«Plagiarism is a crime, it is appropriating a work without the author’s consent and making use of it as his own.» -– Ana Azurmendi.
One of the most recurrent problems in the fields of creation, whether of web content, books, music, or video, is the crime of plagiarism. Thanks to the advances of the internet and technology, all people have access to any type of information, but some take advantage of to take others’ ideas and creations and pass them as their own. This is an action that is heavily frowned upon, and can bring with it the expulsion of creators from their communities, and even criminal records.
Plagiarism is a nefarious and unethical activity of intellectual property theft, through which the criminal steals content and uses it as their own without proper credit to the original creator of that idea. An action that we can find from the small works of school-aged kids to doctoral thesis through publications in books, songs, musical rhythms, design plans and texts or articles in web pages. It is an unethical act that can carry professional and even legal ramifications that can easily end someone’s career. This action can be sanctioned worldwide, due to the violation of copyright.
It is necessary to understand more clearly all that exists behind a plagiarism action: this is an act that affects both the original author (not receiving due respect for their work), as the one who commits the crime (potentially ending their career).
And like any harm to society, this unethical action has consequences that can damage the reputation and professionalism of the accused. Consequences that you as a content creator, student, or professional should avoid at all costs. Let’s see what they are.
Stop stealing ideas. Down with plagiarism
Teresa Alba, specialist in Social Media and Online Marketing, describes in her blog article “What is plagiarism in blogging and how to avoid it”: “Plagiarism refers to the act of using / usurping / abducting / stealing textual and / or visual content from third parties without their consent and without citing the original source, regardless of the quality or quantity thereof.»
The fraud is found in the attribution of the authorship of content that was not elaborated by you, and it can carry the following consequences:
- Complete loss of reputation
For a person that has incurred in plagiarism and has been discovered, no matter the medium, it’s very hard to restore their professional name and to find work in the same area ever again. Even if you’re working as a ghostwriter and aren’t credited, you can make your employers hesitant to ever hire you again, and you’ll still be ruined. Furthermore, services such as Google platforms penalize pages in which plagiarized content is found and proven, making them disappear from searches. So you can always ask yourself: is it worth plagiarizing to be “erased” and shunned from your profession?
«A professional who is able to prove the crime of plagiarism could end his career and his prestige.» Humberto Suárez, university professor at the Grancolombiano Polytechnic.
- Monetary penalty
The «copy paste» has become a «trend» in which students, workers, businessmen, professionals and even politicians have fallen, even knowing that they can go to jail or pay dearly for it, both monetarily and morally. In regards to monetary penalty, it will depend on the case; the degree of gravity of the accusation wil mean that you’ll have to pay a penalty fee, which is sure to hurt your total income. And in the case of brands that incur in plagiarism, they will have to pay the amount agreed for the offense to the author of the original content.
For plagiarism, in some cases, you can be subjected to imprisonment, between 2 and 5 years (time that can be lowered depending on the criminal record). This is the extreme case, but the higher the rewards received from the plagiarism, the harsher the punishment.
3 consequences that can damage your academic, professional, and personal life. This is the danger that many internet users ignore by copying and pasting other people’s ideas for their own projects. Don’t be lazy: use your creativity instead of taking it from other people’s work.
Do not fall for plagiarism. Create your own content and make your work differentiate with your words, images, and videos.
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