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Plagiarism and Copyrights
University of Phoenix

Plagiarism and Copyrights

Plagiarism and Copyrights are often difficult for the student or casual researcher to distinguish between the laws & regulations governing copyright, fair use, and plagiarism. The issue is significant for librarians, according to Walth (2002), because the Internet has forever changed the ways in which legally protected intellectual properties of all types can be accessed and ultimately used by individuals who do not own them or have the right to determine how they are used. This brief essay will examine plagiarism, copyright law, the difference between plagiarism & copyright, and the doctrine of fair use. Plagiarism as defined by Brandt (2002) is a form of academic dishonesty or cheating in which an individual takes inappropriate credit for the words, ideas, or other works of a second party, whether knowingly or unknowingly.

It can also take the form of citing references in a report for sources that have not actually been used (Grant, 2002; Lebeau, 2002; Walker, 2003). Plagiarism essentially is a form of lying and theft or using information that belongs to someone else and passing it off as one own. It is, consequently, a dishonest practice that Atkins and Nelson (2001) see as facilitated by the Internet. Copyright is a legal concept that affords to creators a limited monopoly on the use of the products of their minds whether those products are literary, musical, artistic, architectural, and technological works (Hall, 1992). To possess a copyright is to possess legal acknowledgement that one work or product cannot be printed, reprinted, published, copied, sold, translated, converted, arranged, adapted, delivered, and/or performed without one authorization (Poor, 1981).

Unlike plagiarism, which speaks to academic or professional ethics and honesty, copyright is a legal term (Heller, 2002). Plagiarism and copyright are related to one another in...