Learn details about legal penalties for plagiarism

How Would You Define Plagiarism?

Though it is apparent that the act of plagiarizing involves stealing the ideas from an original author, this subject remains tricky anyway. You can’t doubt plagiarism if a person consciously commits an act of fraud and lies that the stolen work is his or her own. In this case, legal penalties for plagiarism are totally justifiable. However, everything is not that simple when a person plagiarizes unconsciously.

One curious case occurred in the music industry. I think everyone remembers Madonna’s famous song “Frozen” released in 1998. After the world had enjoyed it for seven years, the Queen of Pop was suddenly accused of plagiarizing the melody. Salvatore Acquaviva, the Belgian songwriter, claimed that Madonna stole some parts of his song “Ma Vie Fout L’camp,” which had been created five years before the emergence of the widely known hit. Anyway, if you find “the original” (which is difficult to do), you’ll grasp the similarity of the melody but you’ll also realize that Acquaviva’s version doesn’t sound as good as Madonna’s. The act of plagiarism was confirmed by the court. Ironically, several years later, the verdict was canceled and, simultaneously, a new “authentic composer”, Edouard Scotto Di Suoccio, made a statement that both “Frozen” and “Ma vie fout le camp” were “inspired” by his composition “Blood Night” written in 1983. The court was puzzled, but then negated all plagiarism claims.

Such situations prove that it’s not so easy to detect plagiarism, especially when it’s related to music and art. Plagiarism of written works can also occur unwittingly. Does it mean that human intellect is not ingenious? Indeed, we all learn from certain sources and history falls short of the mark, repeating the ideas of people from different epochs all over again. It’s interesting to assume that all authors are relatively unique but it’s crucial not to copy others.

Plagiarism in Higher Education

Plagiarism has remained a burning issue in colleges and universities for a long time. Despite the emphasis on creative thinking and appraisals for innovative projects, modern students haven’t stopped plagiarizing. Unfortunately, the World Wide Web has become a mediator for plagiarism, making even rare ideas accessible to everyone. We’re able to find the needed information in a flash and if we make an effort, it will be possible to discover an unfeigned masterpiece by a relatively unknown author. Yes, it’s so alluring to make it your own, but you’d better not. Even promising students were excluded for plagiarism. What is weird, the learners are aware of punishment for plagiarism but still risk their academic success for having a brush with fame or simply believing that professors won’t notice.

Even if you don’t intend to steal somebody’s thoughts, you can plagiarize if you write your essay inattentively. If you don’t cite your bibliography correctly, your instructor has the right to state that your academic paper is not original. It is called accidental plagiarism.

Why Should You Avoid Plagiarism?

Ideas’ theft is a serious offense and penalties for plagiarism can be harsh. Your intention to find an easy way could turn into such infamous experiences as college expulsion, a worthy teaching contract annulment, or enormous financial recompense.

Using an original creation of another person and not referencing that work is a sheer plagiarism. Even paraphrasing won’t save the situation when the main idea is not your own. Since we’re more focused on writing plagiarism, pay attention to what a diligent writer should do:

  • quote original authors and attribute ideas or inventions to a person who created them;
  • analyze your sources and express your opinions;
  • check with professionals/teachers.

We live to acquire new knowledge, which makes us erudite. Since we can comprehend various information, we’re also able to create something one-of-a-kind. Remember, authentic ideas will be always rewarded while punishment for plagiarism will be fair and strict.