Is Plagiarism Illegal? Is Plagiarism a Crime?

Is Plagiarism Illegal? Is Plagiarism a Crime?

Published by on 2021-07-09 06:57:01

While many people see nothing special about using someone's thoughts and copy-pasting parts of their works, others treat such an action as wrongdoing that requires punishment. 

When it comes to creative specialties or academic surroundings in general, it is hard to find a person who has never heard about plagiarism and its terrible consequences. It has become the so-called 'scandal of the neighborhood' since this simple word involves destructive power and can significantly deteriorate your life. Some educational institutions allocate time to inform students about the penalties they will get in the case of plagiarism. So, many young people don't ask themselves questions like, "Is it illegal to plagiarize?" because they are well aware of the answer. Nonetheless, if your professors don't arrange such lectures, and you have no idea what you can face if you 'borrow' a part of someone's work, it is high time to go deep down the question or better ask for professional help with assignments writing. 

Is Plagiarism Illegal?

Don't rush to claim that it is impossible to write a unique academic paper since everything has already been invented before us. Even though this statement has something to do with reality, you should stay on top of the issue. Let's start with the core of the plagiarism concept. It has been widely assumed that plagiarism is about stealing another person's intellectual property. In other words, if you copy someone's ideas and pretend that they are yours, you are plagiarizing. You cheat and get involved in intellectual theft, which is illegal by all means. Whether you steal someone's physical or mental property, you cross the line and break the law. Now you know the answer to the question, "Why is plagiarism illegal?" Remember that even the very fact of lying brings stigma to you and draws negative comments from society.

Is Plagiarism Against the Law?

The USA was a pioneer in guarding intellectual property by the law, and the Copyright Act appeared almost three centuries ago. The consequences of plagiarism may involve the following moments:
  1. Getting the lowest grade that you cannot change.
  2. Suspension from class for the whole semester.
  3. Getting additional assignments.
  4. Expulsion.

Thus, being a student, you will hardly go to jail, but you can be expelled from your academic institution. Copy-pasting may save you time, but you will be punished if you forget to cite the source because plagiarism is against the law. Even if you are lucky enough to continue your education after such a misstep, they will hardly forget that incident. Cheating is illegal everywhere, and it is worth remembering that modern technologies allow revealing the truth in a few seconds. 

What Are the Consequences of Plagiarism?

As you might have guessed, if you decide on copy-pasting a part of the text without specifying the source, you should be ready to face dreadful consequences. They may vary depending on the academic institution's policy, but your actions will hardly remain unnoticed anyway. Thus, it is crucial to make sure all the borrowed phrases are cited. Here are the most common consequences of plagiarism a person may face:

1. Destroyed reputation

Most education institutions take plagiarism extremely seriously, so they have special committees that monitor such offenses. If you have been caught cheating for the first time, you can be suspended and deteriorate your academic performance. However, the chances are high that they will expel you if the situation repeats once again. In some cases, you can be banned from enrolling in another college. Besides, such a misstep may follow you even after graduation or expulsion, so it will be hard to find a decent job and build a career. 

2. Legal implications

Even though they happen often outside educational surroundings, every rule has an exception. Legal implications can be pretty severe since copyright laws are steadfast. You cannot use someone's ideas and thoughts without reference. In some cases, it can result in a prison sentence. Thus, people who write for a living must carefully treat plagiarism issues.

3. Monetary implications

Unfortunately, many people turn a blind eye to the illegitimacy of plagiarism. It goes for students, researchers, and even journalists. You can come across many cases when an author sued a plagiarist, so the latter was granted a monetary fine. Thus, if you don't want to spend a pretty penny on the settlement of the question, it is better to learn how to write a paper without plagiarizing.