283 votes

Lab colleague uses cracked software. Should I report it?

I don't feel that general academic ethics obliges you to report this, unless you have reason to believe that it might be endangering the research of the lab (giving inaccurate results, introducing ...
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185 votes

Lab colleague uses cracked software. Should I report it?

I would stay away from his "personal laptop" in the future and avoid peeking at other people's "very personal" screens. It is not your job to report this. And you should not be looking at other people'...
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  • 5,735
139 votes

Our teacher is encouraging us to use cracked software

My advice is to just use the pirated software and not rock the boat, just like Drunken Code Monkey, for example, mentioned. This issue isn't something that you're likely to solve yourself. Instead, ...
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  • 3,463
134 votes

How to respond to a company that wants specific details on implementation of my PhD research?

It's not normal to work for a company for free, and I'd simply answer something like this: Dear X, I am glad to know that my PhD work caught your interest. I can provide more information ...
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  • 52.4k
121 votes
Accepted

Our teacher is encouraging us to use cracked software

While it is true that software cracking is inappropriate and even illegal, almost everyone around me uses cracked software That is really bad and I know it happens also in my country (Italy). However,...
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99 votes
Accepted

Academic code copied by library author

In fact something great happened: Your research did have impact in the real world and seems to be useful - not everyone can say that! When it comes to legal issues, things are usually complicated and ...
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  • 13k
98 votes

How to respond to a company that wants specific details on implementation of my PhD research?

Other answers make the case that you should ask for money for your services. I certainly think that is a very fair and reasonable thing to do, but rather than asking for money upfront, I would like to ...
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  • 169k
81 votes

Our teacher is encouraging us to use cracked software

One thing you should absolutely avoid doing is cracking the software yourself. That opens you personally to a whole lot of legal issues (IANAL, but this is kind of obvious). If your computer is really ...
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78 votes

Is it ethical to share with students a book draft that the author no longer makes publicly available?

If the author can be contacted, ask them politely whether you may distribute the manuscript that used to be available online, explaining the purpose of your request and the size of your class. Perhaps ...
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  • 34k
65 votes
Accepted

Author wants to withdraw or insist on re-reviewing at proof stage of publication

While you might be in the legal right, I think trying to publish when the author wants to withdraw is likely to be more trouble than it is worth for a small society journal. You probably don't have ...
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  • 181k
53 votes

How to respond to a company that wants specific details on implementation of my PhD research?

I've never worked with a commercial interest directly, but the impression I get from colleagues is that companies will take as much as they can and pay as little as possible. "It's just business" as ...
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  • 7,629
51 votes
Accepted

A student posted my lab materials as a "project" on Instructables, and hid its origin as a lab assignment. How should I address this?

It seems to me that there are two orthogonal aspects to this: Copyright Attribution Either of these would in my eyes justify talking to the student and/or to the websites he posted at. Re 1, you ...
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51 votes

My code is published as original work by a different group. What should I do?

This seems to be a clear case of plagiarism, and potentially a copyright violation. The BSD license contains a line "Redistributions of source code must retain the above copyright notice, this list ...
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50 votes

How to preserve a rare version of a book respecting the copyright as well?

Discuss with the librarian - they may know what is available - ie it could be scanned while the book is refurbished and recovered. And, take the opportunity to explain to the librarian why it is ...
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  • 27.9k
49 votes

Our teacher is encouraging us to use cracked software

Let's see through this step for step: Is this actually illegal? To give an extreme example: Homosexuality is in Scandinavia not only legal, but accepted in the culture including marriages while it is ...
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  • 4,687
48 votes
Accepted

Is it ethical to share with students a book draft that the author no longer makes publicly available?

The author took a willful, deliberate action of removing the draft from its publicly available location online. The only thing we can infer from this is that he has revoked any implied approval he may ...
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  • 169k
47 votes

Is it legal in the US for a student to download a copy of a textbook, to study?

In general, it is not considered fair use to download the entirety of a textbook, regardless of whether or not you're a student or enrolled in a class using the textbook. Fair use normally is ...
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  • 172k
46 votes

How can I "time-stamp" my data without publishing it?

Basically, I want to protect myself upfront against My research work stolen and published as his own by the co-author without my consent What you need is to convince the research community that this ...
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46 votes
Accepted

Is it legal in the US for a student to download a copy of a textbook, to study?

Short answer: Nope. Long answer: It's complicated. The proportion of the work copied can actually be the whole of the work (i.e. 100%), if the other parts of the fair use test provide a strong enough ...
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  • 1,113
44 votes

What to do when another researcher used my results without credit in a science documentary?

I agree with your former advisor: let it slide...published information can be used by anyone in documentaries...[they] cannot cite everyone, perhaps even anyone, as this is not interesting, moreover, ...
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  • 40.1k
43 votes
Accepted

How long does it take before an academic article can no longer be kept behind a paywall?

Strictly speaking, the answer to your question is Never. Even after the copyright has expired, there is nothing to prevent a journal from keeping articles behind a paywall. Many journals will make ...
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  • 19k
43 votes

Copyright Status of a Math Text

I would encourage you to contact the authors. Both John Milnor and James Stasheff have their contact info on the web. As Stasheff is emeritus, Milnor might be a better bet.
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43 votes
Accepted

Can/should one put a copyright notice on one's CV or resume? Why/why not?

While your CV can technically be regarded as a piece of intellectual property, the usual reason why people assert their copyright to a work by putting a copyright notice on it is to deter and prevent ...
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  • 169k
42 votes

Why don't academics bypass restrictions on the distribution of their papers the same way as an institutional open access policy seems to do?

The main reason is inertia and lack of information, I think. Researchers are not really aware of the costs their institutions have to face to subscribe to journals. From their perspective, publishing ...
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  • 1,704
42 votes
Accepted

Permission to include a segment from Google Maps as a figure in a publication

Why, of course you should contact Google. More precisely, the Google Permissions page states that it is okay to use Google Map images for the purposes of research assuming that you provide proper ...
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  • 1,819
42 votes
Accepted

Can I publish a source code containing potential copyright violations that someone gave me at a university (updated)?

With the caveat that I am not a lawyer, the answer is "no". You have: code A, which is GPL-licensed code B, which is a derivative work of A and not GPL-licensed. The GPL license requires that all ...
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  • 9,233
41 votes

Lab colleague uses cracked software. Should I report it?

Are you sure it is cracked software ? A 'warning' popup could just be phishing malware and you might expect that a feature to detect piracy would just shut the application down rather than just issue ...
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  • 1,249
41 votes

Academic code copied by library author

Here's how I would view it: I got to do all the fun work of research and discovery. Somebody else voluntarily did the not-fun work of wrapping this work up in a nice software package. They're even ...
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40 votes
Accepted

Who Owns the Publishing Rights of my Ph.D. Thesis?

Did you sign an agreement to transfer copyright to someone else? Does your university policy (example) or employment contract specify that someone else holds the copyright to your thesis? If the ...
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  • 107k
40 votes
Accepted

Is it okay to keep pdfs of journal articles from my previous university when my current university does not have a subscription?

This is an interesting question -- and yet when you think about it, it's horrifying that we'd have to consider even for an instant the propriety and legality of keeping our own annotated research ...
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  • 17.7k

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