Plagiarism Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Plagiarism, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Plagiarism?

n.It is publishing or selling someone else’s written concepts as one’s own ideas.Use of brief quotes do not come under plagiarism.The author can sue the plagiarist and file a lawsuit to recover profits.It is not a crime but can be considered under fraud and copyright charges if proved by evidence.

History and Meaning of Plagiarism

Plagiarism has been a problem for centuries, as long as works of literature, music, or art have been created by humans. The term “plagiarism” has its roots in the Latin word “plagiarius” meaning “kidnapper”. It was first used in the 1600s to describe literary theft. In academia, plagiarism is punished by academic sanctions and is considered a serious offense against academic integrity. It is also a violation of intellectual property rights and can lead to legal consequences.

Examples of Plagiarism

  1. A student writes a paper that is copied from a published article, without providing proper citation or attribution.
  2. A writer publishes a book that contains large portions of text taken from another author’s work, without obtaining permission or acknowledging the source.
  3. A musician uses a melody or lyrics from another musician’s song, without giving credit or obtaining permission.
  4. A journalist creates an article that heavily relies on information from an anonymous source, but presents it as their own research.
  5. A company uses marketing materials that are based on another company’s successful campaign, without any changes or acknowledgement.

Legal Terms Similar to Plagiarism

  1. Copyright Infringement: Using someone else’s work in a way that infringes on their exclusive rights to the work.
  2. Trademark Infringement: Unauthorized use of a trademark or service mark in a way that can cause confusion or deception to the public.
  3. Patent Infringement: Unauthorized use of a patented invention, process, or design.