Skip to Main Content
It looks like you're using Internet Explorer 11 or older. This website works best with modern browsers such as the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Edge. If you continue with this browser, you may see unexpected results.


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.