Plagiarism

Plagiarism

Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-7254-3.ch016
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Abstract

Plagiarism is easily differentiated from piracy. Piracy is the sale of qualified but unauthorized copies of a work, an action grudging the author of profit but not credit. Depriving authors of profit that is rightfully theirs is theft, but plagiarism focuses on ownership credit rather than profit. The main worries for plagiarism are its influence on creativity, motivation, and ability to think in alternative ways. These qualities of personality may be negatively impacted by habitual plagiarism. Moreover, the various impacts of plagiarism are lack of information authenticity, fake credit, personality faults, spoiling of professional reputation, and destroying the creative ability of creative professionals. This chapter explores plagiarism.
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Background

The word ‘plagiarism’ originates from the Latin words ‘plagiarius’, an abductor, and ‘plagiare’, to steal. Generally, plagiarism is the use of another person’s products of mind without acknowledging that they belong to someone else. There are different types of plagiarism with different legal and social aspects. Some ways of plagiarizing include copying and pasting text without proper way of citation, missing citation by using text from a source without citing it, fabricating data by manipulating someone’s research data or findings to hide plagiarism, idea theft which occurs frequently in advertising and design, by presenting someone else’s idea as your own, and copyright infringement which is reproducing, distributing, or displaying a work without the permission of the copyright owner. In the age of internet and technology, access to information has become very easy, people can find thousands of articles and related publications by simply ‘googling’ their topics, and the sources are difficult to be identified.

Plagiarism affects human creativity and knowledge, by making them think less and learn fewer, since no effort is needed to write texts, create concepts and original ideas. Another drawback of plagiarism is that it offends the literary rights of the original author and the property rights of the copyright owner. It is obvious that plagiarism is an ethical issue, which is treated by different methods, such as spreading awareness on individual and organizational levels, and creating codes and regulations to punish and penalize those who get caught in the act of plagiarism.

There are numerous writings and opinions concerning the issues of plagiarism, by many experts. Stuart P. Green (2002), Professor of Law at Rutgers Law School-Newark, in his article ‘Plagiarism, Norms, and the Limits of Theft Law: Some Observations on the Use of Criminal Sanctions in Enforcing Intellectual Property Rights’ (2002) explores the concept of plagiarism as a proposition that people generally value the esteem of others, particularly their peers. In order to earn the esteem of our peers, we look for the recognition of our originality, creativity, insight, knowledge, and technical skills. This is very common among writers, artists, and intellectuals, who not only enjoy the creative act itself, but also wish to see those acts recognized by others. This desire for esteem produces a norm that Stuart P. Green refers to as the “norm of attribution.” Rendering to this norm, words and ideas may be copied if and only if the copier attributes them to their inventor. Without this recognition there would be fewer inducements to produce new work.

People who value the norm of attribution would regard credit earned for someone else’s work as illegitimate. Undeniably, such people can attain gratification only if they know that the work they are being known for is in fact their own. However, for many people, the attribution norm becomes a moral obligation, rather than a willful desire to show respect and appreciation to the work of others.

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