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Real World Examples of Plagiarism and Copyright Violations


Dane Cook has been accused of stealing jokes from other comedians such as Louis C.K. and Demitri Martin, which has resulted in scathing criticism from the comic community.

"Dane Cook - Not Funny?." 6 ABC Action News. ABC, 10 Nov 2006. Web. 24 Aug 2010.


Napster was a file-sharing program created in a college dorm in the late 90's. The purpose was to make it easier for students to share their MP3's with each other, and it was a huge success. When big artists like Metallica and Dr. Dre heard that their music was being traded for free (which means people weren't buying their albums and they weren't getting any royalties from the trade), they sued Napster. The courts finally ordered the company to shut down, and they had to pay approx. $40 million dollars to certain artists and copyright holders.

Hiatt, Brian. "MTV News Top Stories." MTV Networks, 13 Feb 2001. Web. 25 Aug 2010.


Every week, Glee performs new versions of popular songs. If they were a real school, they would be fined $150,000 for each song that they performed without permission.

Mulligan, Christina. "Copyright: The Elephant in the Middle of the Glee Club." Balkinization. Blogspot, 08 Jun 2010. Web. 25 Aug 2010.


In 1988, Joe Biden blew his chances at a run for the presidency when he got caught plagiarising a speech given by a British politician. He stole the coolest parts, changed only the names, and didn't give the other guy fact, he told the press he'd thought of the speech in the car on the way to the debate. Super lame.

Lifson, Thomas. "Joe Biden's Plagiarism Problem." American Thinker Blog. American Thinker, 23 Aug 2008. Web. 27 Aug 2010.

How Does this Apply to YOU?

Students are violating copyright law if:

  • They are buying/downloading a paper from another student or online service and claiming it as their own work.

  • They are turning in another student's work, with or without their knowledge, and claiming it as their own.

  • They are copying ANY portion of another person's work without giving them proper credit.

  • They are copying material word for word without using quotation marks (even if you still give them credit).

  • They are putting someone else's ideas in your own words without giving them proper credit.

"The Library Media Center and Citing Resources." Naples High School Library Media Center. Collier County Public Schools Plagiarism Committee, 23 Mar 2007. Web. 29 Aug 2010. <>.

Round Rock ISD's policy on Cheating, Plagiarism & Academic Dishonesty:

"Copying another person's work, such as homework, class work, or a test, is a form of cheating. Plagiarism is also a form of cheating. Plagiarism is defined as using another person's original ideas or writing, without giving credit to the true author, as use of one's own work. Students guilty of cheating, plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty will be subject to academic and/or administrative disciplinary action that may include loss of credit for the work in question" (15).

Student-Parent Handbook and Student Code of Conduct 2010-2011." Round Rock ISD. RRISD, Jun 2010. Web. 25 Aug 2010. <>.