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ERIC Number: ED346477
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1992-Mar
Pages: 14
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: N/A
The Crime of Plagiarism: A Critique of Literary Property Law.
Hatch, Gary Layne
Understanding the history of plagiarism may put scholars in a position to define plagiarism more precisely and to decide plagiarism disputes involving students and scholars more fairly. The origins of literary property are found in ritual and religious drama. In classical Greece and Rome, literary property began to hold some value for the author. The advent of the printing press made a permanent change in the history of literary property because books could be circulated much faster and with much less effort. The first copyright act was passed in 1709 after important authors complained about literary piracy. Since "Donaldson v. Beckett" (argued before the British House of Lords in 1774), copyright law has tried to achieve a compromise between the right of authors to profit from their labors and the right of the reading public to have fair use of copyrighted material. Adam Smith contributed to the plagiarism debate by suggesting that ideas, as well as words, should be protected. The history of literary property shows that the main justification in the history of Western civilization for copyright is economic, and plagiarism has always been characterized as a type of theft. However, defining plagiarism as fraud makes the definition of plagiarism clearer and introduces the intentions of the criminal into the handling of plagiarism cases. Formulating a policy for handling plagiarism cases should include a discussion of other types of academic and literary fraud as well. (RS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A