What Plagiarism Can Cost You [Video]

Posted September 6, 2013 in Internet Law Video by


As students everywhere are heading to back to school, it’s good to remember that breaking some school rules can also mean breaking the law.

Larry Bodine

In this video report, Larry Bodine, editor-in-chief of Lawyers.com provides information on plagiarism and what it could cost you.

Plagiarizing is taking authorship for someone else’s work and holding it out to be your own original creation. Now, with the Internet, cutting, pasting and plagiarizing is easier than ever.

But it’s just as discredited and punishable as ever.

For example Fareed Zakaria, the writer and television host, was suspended by Time magazine and CNN in 2012 when they discovered he had plagiarized an article in The New Yorker.

In a famous case from the music world, George Harrison ended up paying $587,000 in damages for plagiarizing the Chiffons’ song “He’s so fine” and using the melody for his song “My Sweet Lord.” That case was in the courts for 22 years.

You may think lifting a few lines off someone else’s online work is a far cry from a best-selling musical hit. However, it is still wrong and you could face legal consequences for violating copyrighted work. If your paper is published in a school or academic journal, you and your university could be fined.

Copyright violations fall under federal law. An infringer could be liable to pay penalties of $200 to $150,000 for each work infringed. If you stole someone’s work, you’ll pay for not only your attorney’s fee, but also the costs of the other side, as well.

Even if you aren’t sued, you’ll most likely face disciplinary proceedings at your school that can be reflected on your academic record. This could irreparably hurt your future – harming your opportunities to get into college, grad school or getting the job of your choice.

Now that you’ve done your homework on this topic, at Lawyers.com, we wish you the best of luck at the start of the new semester.

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