- Gregory B. Perleberg, Esq.
Authorship and Written Works Vs. The Cut and Paste- Tips for Creative Talent:
In the world of YouTube, blogging and posting online, here are a few helpful tips for writers. There are several tools to help with works of authorship and in this post, we will share with you three tools for you to use to not only improve your writing: paraphrasing your words, etc., but more importantly checking for plagiarism and infringement of copyrights.
Infringing another’s copyright -- especially one that is registered – is serious business, and potentially puts one at risk for statutory damages – statutory damages include “a sum of not less than $750 or more than $30,000 as the court considers just.” A judge awards these for each work that was infringed upon. Further, a plaintiff who can demonstrate that infringement was “willful” can recover up to $150,000 in statutory damages. Damages can be reduced if the infringement is non-willful or constitutes fair use(e.g., news reporting, certain teaching scenarios, etc.), which we will discuss in future posts.
With respect to tools for authors, the first is Grammarly (https://app.grammarly.com/). You can enhance many aspects of your writing with Grammarly, which analyzes four main categories: correctness, clarity, engagement and delivery. These can help you enhance your writing significantly. In addition, if you do not like the suggested corrections, you can simply reject the recommendation by hitting the small trash can.
Then, there is an excellent tool/app for plagiarism (but by no means a replacement for sage legal advide), which also shows you which articles and sources your writing is similar to – it’s called Quetext ( https://www.quetext.com/). As a law firm representing writers or authors, we are constantly concerned about plagiarism and the possibility of someone else penning something that may lead to an infringement claim. Quetext provides you with the proportion of potential plagiarism, articles/sources that are comparable to your piece of writing, and how to reference a bit of work in about 2-3 minutes. When mentioning a part of work, all you must do is click on a similar source, fill in the required information (author name, publication date, etc.), and then choose the format you want. There is no need to write in MLA (a writing style appropriate for college-level writing), Chicago (a citation format that is particularly adaptable), or any other structure in your source, it does it for you.
Lastly there is QuilBot ( https://quillbot.com/) which helps in deciding what words to use, and it also serves as a good paraphrasing tool. In this program, you can enter all your wok into the textbox and press the green “paraphrase” button. Then, it will give you something different from your original piece of work, such as a better choice of words, rephrasing something to make it sound more apparent as so on. So gives these tips a shot to see how they work, and if you need legal assistant with any of your valuable intellectual properties, send me an e-mail or give us a call.
My colleagues and I have working with creative talent for 20+ years, from books, to films, internet content (e.g., protecting web content, chasing down infringers and dealing with claims of defector)., etc. Contact us anytime. Our Intern Ava Moaven assisted in the content for this post.
Perleberg McClaren LLP