What Legal Punishments Are There For Plagiarism?

Why Plagiarism Results In Legal Punishment

If you have attended university or even high school, you may have been read the rulebook on how you can handle content, whether text or graphic, that was created by another person. Using another person’s material without citation and reference is illegal, to put it mildly. In this article, we look at what constitutes intellectual property and copyrighted material as well as the legal punishments for plagiarism and what a legal cover policy can do to protect your work from being plagiarised.

What Is Intellectual Property And Copyright?

Before we can get into the details of plagiarism, we need to define two key terms.

At the core of any plagiarism lawsuit is an intellectual property. This refers to any intellectual creation, be it literary or artistic works, inventions, designs, names, computer codes, etc. As such, intellectual property laws exist to protect the financial interests of the creator.

Copyright, trademarks and patents fall under this umbrella term of intellectual property law. Copyright under intellectual property law is defined as a set of exclusive rights granted to the owner of the original creative work in the form of a tangible expression. The copyright holder has the sole right to market a work for a limited time. Simultaneously, the copyright holder may grant permission for another person to use their intellectual property in exchange for credit, royalty payment or both.

Now that we have a brief overview of what laws lie at the centre of plagiarism or copyright infringement, you may be getting an idea of how the legal system would handle such matters. If you are a copyright holder or you have an intellectual property that you would like to copyright, patent or trademark, it would be wise to have legal insurance cover on your side to arrange this and to help enforce your rights as a copyright holder.

Legal Repercussions Of Plagiarism

Apart from destroying your professional reputation, the legal punishments for plagiarism can be incredibly severe. The laws surrounding intellectual property are absolute. The creator of copyrighted material can sue you for using their work without their permission, giving credit, or pay for the use of their material. Some plagiarism can even result in a prison sentence.

Of course, if you are the creator of an intellectual property, you may want financial reparations from someone, who has used your intellectual property illegally. As such, you with an intellectual property to your name, will want to have legal aid at your fingertips, because your property will never be safe from those too lazy to create for themselves.

When Plagiarism Causes Harm

It’s not uncommon for some people to plagiarise others’ academic research. This can be especially dangerous, since all major institutions rely on accurate and current data. In the case of medical studies, stolen, or rather, copy-and-pasted research could lead to warped conclusions and potentially cost lives.

In less damaging cases, plagiarism can also be regarded as an act of theft, since, by using another’s intellectual property illegally, you are earning funds or clout that should go to the creator themselves. Authors, journalists and other professions that revolve around writing are most likely to plagiarise, whether intentional or not. Such people have to be incredibly wary so as not to have their work sound too similar to another’s. But this concept can apply to a lot of creative professions. Graphic designers must beware creating images or use certain colours that may infringe on a company’s brand identity, for example. Most famously, you may hear about musicians being taken to court on charges of plagiarising certain chord progressions or sample melodies.

What Can Legal Insurance Do To Protect You From Plagiarism?

If you are the creator of an intellectual property and you are eager to protect your efforts from being plagiarised, having a lawyer on retainer can be highly beneficial. However, it can also be rather expensive. This is where a legal insurance policy can help you save money, while protecting what’s yours. By paying a small, monthly fee, you can enjoy the benefits of having legal aid backing you up in court at any time. Apply for a quote today to make sure you get the credit you deserve for the work you put in!

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