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What is Plagiarism? Source: http://www.plagiarism.org/
Plagiarism is the use of another’s original words or ideas as though they were your own. Any time you borrow from an original source and do not give proper credit, you have committed plagiarism and violated U.S. copyright laws.
According to U.S. law, Yes, Words and Ideas can be stolen. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).
Using an image, video or piece of music in a work you have produced without receiving proper permission or providing appropriate citation is plagiarism. The following activities are very common in today’s society. Despite their popularity, they still count as plagiarism.
THE FOLLOWING ARE CONSIDERED PLAGIARISM:
- To steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) someone else’s work as your own
- Use (another’s production) copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
- To commit literary theft or failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
- To present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source
- Giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
- Copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on “fair use” rules)
- A photograph or scan of a copyrighted image (for example: using a photograph of a book cover to represent that book on one’s website)
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.