Plagiarism (West's Encyclopedia of American Law)
The act of appropriating the literary composition of another author, or excerpts, ideas, or passages therefrom, and passing the material off as one's own creation.
Plagiarism is theft of another person's writings or ideas. Generally, it occurs when someone steals expressions from another author's composition and makes them appear to be his own work. Plagiarism is not a legal term; however, it is often used in lawsuits. Courts recognize acts of plagiarism as violations of COPYRIGHT law, specifically as the theft of another person's INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. Because copyright law allows a variety of creative works to be registered as the property of their owners, lawsuits alleging plagiarism can be based on the appropriation of any form of writing, music, and visual images.
Plagiarism can take a broad range of forms. At its simplest and most extreme, plagiarism involves putting one's own name on someoneelse's work; this is commonly seen in schools when a student submits a paper that someone else has written. Schools, colleges, and universities usually have explicit guidelines for reviewing and punishing plagiarism by students and faculty members. In copyright lawsuits, however, allegations of plagiarism are more often based on partial theft. It is not necessary to exactly duplicate another's work in order to infringe a copyright: it is sufficient to take a substantial portion of...
(The entire section is 921 words.)
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