First "I am not a lawyer". Having said that, I have read the copyright law as well as I could. There seem to be several considerations that affect the seriousness of an alleged copyright infringement. One is the issue of 'fair use', which is a vague and often ambiguous term. Another consideration is the use of the material - whether for profit, or for educational purposes. A third issue is the harm, if any, done to the copyright holder. In the case of Perl Monks, the use is educational. Chances are good that the original author never expected to make any money on whatever he posted on the Internet. And it would be difficult to show that posting the material here caused the person any harm. One thing that appears clear is that anyone who publishes copyrighted material is at least theoretically liable, whether they knew of the alleged violation or not. The logic of this escapes me, but as I said, IANAL. I think Perl Monks will probably be OK in spite of the occasional plagiarized post. Perhaps the question isn't so much what we can get away with legally, but what is the right thing to do - and that, as we've seen, is a matter of considerable controversy.

More information can be found at

In reply to Re^4: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism? (legalese) by spiritway
in thread How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism? by liverpole

Use:  <p> text here (a paragraph) </p>
and:  <code> code here </code>
to format your post; it's "PerlMonks-approved HTML":

  • Posts are HTML formatted. Put <p> </p> tags around your paragraphs. Put <code> </code> tags around your code and data!
  • Titles consisting of a single word are discouraged, and in most cases are disallowed outright.
  • Read Where should I post X? if you're not absolutely sure you're posting in the right place.
  • Please read these before you post! —
  • Posts may use any of the Perl Monks Approved HTML tags:
    a, abbr, b, big, blockquote, br, caption, center, col, colgroup, dd, del, div, dl, dt, em, font, h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, hr, i, ins, li, ol, p, pre, readmore, small, span, spoiler, strike, strong, sub, sup, table, tbody, td, tfoot, th, thead, tr, tt, u, ul, wbr
  • You may need to use entities for some characters, as follows. (Exception: Within code tags, you can put the characters literally.)
            For:     Use:
    & &amp;
    < &lt;
    > &gt;
    [ &#91;
    ] &#93;
  • Link using PerlMonks shortcuts! What shortcuts can I use for linking?
  • See Writeup Formatting Tips and other pages linked from there for more info.