#MakeITSafePH | Plagiarism in the Digital Age: Why Copying Other’s Writing is More Serious Than You Think
Copying another person’s intellectual property without giving credit to the original author may be easy enough thanks to the use of the internet. But did you know that you are committing a possible “career” mistake, primarily as an intellectual yourself, if you copy and not give proper attribution?
In fact, you would and it is called plagiarism.
A Millennia-long and Ongoing Problem
The issue about plagiarism is far older than many people think and did not merely become a trend in the 21st century. As early as the 18th century, the issue of protecting an individual’s creation has reached the social awareness that laws were subsequently established to govern its beliefs.
In the United States alone, the so-called “Copyright Laws” are in place to prevent an illegal act of copying another’s work for his own unfair benefit.
Time and time again, we see issues that arise resulting from a prominent figure taking another creator’s intellectual property through copying—whether deliberately or accidentally—such that it created scandals out of those people.
From Madonna taking out lyrics from another song and incorporating it on her own, to George Harrison mimicking a melody from another person’s music, and even stories of authors like Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns stealing ideas from other writers, even persons of renown commit plagiarism.
Legal Complications of Plagiarism
Despite the laws placed to counter the issue of plagiarism, the act of copying a creator’s output without prior crediting is neither criminal nor is it a civil offense. As such, there may not have been a single person who plagiarized—but not necessarily to the extent of copyright infringement—who had ever been put into prison because of plagiarism.
But this does not mean that plagiarism is not without its repercussions. In academia or in the industry where creative thinking is business, a case of plagiarism is a serious matter that is usually addressed head-on.
In the academia, for example, where students are often guilty of the issue about plagiarism whether deliberately—such as a conscious act of copying content and expecting it to be overlooked—or accidentally, penalties are set to those who tread the path of a plagiarist. Naturally, it is academic dishonesty.
Although certain colleges or universities might be lenient towards applying sanctions to those who might themselves still be new in the concept of plagiarism, it does not mean that the issue is being grossly overlooked. There are also instances where harsher sanctions are being inflicted to those who do commit it, willingly or otherwise, even in school.
In the professional world, on the other hand, wherein to plagiarize makes for a serious taboo, to copy and not give proper credit could call for a suspension at work or, worst, an outright expulsion in the trade.
Why plagiarize when you can avoid it?
For students who went to high school for years, the concept of plagiarism should be a relatively familiar concept and should be no surprise if upheld in higher education such as in college or university.
To plagiarize unknowingly is a sin in a world governed by copyright laws and people who are seemingly advocates of intellectual properties. To do so knowingly is more so sinful. Therefore, to risk a career or credibility with a mistake, you would have otherwise avoided is a tradeoff that is most apparently not worth it.
Being a purveyor of the digital lifestyle, Globe Telecom came out with cybersecurity and cyber wellness campaign, the #makeITsafePH. Its objective is to educate consumers about online threats and what they can do to avoid becoming a victim. The campaign also teaches the public proper online etiquette so that they would not become a source of such deplorable behavior.
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