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Law - LLB and other law degrees (1st Year Support): Plagiarism and Copyright

Research assistance, subject guides and useful library resources for first year law students, compiled by the Faculty of Law librarians


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STEP 1: Plagiarism

Image courtesy of - Fitz & Pirollo

Plagiarism is passing off the work of others as one's own and a person found guilty of such a transgression can be legally prosecuted. In addition, it also constitutes academic theft and is a serious matter which will have serious consequences in assignment assessment.

By the end of this unit, Neo should be able to understand what plagiarised material is, and poorly processed material.

Source acknowledgement

Anglia Ruskin University. 2007. Using the Cochrane Library. [Leaflet]. August 2007 edition. Cambridge: [Anglia Ruskin University].

Publishers’ Association of South Africa. (2007). Copyright information guide. Available from:

STEP 2: Copyright

Image courtesy of Bookworm translations

Copyright is the right to copy. It is a legal device that provides the creator of a work of art or literature, or a work that conveys information or ideas, the right to control how the work is used. It is a property right given to authors or creators of ‘works’, e.g literary works, artistic works, musical works, sound recordings, films and broadcasts or computer programs, to control the copying or exploitation of their work (Publishers' Association of South Africa, 2007).

By the end of this Unit, Neo should be able to understand the legalities behind copyright.