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I have a part-time job at a small publishing company where I basically upload articles that they have written for some of their paid subscription websites (user pays for a subscription to read the articles). Recently they have been asking me to copy and paste articles from popular news sites and upload them onto their paid subscription websites without even acknowledging the original site or writer.

The other day I saw an email on the business owners computer, regarding legal advice for a copyright infringement case involving the business.

So now I'm worried that they are getting sued, and I'm the one who has been actually uploading these articles that I might get into some serious legal trouble. For someone in college the last thing I want to be involved in is a lengthy legal case.

So I'm wondering should I just leave and find another job, or stay and see what happens? I have only been there for two months.

Thanks

closed as off-topic by Kent A., Kate Gregory, gnat, Jim G., Adam V Jun 1 '16 at 12:43

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave these specific reasons:

  • "Questions asking for advice on what to do are not practical answerable questions (e.g. "what job should I take?", or "what skills should I learn?"). Questions should get answers explaining why and how to make a decision, not advice on what to do. For more information, click here." – Kent A., gnat, Adam V
  • "Questions seeking advice on company-specific regulations, agreements, or policies should be directed to your manager or HR department. Questions that address only a specific company or position are of limited use to future visitors. Questions seeking legal advice should be directed to legal professionals. For more information, click here." – Kate Gregory, Jim G.
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    Advice on what to do is considered off-topic, as are questions about legal matters. However, quitting and leaving likely won't protect you. You can still be named in a lawsuit, or subpoenaed to testify. One way to help your situation would be to put in writing (such as an email, and keep a copy safe somewhere) your protest of being asked to upload copyrighted content, then resign on those grounds. At least then there would be a record of your not complying with the orders. But this is not a bullet proof protection. – Kent A. Jun 1 '16 at 11:30
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    I would suggest going our legal site and ask if you are in trouble. Ofc if you find the work unethical you can always quit if you don't need the Job or can find a new one. – Raoul Mensink Jun 1 '16 at 11:31
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  • Thanks for the advice, I think I will ask legal site if there are any implications for myself. Will probably leave anyway due to the ethical implications of stealing content. – Craig Jun 1 '16 at 11:55
  • Here is the question that was posted over on Law.SE. – mikeazo Jun 1 '16 at 13:00
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Recently they have been asking me to copy and paste articles from popular news sites and upload them onto their paid subscription websites without even acknowledging the original site or writer.

Have you actually done any of that yet? If so, it might be too late. Consult a lawyer if you have because you could very well be fully liable for that and even face criminal charges (IANAL obviously).

If you haven't done any of that yet, you should refuse and find a new job ASAP.

I cannot stress enough that under no circumstances should you engage in illegal copyright infringement now or in the future, not even on a direct order of your employer. If you are doing it currently, cease it immediately and consult a lawyer now.

  • Thanks for the answer. That's a problem because I have been reposting these articles for maybe a month now. I originally thought that they had permission to do so, but recently I asked another employee and he said they didn't (which explains the lawsuit). Turns out this is more serious than I originally thought... – Craig Jun 1 '16 at 12:04
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    @Craig it definitely is, you need to get a lawyer yesterday. This could be super bad for you, like "you are personally liable for this criminally and civilly"-bad, and only a lawyer can help you mitigate that. – Magisch Jun 1 '16 at 12:07
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    I originally thought that they had permission to do so Don't forget telling the lawyer this, it helps. – deviantfan Jun 1 '16 at 12:51
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    @deviantfan even if it's a lie. – hownowbrowncow Jun 1 '16 at 16:53

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