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Plagiarism and How to Avoid it: Plagiarism vs Copyright

Guide on Plagiarism and how to avoid it

What is Copyright?

"the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material"

"copyright"  The Oxford Dictionary of English. 2015. Oxford Reference Online. Oxford University Press. 


Copyright Explained

The video above, created by Professor Eric Faden of Bucknell University, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License.

More details at this Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School page.

Another video explaining copyright, by CGP Grey.

Plagiarism vs Copyright

  Plagiarism Copyright Infringement

The theft of ideas or of written passages or works, where these are passed off as one's own work without acknowledgement of their true origin; or a piece of writing thus stolen.

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms

Violation of the rights of a copyright holder, when material protected by copyright is used without consent.


What's affected

Written work

Any work of authorship


Academic dishonesty

Copyright law violation


Fools reader into believing you wrote the work

Denies copyright owner reward for creation


Failing grade; expulsion; loss of degree, job, or publishing contract

May be liable for damages; can no longer use material

How to avoid consequences

Give proper credit to author or source

Obtain permission from owner to use the work

Table adapted and used with permission from Lee, 2009.

Can I share or use this image for free?

Handy guide from twitter user Andy Brunning (@ndbrning):