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Science - Plagiarism & Referencing: Copyright vs Plagiarism




"A bundle of intangible rights granted by statute to the author or originator of certain literary or artistic productions, whereby, for a limited period, the exclusive privilege is given to that person (or toany party to whom he or she transfers ownership) to make copies of the same for publication and sale" (Source)

Copyright Infringement:

"Copyright infringement involves any violation of the exclusive rights of the copyright owner. It may be unintentional or intentional." (Source)

Fair Use:

"Fair use is a judicial doctrine that refers to a use of copyrighted material that does not infringe or violate the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. Fair use is an important and well established limitation on the exclusive right of copyright owners. (Source)


According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means:

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source

In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward. (Source)

Plagiarism and Copyright

Copyright vs Plagiarism

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Subject Guide

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Pavlinka Kovatcheva
University of Johannesburg Library
Auckland Park Campus
+27 11 5592621

UJ Copyright Officer

Mr Thapelo Mashishi     


Tel +27 11 559 2182         

Fax: +27 11 726 7723

UJ Copyright website