Average in Every Way

As the plagiarism battle, much like Web users in general, shifts over to social networking sites , the cooperation of those sites is going to be critical in battling online plagiarism. With over 64 million accounts, Myspace is the cornerstone of social networking sites and its aid is paramount in this battle.

Fortunately, my recent experiences with Myspace have been very positive, though not necessarily impressive. Myspace is definitely on the side of copyright holders when it comes to battling plagiarism, however, its cooperation is limited to the confines of the law.

A Ho-Hum Experience

It’s very difficult to write about my dealings with Myspace because there is very little distinctive one way or another. Myspace complies to the letter of the DMCA, including having its information registered at the U.S. Copyright Office (pdf), and seems to comply with it, no less, no more.

This means that, while they will remove works found to be infringing, they generally do not disable accounts or otherwise punish users, even those that engage in rampant copyright infringement.

Second, their response time, averaging two working days, is also about par for the course on these matters. Though not as quick as sites like Allpoetry, also not as painfully slow and woefully inadequate as sites on the Microsoft network.

Finally, even the feedback received is par for the course. Once the work(s) has been removed, Myspace sends a form letter rich with legalese that lets you know as such.  

All in all, there is nothing about Myspace’s handling of copyright infringement claims that is either wonderful for horrible. They seem to do a good job responding to notices of infringement and balance the rights of the copyright holder with the rights of their user.

A Citizen

In the end, I give Myspace a solid "Citizen" status in the plagiarism fight. Myspace does what’s required of it and has found a way to maintain both speed and accuracy as it has grown to nearly unimaginable size. I can only imagine the logistical challenges of this. 

Myspace does a solid job handling these matters and, barring turning over these functions to a moderating staff, the best that one can expect. It comforts me greatly to know that, even if the fight does shift more toward social networking sites, we will have a strong ally in the fight.

[tags]Plagiarism, Content Theft, DMCA, Copyright, Myspace, Social Networking[/tags]

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