Regardless of one’s own definition, the fear of committing
either of these crimes has lead to underdeveloped research
brought on by the lack of knowledge regarding how to cite
other’s work properly.
I myself as a student at Texas Christian University have
struggled with the boundaries between plagiarism and
As a result of this fear, the development of potentially
breakthrough ideas has slowed.
Sadly, this problem could be resolved by teaching proper
citing techniques to those who need them and be explaining
what the differences are between plagiarism and copyright
Some say that plagiarism is using someone else's work
without giving proper credit while copyright infringement is
using someone else’s work without their permission.
Typically issues of plagiarism are dealt with within an
academic institution whereas issues of copyright
infringement are dealt with in a court.
Also, plagiarism is widely understood as a crime against the
group while copyright is a crime against the individual (Laura
Although these differences help distinguish between the two,
there is no solid and consistent way to decide which is
applicable; it is often subjective.
Regardless, with such stringent regulation regarding both
plagiarism and copyright infringement, the ease in which
people are able to freely express their own opinion or
express their creativity is being restrained.
The fear of being accused of plagiarism, especially in the
academic world, is substantial.
Although the consequences for plagiarism may not be quite
as severe as other forms of academic misconduct, the
consequences can still be quite serious.
The penalties for plagiarism can vary from failing an
assignment, loss of privilege, getting a low grade to not being
promoted to a higher standard, academic probation and
even expulsion from an educational institution (Buzzle.com).
The difficult thing about plagiarism is that it is extremely easy
to do unintentionally; and it is the fear of the consequences
of unintentional plagiarism that prevents them from doing
research to further their claims and ideas.
Some believe that the stringent laws surrounding copyright
should be loosened in order to create a most free society
where ideas are freely exchanged.
In the documentary, riP: A Remix Manifesto, Brett Gaylor, the director,
makes the argument that in order for the formation of new ideas to
occur, they must be able to freely build off the past.
Without a fundamental understanding of the differences between
copyright infringement and plagiarism, the flow of new ideas will move
at a significantly slower pace.
We need to focus on teaching the differences between infringement
and plagiarism as well as teach proper citing techniques in order for
us to have a free society where the creative ideas of individuals are
able to build off those before them.
Rip!: A Remix Manifesto. Dir. Bret Gaylor. Perf. Rip: a Remix Manifesto. Disinformation Films/Rv, 2010. Film.
Murray, Laura. "Plaigiarism and Copyright Infringement." Originality, Imitation, and Plagiarism: Teaching Writing in the Digital Age. Michigan: Digital Culture Books, 2008. 173-181. Print.