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Most people understand that plagiarism is unethical, but very few people truly understand what plagiarism really is. In fact, many individuals unintentionally plagiarize all the time.
Plagiarism often occurs because so many people do not know when they need to cite a resource, or they do not understand how to properly cite a resource.
Merriam-Webster defines “plagiarize” to mean the following:
Thus, plagiarism is essentially failing to correctly cite a source from which you took information or an idea, from.
There are times when there is no question about whether something was plagiarized. There are, however, instances where accused plagiarism is questionable.
If you or someone you know is a student at Florida State University, or in another secondary school in Florida, such as: The University of Florida (UF), The University of South Florida (USF), or Florida A&M University (FAMU), contact the experienced lawyers at Pumphrey Law.
The attorneys at Pumphrey Law are experienced professionals who are dedicated to fighting to get the best possible result.
Call (850) 681-7777 to learn more about how an experienced lawyer at our firm can help you.
Most universities prohibit plagiarism in their student code of conduct and in their academic honor policies. These violations are then reviewed by the school’s disciplinary board.
According to the University of South Florida, plagiarism is “literary theft” and students commit plagiarism by paraphrasing, quoting, or taking ideas without using the proper citation.
Florida State University created a guide for its instructors on how to detect plagiarism. The Guide calls for instructors to do the following:
Each Florida university deals with plagiarism differently. If you have been accused of plagiarism, looking to your school’s academic honor guide or its student code of conduct book will be the first step in determining what to do next.
Although each Florida university has its own rules and penalties for students who have been caught plagiarizing, many of the policies are similar.
Florida State University has a two-step process for issuing sanctions for academic honor code violations. The first-step is implemented after a first-offense violation, and is less harsh than the penalties imposed in the second-step.
The second-step is implemented after a second-violation, the punishment for which can range from an automatic zero or “F” in a course, to being academically dismissed from the institution.
The difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement is the basis in each of those offenses. Plagiarism does not generally result in criminal or civil liability. In addition, plagiarism is considered an ethical standard.
Copyright infringement, on the other hand, is a federal claim made by the owner or creator of a “work.” Copyright infringement can only occur with works that are protected by copyright. Plagiarism can occur on a broader scale.
If an individual steals ideas from a work and presents it as his or her own, then the original owner of a protected work can force the alleged offender to remove his or her copy of a work. Additionally, an individual can bring a claim under 17 U.S.C. § 501.
If you or someone you know is a student at FSU, USF, UF, or in another nearby university in Florida who has been accused of plagiarism and faces sanctions or academic dismissal, contact the experienced attorneys at Pumphrey Law.
Our lawyers are experienced litigators who practices throughout the courtrooms in Tallahassee, Florida, and who regularly represent students in, not only criminal violations, but in academic violations as well. We accept plagiarism cases in Leon County, Florida, and in the surrounding counties of Wakulla County, Liberty County, and Gadsden County, Florida.
This article was last updated on Friday, September 1, 2017.
Attorney Don Pumphrey, Jr. is a former prosecutor, former law enforcement officer, and a successful and experienced criminal defense attorney. Don has achieved over 100 not guilty verdicts at trial and over 2,000 dismissals.
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