In today’s creative industries as well as the world of academia, plagiarism has become an alarmingly recurrent issue. Artists, musicians, writers, and photographers constantly compete across the Internet and blogosphere, where ideas and creative copyright pop up on a daily basis only to be ‘used’ (in a very liberal sense) as inspiration before carbon copies emerge as original ideas.
Intellectual copyright infringement occurs within large corporations as well. It is not uncommon for up-and-coming businesses or opportunistic companies on budgetary restrictions to seize upon creative input from designers, animators, or artists, and leverage their substantial resources against ethical complaints and lawsuits to defend their position of discovered. While everything has been done to some extent and in some form before – true originality is a hotly debated concept – plagiarism has many ill effects on inspiration, creative output, and aptitude.
Academics have increasingly found that students are willing to lift paragraphs or even pages from other sources, or have their own assignments completed for them by other writers. Although the digital age allows us to utilize plagiarism detection services such as Turnitin.com and Safe Assign, the use of such sites create various issues of intellectual property. Once a paper is uploaded, it becomes part of a large database consulted for future plagiarism cases, and is then utilized as another form of copyright – which goes against the Conference on College Composition and Communication, leading to a widespread debate on the ethics of using such a system.
Plagiarism can also cause a multitude of effects on one’s inspiration and creative expression. Stealing intellectual property results in decreased motivation on part of the plagiarist to produce original material, while the plagiarized party is robbed of rightful credit, exposure, and profit for their work. Due to lack of personal motivation and interest on part of the plagiarist, their own creative expression or ability to develop creative material may wane as well. Without mastering the appropriate abilities and skills to perform research, writing, design, or artistic creation, a plagiarist is unable to continually hone their mind in relation to their chosen field, often displaying a reduced capacity for ingenuity and creative thinking.
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