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Plagiarism versus copyright infringement

Sometimes, The Legal Genealogist understands, it’s just hard to wrap our heads around the differences between plagiarism and copyright infringement.

LJWe know, or we think we do, that plagiarism is when we pass off someone else’s work as our own.

And we know, or we think we do, that copyright infringement is when we violate the legal right of the author of a creative work to copy, distribute or otherwise publish all or part of that creative work.

And we know, or we think we do, what the difference is between those two. When it’s an ethical violation (plagiarism). And when it’ll get us sued (copyright infringement).

And we know, or we think we do, what the consequences are in each case.

We try to do what’s right, we cite our sources as genealogists, we don’t use more than what we think is reasonable… and yet we still have questions.

So read this: The Difference between Copyright Infringement and Plagiarism—and Why It Matters.

It’s a great clear explanation by Rick Anderson, Associate Dean for Collections & Scholarly Communication at the University of Utah’s J. Willard Marriott Library, posted August 17, 2016, at the online Library Journal. He gives specific examples… and he tells us why this is important.

So… read this.

Really.

It’ll help.

Just read this.

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