Plagiarism is the act of copying the work
of someone else without giving credit to that person. It is unethical and can
be defined as an act of fraud. Along with the development and growth of
technology and the Web today, it has been made very easy for anyone to cut/copy
and paste paragraphs into their own work without the use of any citation or
“quotation marks”. Plagiarism occurs both inside and outside of the academic
world. “Popular literary authors, playwright, musicians, journalist, and even
software developers have been accused of it.” (Reynolds, 2015). Plagiarism is not a
criminal offense but it is illegal. It can be avoided by multiple ways. Some of
those are:

·        
Summarizing what
you have read and then writing what you understood in your own words.

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·        
Citing sources. It
is important to give credit to the original owner of the work.

·        
When quoting
someone, use proper quotation marks.

·        
Paraphrasing. This
is defined as a presentation of ideas in your own words. “Changing a few words
of the original sentences does not make your writing a legitimate paraphrase.” (Preventing
Plagiarism When Writing, 2017)

 

            Original
works that are created or owned by someone or a group of persons is called
intellectual property. Arts, movies, books, inventions and music are all
intellectual property. Copyright, patents and trade secret laws are used to
protect intellectual property. The copyright law is used to protect authored
works. The patent law is used to protect inventions. The trade secret law is
used to protect an organization’s private information.

            The protection of copyright and patent
was established through the U.S. Constitution. Article 1, section 8, clause 8
states, “to promote the progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for
limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Rights to their respective
Writings and Discoveries”.

            A copyright is the legal right to
reproduce original work in copies. It is given to the originators who may then
give this right to others. The violation of this right is called copyright
infringement. Most people do not purposefully violate copyright laws. Some of
them simply do not know that they are copying, using and distributing
information that has been protected.

            Fair Use is a legal doctrine. It
allows pieces of the copyrighted resources to be used without getting
permission from the originator. Fair Use lets users comment, review and
criticize the material. It would not permit someone to copy another person’s
work and gain from it.

            Creative Commons licenses are
licenses built on copyright that allows the creators (originators) to retain
copyright while giving users permission to reuse and distribute contents. Free
to use license and tools are offered by creative commons. “You can apply a
license to your work which refines your copyright and states how you give permission”
(Watch Now UK, 2012). It ensures that the originator gets credit for their
work. These licenses promote reuse of works and last for the same period time
that the copyright license last.

            Public Domain is basically owned by
the public. This means that products are not protected by any laws like
copyright, patents and trademarks. The products can be used by anyone without
having to obtain permission. This does not mean that anyone can own the
products. Copyrighted products are usually in the public domain when their licenses
expire.