Today I want to write a post about plagiarism and art theft. Mostly because recently I have become victim of it quite a few times, but also because it’s a topic that not many people seem to have an understanding off.
So let me start out with a basic definition of plagiarism.
What is plagiarism?
Many people think that plagiarism only means copying another person’s sentence word by word. But legally it’s also plagiarism to take another person’s idea. Ideas, concepts or structure can also be plagiarized, provided they are an original composition.
The Legal Dictionary defines plagiarism as the following: The act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.
Now why are there so many misconceptions about plagiarism then? It seems to be mostly because many people are under the impression that you can freely copy another person’s ideas as long as you don’t use their exact words.
To clear up some misunderstandings about plagiarism, I have compiled an article addressing 4 of the most common myths out there, that I myself have heard over and over again:
Myth #1 – You can basically retell the exact story of Harry Potter as long as you don’t name your character Harry Potter.
Myth #2 – Fifty Shades of Grey plagiarized Twilight
Myth #3 – It’s ‘Inspiration’, it’s not plagiarism!
Myth #4 – Nowadays, everything is plagiarized, because everything has been written in some form before.