Plagiarism versus Copyright Infringement

copywright plagiarismPhoto by Sebastian Pichler on Unsplash

This week, we would like to tackle the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. Those two terms are closely related, however, remain different in certain aspects.

 What are copyright and copyright infringement?


According to the Oxford dictionary, the definition of copyright is “the exclusive and assignable legal right, given to the originator for a fixed number of years, to print, publish, perform, film, or record literary, artistic, or musical material.”

Therefore, the term “copyright” refers to the legal protection of ownership. However, the copyright holder might not be the creator of the content.

Copyright infringement occurs when someone uses the copyright owner’s work without their permission. Most of the time, the infringement leads to legal consequences.

What is plagiarism?


Plagiarism is the use of someone else’s content – intellectual as well as physical property – without giving credit to the original creator. In some cases, people plagiarize content with a copyright. However, not every plagiarized content  is copyrighted, that’s the case with of the texts online

Text plagiarism can be prevented by properly citing original sources and displaying a bibliography.


What are the main differences between the two concepts?


  1. Plagiarism is much more a violation of an ethical and moral point of view. In fact, you do not create your own text and use an easy way out to finish your students’ work by copying and pasting from the Internet. Bloggers and content creators are facing the same challenges and it can be tempting to plagiarize. Our society nowadays rewards original content in the flow of lots of recycled text, blog post, and ideas: Their value increase. On the long run: If you do not create original text, your reputation could suffer from it.
  2. Plagiarized content as stated above may 
  3. Plagiarism is not illegal. Copyright infringement is.
  4. Copyright infringement is more about the use or abuse of the use of a copyrighted work than to credit work. Moreover, even if a work is acknowledged, you can still be sued for copyright infringement in a case of overuse of the work.

Do you agree with us, please leave a comment on our article?

About Christelle Delaleuf

Christelle writes about plagiarism, education or new events about PlagScan. She is from France has been living in Germany for 10 years and traveled in different places like Canada or Austria before settling down. Advocate for fair education, she lends her pen in order to help students and teachers to develop creative writing and critical thinking.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *