ANSWER: document ownership/plagiarism

Subject: ANSWER: document ownership/plagiarism
From: "Wittel, Teresa J." <WITTTJ -at- NCSLINK -dot- COM>
Date: Tue, 21 Oct 1997 16:01:00 -0700

Although, this answer is not based on specific legal knowledge, I do
have an opinion. ;-)

1. You would not want to gather usability statistics for any documents
that were revised (and supposedly maintained) by another department.
They would be invalid (unless you controlled the revisions). Therefore,
your name and address SHOULD be removed.

2. Since everything developed by your company is OWNED by your company,
this could not be considered an infringement of copyright. It is
plagiarism, but only in the strictest sense of the word. Most companies
share information in this manner so that all can profit by it. Why
reinvent the wheel (to coin a cliche')?

3. I *think* you are getting wrapped around the yardstick simply
because the original material was written by you (or someone you know)
and you are concerned that the individual will be deprived of due credit
or be unable to follow up on any updates/errors found in the material.
I say, if someone changes the document - it's theirs now and THEY have
to maintain it. You do not OWN the document. The original document in
its entirety is still out there (I suspect) and is your sole
responsibility. YOUR quality is unaffected.

I'd be interested in other writer's opinions.


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