How Does Plagiarism Differ From Copyright Infringement?

How Does Plagiarism Differ From Copyright Infringement?

As the creator of a work, understanding what protections are in place to ensure the integrity of your work is critical. In general, you are protected by copyright laws which serve to ensure that you can take legal action against those who violate your rights. However, you may also have to deal with plagiarism. Many are unfamiliar with the differences between these two matters as they both seem the same on the surface. If you’re the creator of a work, you’ll want to keep reading to learn how these differ and why you need a Bergen County, NJ copyright attorney to help with any issues you may be facing with others using your work.

How Are Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism Different?

Though copyright infringement and plagiarism share similarities, they are fundamentally different. In general, the most considerable difference lies in the legality. Plagiarism, while morally wrong, is legal. Copyright infringement, on the other hand, is illegal and those who violate these rights can face legal repercussions.

In general, copyright infringement occurs when someone violates the rights of the creator of a work. Most commonly, this occurs when you take the work of another person and distribute it without their permission. For example, printing out a pirated version of a book with the intent to let others borrow it is a violation of copyright law. Similarly, if you take the characters from a book and make merchandise of them without permission from the author to use their characters, you may face copyright infringement.

Plagiarism, on the other hand, most commonly occurs in academic settings, but can also be found in publications and other forms of digital content. This occurs when you take someone else’s words or ideas and try to pass them off as your own. For example, a student copying lines from a book without crediting the author would be considered plagiarism. This is generally not copyright infringement.

If I’m Looking to Protect My Work, What Can I Do?

As the creator of a work, you are guaranteed protection under United States copyright law. However, like anything, these laws can be and often are broken. That’s why it’s imperative to understand the steps you can take to protect yourself. Generally, the most critical thing you can do as a content creator is to register your work with the United States Copyright Office. By creating the work you are granted protections, but if you wish to pursue a lawsuit against a violator your work must be registered.

Unfortunately, nearly everyone who creates something may find that others use it without the permission of the owner. Though this isn’t uncommon, you don’t have to accept it. By working with the Law Offices of Richard E. Novak, our dedicated legal team will do everything possible to help you receive justice. If your work has been stolen, connect with us today to discuss your circumstances in further detail.