Plagiarism can be defined as copying or usage of any written material which is protected by copyright laws. Moreover, plagiarism is considered a literary theft of an idea and its presentation, as if it was your own. This punishable violation of the law is very widespread and much more common than one might think.
Why is plagiarism considered to be illegal?
In most parts of the world, written material created by a person is considered to be his personal property. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Expressing one’s ideas in a computer file (as a medium) falls under copyright protection.
As any other kind of personal property this one is also protected and cannot be used or exploited without the permission of its creator. Most countries have copyright laws, which protect writers and their creations. Nevertheless, there are kinds of plagiarism, which are very hard to detect.
Plagiarism on the internet
During the past decade, the internet evolved into a central medium which is available to anyone who has a computer. Performing plagiarism on the internet is extremely easy, since the boundaries between the public and the private on the web are unclear. The internet is virtually an endless source of written information. Its size and diversity make it very easy to steal and disguise written content as an original one. Nonetheless, the laws that protect written material apply to the internet, as much as they apply to written literature, where it is strictly forbidden to copy and use written content without giving a proper credit to the creator.
How to avoid Plagiarism?
In many cases the line between plagiarism and paraphrasing is very thin. You can be a plagiarist without even being aware of it. That’s why it is important to learn about plagiarism and the ways to prevent it. Copyleaks is a powerful tool in the battle against plagiarism. It was specifically designed for the prevention of plagiarism on the internet and has proven itself to be very useful for many clients.
It’s important to be aware of your actions when using the internet as a source. Any content which is used on your website must be original or approved by the creator. Not knowing the law does not exempt you from being punished.