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Guide to Copyright

Writing Help

For writing help, please visit the PG Writing Center.

Content on this site adapted with permission from the Purdue University Office of Copyright.  

It is the responsibility of all members of the Purdue University Global community to make a good faith determination that their use of copyrighted materials complies with the United States Copyright Law and Purdue University Global's policies.  The purpose of this site is to educate the Purdue University Global community on copyright.  The information provided on this site should not be considered legal counsel or legal advice. 

Plagiarism vs. Copyright infringement

Copyright infringement and plagiarism are two different issues. Copyright is a federal law that protects original works from being copied and distributed without the author’s permission unless one of the exceptions applies. Plagiarism is passing off someone else’s work as one’s own or lack of attribution. There is no federal or state plagiarism law, but there can certainly be severe repercussions for plagiarizing.

Copyright infringement example: Incorporating an entire poem by Maya Angelou into a published work without her permission. The poem is property attributed to Ms. Angelou.

Plagiarism example: Using a line or even an entire poem by Maya Angelou in a paper and not attributing the poem to the author or citing the source. It would appear that the poem is the creation of the person writing the paper and not Maya Angelou.

Below are additional links and information on academic integrity and plagiarism.

Citations & Academic Integrity