What is the difference between Plagiarism & Copyright Infringement

Defining Plagiarism

Plagiarism is characterized as the taking of the first work or works of another and showing it as your own. The meaning of “work” can incorporate a variety of things such as ideas, words, pictures, etc. Anything that is viewed as unethical and unattributed utilization of another’s unique creation can be characterized as plagiarism.


Be that as it may, the meaning of counterfeiting isn’t generally predictable. Different enterprises, for instance, have different norms. A legal advisor, for example, is held to different guidelines in comparison to an artist, which is unique in relation to a speechwriter and not quite the same as a musician. Along these lines, similarly, as with copyright infringement, numerous instances of plagiarism are disruptive in the matter of as to whether or not a violation was committed.

Defining Copyright Infringement

Copyright Infringement is basically any encroachment upon the privileges of a copyright holder. Copyright law gives a copyright holder (generally the creator of the work) an arrangement of rights that they and only they can misuse lawfully (put something aside for special cases, for example, fair use). Those include the right to:

  • Reproduce (copy) a work.
  • Create derivative works based upon it.
  • Distribute copies of the work to the public.
  • Publicly display or perform the work.


This implies a wide variety of exercises can be copyright infringing including playing out a copyrighted play without authorization, composing an unapproved sequel of a work or basically making duplicates of the work. In short, copyright infringement is an exceptionally wide term, established in the law, that covers an extensive variety of unlawful exercises that violate the rights (allowed by the law) to copyright holders.

Similarities Between Plagiarism & Copyright Infringement

On the surface, plagiarism and copyright both have a great deal in common. Most things that can be plagiarized could be copyrighted. After all, most plagiarism deals with either creative or academic work and those types of works, typically, qualify for copyright protection when they are new.

More importantly, though, many plagiarisms are copyright infringements. Plagiarizing a blog post on a new site, copying an encyclopedia article without attribution for a book report or submitting a photograph someone else took under your name to a magazine are all examples of both plagiarism and copyright infringement.

As such, many plagiarisms are actually addressed through the legal framework provided by copyright law. Plagiarized content posted online is often removed with takedown notices, commercial plagiarisms, for example in advertisements, are often dealt with through lawsuits and so forth.

However, not all plagiarisms are copyright infringements and not all copyright infringements are plagiarisms. Though there’s a lot of overlap between them, there’s a lot of areas where they diverge.

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Difference Between Plagiarism & Copyright Infringement


The key distinction amongst plagiarism and copyright infringement is that not all plagiarisms are copyright infringements and not all copyright infringements are plagiarisms.

For one, a person can plagiarize anything, including works that are not secured by copyright. If you somehow happened to claim to have written “Hamlet”, for example, it would be a plagiarism yet not a copyright infringement as the play is in the public domain and is not protected by copyright.


Likewise, plagiarism frequently covers things that are not secured by copyright. Thoughts, ideas, facts and general plot components are the things that can be plagiarized. However, in some specific cases, it does not qualify for copyright protection.

It’s additionally important that getting permission to use a work makes the use non-infringing thought it might but in any case, still be a plagiarism. For example, getting permission to submit a purchased essay means that the use is not an infringement, but it is still a plagiarism as the work is not originally yours.

To make matters more confusing, most copyright infringements don’t really hinge on whether or not a use attributed. For example, if you passed out copies of a play without permission, it’s most likely an infringement whether or not you tried to take credit for it. While plagiarism may have an impact on damages awarded if a lawsuit is filed, attribution generally doesn’t make an infringing action legal.

So here are some of the similarities and dissimilarities between the plagiarism and copyright infringement.

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