A Thin Line Between Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism
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A Thin Line Between Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism

Plagiarism and copyright infringement are more or less given the same meanings by most people. There might be some similarities between the two terms but they should not be used as perfect synonyms for each other because they are not. They also have big differences which make them imperfect synonyms. Here is how these two are defined.

Copyright infringement only happens to works which have been covered by copyright. The particular act of infringement happens when someone else, someone who has not asked permission from the creator of the copyrighted work used it. When you would ask permission from the creator of a copyrighted work, you would likely have to pay the creator. This is why committing copyright infringement would involve the culprit paying what he owes the owner of the work he has copied.

Plagiarism has something in common with the laws on copyright infringement. However, the major difference would lie in the fact that once a person copies the work of others, even without being covered by a copyright, that person is said to have committed plagiarism already. Thus, it can be said that someone may commit plagiarism but not necessarily committing copyright infringement. On the other hand, copyright infringement is always an act of plagiarism. Plagiarism without copyright infringement can be done by copying the works of others without the copyright license but not acknowledging the real source of the work.

On a stricter and legal note, anyone who is suspect of doing copyright infringement will be subject to pay the owner of the plagiarised work that the suspect has obtained without the latterТs consent. Many countries advocate for upholding copyright which is why legal prosecutions are held for those who violated it. Another payment may also be demanded from the plagiarist in cases when the plagiarised work has earned while claimed as the plagiaristТs work. If your country is quite strict about copyright infringement, violators may even be imprisoned.

Plagiarism is once again different for it involves more moral fiber in the people more so than with law. By simply forgetting to put in the name of the source of the idea in your work, you are already committing plagiarism. Thus, you have to be conscientious and conscious in doing your work. There are some who can easily replace the names of the original sources and put in their own names as the original creator and thinker of ideas.

Committing plagiarism might not put you in prison but you will still suffer the negative consequences of this act. You will lose your credibility and every work that you do might be casted with a shadow of doubt that they might also be plagiarised works of yours. No one would easily trust you again for plagiarism is a telltale sign of oneТs laziness. It also means that you may not be able to produce work out of diligence. This smeared character will not pave your way for easy jobs to come. You would have to endure these effects for you once chose to lead an easy though, wrong way in life.

Melissa Anderson
Born in Greenville, North Carolina. Studied Commerce at Pitt Community College. Volunteer in various international projects aimed at environmental protection.
Former Customer Service Manager at OpenTeam | Former Company secretary at Chicago Digital Post | PlagiarismSearch Communications Manager
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