Copyright and Plagiarism
Plagiarism comes from a Latin word for "kidnapper." Using the
ideas or words of others without acknowledging the source is
plagiarism. This is true even if the ideas of someone else are
paraphrased or summarized. In scholarly research, plagiarism is
considered unethical and dishonest.
Copyright is concerned with more than properly crediting sources.
Excessive use of another's original work, even if the source is
properly acknowledged, may be a copyright infringement.
Plagiarism is abuse of ideas and words from the work
of someone else. Copyright is only concerned with original
expression. Ideas and words alone cannot be copyrighted without
Copyright is addressed in both federal statutes and
case law (legal decisions delivered by the courts). Except for
some very specific statutes that apply to the results of scientific
research for the government, plagiarism does not appear in federal
statutes. However, it very well could be grounds for legal
action, or in an academic environment, disciplinary action.