Two months have passed since the Annual Ko-Yon Games in September. For Korea University’s (KU) freshmen, it was certainly a wonderful experience, one of the best since their acceptance. Seniors could also have enjoyed the dashing spirits of the players and themselves. But aside from such pleasure lingering in students’ memory, an ugly incident regarding plagiarism occurred.
▲ The original from Broccoli you too (left), and the KU poster (right).Provided by www.wikitree.co.kr
Before games, KU and Yonsei University (YU) students heat up the mood of the competition by putting up banners and posters. Each of these has both a message supporting the players and a message sneering at their opponents. These humorous messages are read with interest by not just the students but also the general public.
This year, one of the catchiest KU student posters parodied a private lesson recruiting advertisement. The poster showed leaflets with detachable phone numbers which students use to advertise their tutoring services. The KU poster mocked YU by demonstrating that nobody took YU student numbers.
However, Broccoli you too, a music group tweeted that the poster violated the copyright for one of their album covers. Fortunately the Student Union for Mechanical Engineering immediately apologized for the plagiarism, and Broccoli you too accepted it. Although this incident ended without any more trouble, such a situation raises questions about the ambiguity of copyright law.
One thing that KU professors emphasize to students by far the most is to avoid plagiarizing. However, for many students, it is difficult to precisely understand what an act of plagiarism is. Thankfully, KU’s Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL) launched a website about copyright on September, now aiming to provide both students and faculty with the information about copyright use.
Jang Jeongah (33, Seoul), a CTL researcher, said that the initial motivation for the website was to support the Open Course Ware (OCW) program, rather than to assist KU students. The OCW is a program that opens university courses to the public. Universities such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard University are participants in this program. Jang mentioned that many Korean universities are participating as well, including Seoul National University (SNU) and KU.
"However, what is problematic is that many professors google some contents, for example, to put in their presentations without citing it," said Jang. "It is okay when they reveal the sources of the content, since for educational purposes Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) can be used without fees. But even so, citing references is still crucial, and many professors are often unaware of the need to do so."
Therefore, with the increasing necessity of abiding by copyright laws, CTL found it necessary to provide copyright information, specifically to professors. Jang laughed, "If not, to be extreme, professors could be accused of breaking copyright laws and that surely would be troubling to the reputation of KU." To meet this objective, the site has several functions. For one, the site is providing one-on-one consultation. This is the main feature of the site and can be used by both professors and students.
CTL is planning to add more features aimed at students since they too need help. According to Jang, the first step is providing online lectures regarding copyright, especially for students. "There are actually a few videos on the site currently. But we are expecting to add more and to organize the system more systematically for easier understanding of copyright."
▲ The first page of the KU COPYRIGHTS, the guidance site about copyright.Provided by ctl.korea.ac.kr/cr