When it comes to intellectual property, copyright has always been a hot topic. Creators of content, products and materials have the choice to reserve (or not) the right of use of their creations. After all, creators have put a lot of hours of work and intellectual effort to give breath to their creations.

In learning, particularly, there are specific ethical requirements put in place to safeguard the intellectual property of a creator from use without permission (such as the right to reproduce, distribute, display, etc)  and “wrongful appropriation” (stealing and publicize) of one’s work. The term “Plagiarism” infers to the act of presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own.

Melanie Wrobel’s Q&A session presented a collection of topics and scenarios of copyright, and plagiarism issues in an attempt to underpin relevant ethical and legal intricacies thus providing guidance to RRU students. Key takeaways include:

1) Using photos, graphs, images from websites where Creative Commons (CC) rules apply or copyright authorization may be required by the owner.

2) The requirement to always cite and include in References all authors of articles, books, journals, etc to avoid plagiarism.

What I appreciated learning more about, was that open source material is not to be used freely just because they’re considered “open”, i.e. shared. An example brought up by Melanie was the Open Educational Resources (OER) that universities and students have access to. It was stated that universities spend a considerable amount of money to obtain access to publishers of articles, journals and other digital content that is distributed for educational purposes. Therefore, proprietary rules must be strictly observed in order to avoid violation leading to legal proceedings or penalties. 


Wrobel, M. (2016, June 13). A Guide to Copyright [Video file]. Retrieved from: https://moodle.royalroads.ca/moodle/mod/page/view.php?id=245370