Difference in Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

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Difference in Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement February 2, 2019

Copyright Infringement and plagiarism are considered the same by a lot of people. Actually, they are two different things having a slight difference between them. These two terms are inter-linked with each other and are used in different situations and cases. In some places, the plagiarism and copyright infringement form a link between them, but in practical terms, they are two different sitcoms.

What is Copyright Infringement?

Copyright infringement has been defined as an unlawful practice of using the work originally done by someone else. This includes the various types of creative essays, stories, and articles written by someone under the control of rules of copyright associations. Copyright infringement is the practice of using these texts without the permission of the original author and it is a crime. Infringement also includes the reproduction of the content, means if someone takes content from a place protected by copyright infringement law, rewriting this content will still be an infringement.

What is Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a practice, which is illegal and inappropriate and has been reputed as a crime. Plagiarism means using someone else’s ideas, thoughts and work and showing it as one’s own.

Differences Between Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

There are several factors that can be discussed to understand the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. Following are the key differences:


Plagiarism can be defined as the unlawful practice of using someone else’s work without giving credit to the original creator. Plagiarism has been reputed more in form of ethics and morals instead of moving under the law. The text which has not been protected under copyrights, it gets copied by someone, is considered the plagiarism, but may or may not lead to a penalty to the plagiarist.

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Copyright Infringement

Copyright infringement is the use of someone’s work that is being protected by Copyrights. This protected content can be anything, like texts, images, videos, etc. Copying or reproduction of the content is a crime and will lead to being penalized by the court of law. This is different from plagiarism.

Though at some places the two terms are interlinked with each other, there are certain places where plagiarism is counter linked with copyright association and other systems. In case of websites or forums, if a website has plagiarized content, it may not be penalized by law, but will definitely lose its credibility in the search engines.

How Is Plagiarism Linked With Copyright Infringement?

The link between plagiarism and copyright infringement can be defined with an example of an engineering student who is making his report of his final year project. He uses up the dynamic facts already written by some other engineer. Instead of putting quotation marks around the text, he steals the other student’s work that is being protected by copyrights. This will be considered both plagiarism and copyright infringement. This is how the two terms are counter-connected with each other. Both plagiarism and copyright infringement are crimes and may lead to harsh circumstances.