When you create something, whether it’s a digital art piece or a publication for a peer-reviewed journal, it’s essential to understand what protections you and your work have. One thing that is cause for confusion is the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement. It’s important to understand these two ideas are very different from each other. Keep reading to discover how these two differ and what you should do when someone steals your work. You’ll also learn how copyright infringement lawyers can help you recover the compensation you deserve.
What Are the Differences Between Plagiarism and Copyright?
When looking at the surface of copyright and plagiarism, they both seem to be the same thing: passing off someone else’s work as your own. However, they do differ considerably.
At its core, copyright is a set of rights that the creator of a work is afforded. These rights give the owner discretion about how, when, and where their work is used, as well as who is using it. Plagiarism, on the other hand, occurs when someone takes the ideas and words of another person and uses them without crediting the original author. Plagiarism most commonly happens in academic settings but can also occur in publications and other forms of digital content.
The most considerable difference is that plagiarism is considered ethically wrong, while copyright infringement is against the law.
For example, if a journalist takes ideas from another publication and includes them in their own article without attributing the idea to the original writer, this would be plagiarism but not copyright. However, if someone illegally films a movie and reproduces copy, that’s copyright infringement, as the creator did not authorize the reproduction of their work.
How Can I Protect My Work?
If you’re worried about your work being stolen, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and your creations. The most essential thing to do is to register your work with the United States Copyright Office. Though most all works are inherently protected by copyright when they are in a fixed, tangible form, if you want to pursue justice and compensation for the work that was violated, having it registered with the office gives you the right to do so.
As a creator, you deserve compensation for the work you create. Finding out your work has been reproduced and distributed against your wishes can be disheartening. It’s important to do everything possible to help recover the compensation you are entitled to.
At CopyCat Legal, we can fight for you. Our team understands how frustrating it can be to have someone steal your work. As such, we will do everything possible to fight for the best possible outcome for your unique circumstances. Contact us today to learn how we can help you during these challenging times.