What has changed has been the interpretation of that clause. Talk to one of your teachers about how this new interpretation of the "fair use" effects you and doing your work at PMCA. Before you meet with your teacher read this document called Tool for Reasoning Fair Use.