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Defines copyright and Fair Use; find Fair Use evaluators, information on Creative Commons.

Copyright vs Plagiarism

Copyright infringement and plagiarism can overlap but are not the same. 


  • The act or practice of  taking someone else's work or idea, and passing it off as one's own.
  • Attribution is required to avoid plagiarism.
  • An ethical violation.

Copyright Infringement 

  • When a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the legal permission of the copyright owner.
  • Permission is required to avoid plagiarism. 
  • A legal violation. 

In some cases, use of a work requires both attribution and permission, and in other cases, use requires only one or the other.