What Can I Do if Someone Plagiarized My Work?
It may be possible to file a copyright infringement claim. Copyright infringement is the act of violating the copyright owner’s exclusive right through unauthorized or prohibited use of copyrighted material. A copyright owner’s right is an exclusive one and is granted under the federal Copyright Act. An infringement of rights of the copyright owner occurs when:
1. there is a reproduction of work;
2. there is a derivative of works prepared based on the work;
3. there is a distribution of copies of the work;
4. the work is performed in public; and
5. there is public performance of sound recordings.
The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.