The word “plagiarism” was first used way back in 80 CE! Today, it is an important topic in the content creation world. The seriousness of this offence is increasing at an alarming rate and even old cases are being detected now. Whether accidental or deliberate, the consequences of plagiarism remain the same. Since it is a form of theft, penalties will depend on the severity of the plagiarism.
Almost all cases are punishable by law and you might end up paying anything between $100 and $50,000. Therefore, it definite does not pay to use another’s materials and claim it as your own. All those who produce original work, like authors, researchers and journalists, can be sued in case they use any idea or information without crediting the source or seeking permission for using copyright content. Make sure you are aware of copyright infringement laws and the consequences of plagiarism before beginning a project.
You might have to pay a huge price for the smallest piracy. Along with embarrassment, plagiarism can impact your reputation too. Universities might reject your assignment and suspend you altogether. As a researcher, you might not be allowed to carry on further work, depending on how serious the plagiarism was. Authors can be tagged as dishonest and future rights of publication can be taken away by the federal court. Once scarred with allegations, the prestige of an individual can be destroyed forever.
Along with reputational damage, one of the consequences of plagiarism is in terms of financial loss. If you publish plagiarized material, the author might sue you on legal grounds. You will have to grant monetary compensation for trying to claim someone else’s work as your own. This goes to show exactly how seriously everyone around the world takes cheating as a serious ethical misdeed. In fact, when an institution brings in a professional investigation team, it can include fees and other costs which are quite expensive.
Lifting others’ ideas can become addictive since it saves time and efforts. Slowly it might just grow into a habit you cannot get over. Small minor plagiarism can slowly snowball into big thefts. This encourages low quality research, which can pose serious threats. The line between correct scientific knowledge and improper information starts getting blurred. If the research is in medical field, it can even result in the loss of lives.
If the alleged individual is associated with an established institution, the reputation of the latter is highly compromised. The academic ranking is damaged in case the plagiarism is exposed by the media. In fact, it affects any other person who is also a part of the institution. This could be a news agency, university and college, publishing house or a research body. Social media can spread news as fast as fire even before the authorities are able to tackle the problem.
Through proper education and technology, people would be knowledgeable about the consequences of plagiarism. This would prevent them from committing the offence in future.