Plagiarism: Who's to Blame?

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As technology becomes more and more of an intricate part of today's society it allows for information to travel quickly and more widely available. By this information being so widely available some ethical issues have come to light when it comes to proper credit received to the owners of these ideas. Reynolds (2010) defines intellectual property as "works of the mind that are distinct, and owned or created by a single person or group" (p.428). Intellectual property has legal mechanisms used to protect theses rights such as copyright, patent, trade secret, and trademark laws. Copyright is used to distinguish ownership of works and protects ownership rights and allows the owners to distribute solely, display, and make copies of the original work thereby receiving the benefit of their original idea or work. The benefits are not only of monetary value but also prestige and possible fame. The Internet is the largest reason information is so widely available and has fueled ethical concerns. These concerns specifically have to do with copyright infringement and plagiarism. Copyright infringement is copying a substantial portion of someone else's work that is protected by copyright. Plagiarism is passing someone else's ideas or words as their own (Reynolds, 2010). It is important to try to differentiate the two because they are related although plagiarism tends to be far more of a vague definition. This lack of transparency is the main problem both teachers and students strive to understand. Plagiarism has many negative consequences and for the plagiarist sometimes some benefits. Plagiarism can be considered a shortcut to achieving a desired result, due to the highly competitive workplace and the academic institution (Dow, 2008). By doin... ... middle of paper ... ... 311- 322. doi:10.1007/s11948-008-9057-6 Butler, R. P. (2005). Are They Related? Copyright versus Plagiarism. Knowledge Quest, 34(2), 50. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Dow, M. (2008). Teaching Ethical Behavior in the Global World of Information and the New AASL Standards. (Cover story). School Library Media Activities Monthly, 25(4), 49-52. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Jenson, J., & De Castell, S. (2004). 'Turn It In': technological challenges to academic ethics. Education, Communication & Information, 4(2/3), 311-330. doi:10.1080/14636310412331304735 Mahadevan, S. S. (2008). The plagiarism menace. Current Science (00113891), 94(5), 553. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Rawe, J. (2007). A Question of Honor. Time, 169(22), 59-60. Retrieved from EBSCOhost. Reynolds, G. W. (2010). Ethics in Information Technology (3rd ed.). Boston, MA: Course Technology, Cengage Leaning

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