The Legal Consequences of Plagiarism
What Are the Consequences of Plagiarism
Plagiarism is copying, paraphrasing, or spinning someone else’s work without providing them with appropriate credit. Plagiarism is taken seriously by schools around the globe, but also by employers and the legal system. In certain instances, a person can be expelled from a university, fired from their job, or fined for stealing someone else’s work.
Destroyed Student Reputation
Plagiarism allegations can cause a student to be suspended or expelled. Their academic record can reflect a moral offense, possibly causing the student to be blocked from entering college from high school or another college. Schools, colleges, and universities take plagiarism very seriously. Most educational institutions have academic coalition committees that defend students. Many schools suspend students for their first violation. Students are usually expelled for further offenses.
Destroyed Academic Reputation
The consequences of plagiarism have been widely reported in the world of academics. Once objected to plagiarism allegations, an academic’s career can be ruined. Publishing is a basic part of an academic career. To lose the ability to publish most likely means the end of an academic position and a destroyed reputation.
What Happens If You Plagiarize in College?
Plagiarism rules are different between colleges, but they are often taken seriously and could cause severe academic punishments.
If a teacher catches you plagiarizing, they will decide if you will receive a lower grade or a zero percent on the assignment. In most schools, the teacher determines whether a student will receive an F for the class for plagiarizing. Otherwise, the decision to fail a student for plagiarism goes to the director of boards.
Students who plagiarize in college may have their teachers refer them to a higher office of the university for review. This review can result in a disciplinary hearing held by the school’s office that deals with cheating.
If the case becomes a disciplinary hearing, the student can face harsh punishments, such as academic suspension or expulsion from the college or university. Usually, the first offense of plagiarism won’t cause removal from the school, but a second or third offense might.
What Are Good Rules to Avoid Plagiarism?
Use these five tips to avoid plagiarism:
- Take your time: If you have to rush through an assignment at the last moment, there are more chances you’ll make a mistake. Accidental plagiarism is real, and it’s completely avoidable.
- Understand when you can work with others and when you can’t: Of course, copying directly from someone else’s work is cheating, but so is getting help on assignments when your teacher didn’t say you could.
- Take clear notes: When writing an assignment, it can be easy to forget where a source came from, and it’s tempting to not cite it instead of looking for the information you need for the citation. Not properly citing your sources is plagiarism.
- Check the rules: If in doubt, ask your professor, search for tips from your school’s website on plagiarism, or provide the citation to stay on the safe side.
- Cite all sources: If you’ve got your information from a film, video, or speech, you’ll still need to credit the original author. Just remember that every medium has a particular style of citation you need to follow.
Legal Consequences of Plagiarism
Plagiarism itself is not illegal in the United States, but plagiarism can breach a contract or violate copyright, and trademark protections. These types of plagiarism can cause the original author or their estate to bring a case against you.
People who steal others’ work in violation of the law can face fines between [imath]1,000 and[/imath]250,000 and, in some cases, spend up to a year in jail.
For example, singer Olivia Rodrigo had to give up millions of dollars in royalties to Taylor Swift and Hayley Williams after she copied their part of songs without permission.
Consequences for the Economy
Although hard to believe, the act of an individual student plagiarizing can even have a significantly adverse effect on the economy. This is because it devalues the degree held by students and therefore results in graduates not having the necessary skill sets needed to add value to the economy i.e., commercial awareness, problem-solving, and the capacity to think critically. Plagiarism can also negatively impact the value of the UK economy because private sector organizations may suffer from a skills shortage due to the limited range of attributes held by graduates who have plagiarized to attain their degrees. It is worth pointing out that in this regard, students are cheating themselves as they are unlikely to remain working for their dream company for very long if they do have the skills necessary to succeed.
The short answer is that some authors do plagiarize, but certainly not all. Although every author uses ideas from other people to some extent, plagiarism is a specific type of copying.
Of course, plagiarism in nonfiction writing is relatively straightforward. People plagiarize when they copy, paraphrase, or ‘spin’ someone else’s work without providing credit, and fiction writers are not immune to plagiarism.
Many authors use the same themes, character types, and plot styles. These similarities are how we get genres, such as romanticism or mystery. But close copying of story elements like characters and scenes can be considered plagiarism.
One famous example of a plagiarism accusation in fiction concerned J. K. Rowling. The estate of late author Adrian Jacob accused Rowling of copying large parts of Jacob’s book “The Adventures of Willy the Wizard” and using them in “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire.” Although the lawsuit didn’t result in a fine, it is still an example of the dangers authors face if someone accuses them of plagiarism.
Consequences For the Economy and Society
There is a multitude of reasons why plagiarism is wrong. Plagiarism can even affect the economy and society as a whole. People who plagiarize to get their degrees or plagiarize at their workplace devalue themselves and the companies they work for and create less informative content.
Plagiarism can affect the economy because if many people in a particular country or area cheat, it can devalue the degrees of everyone who has a degree from that place.
When people plagiarize in school, they aren’t getting the education and skills their degree says they have obtained. Therefore, the value of their degree diminishes. Also, if a country or area has a cheating problem that the schools don’t address, their reputation will decrease. If the international market doesn’t want to hire people from a specific place, then the economy in that area can suffer from it.
Society is affected by plagiarism because people who cheat in school do not enter the workplace with the skills and education they are supposed to have. For instance, if a doctor has plagiarized their essays to pass school, they will not be as skilled in their profession as they should be.
Furthermore, the more plagiarism that exists, the less original content there is for others to consume and use for educational and inspirational purposes. If artists continually steal each other’s work, there will be no new ideas, and art will never progress. The same goes for all mediums, such as fiction writing, research, speech writing, music, and others.
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