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14

Plagiarism: The act of plagiarizing: the copying of another person's ideas, text or other creative work, and presenting it as one's own, especially without permission. Technically, stealing an idea is plagiarism just as much as stealing their words. However, as another old adage goes, "There's nothing new under the sun." Everything you ever ...


6

There is nothing new under the sun, my friend. If you read TV Tropes you might be forgiven for thinking that all plots are like all other plots. However it is not the plots (there are considered to be only seven or so actual plots anyway) but the characterisations, details, names etc that make your world unique to you. If you are worried that you have by ...


6

Yes, it's certainly possible that posting on the internet could lead to someone stealing your ideas, here or on any other site. But will this actually happen? There are risks, however small, to showing your work to anyone. Most writers that publish know the benefits of peer feedback, and take the risk anyway. Many people have reaped benefits from posting ...


6

There are many software options available (see Wikipedia's page on plagiarism detection), some free, and some paid. To my knowledge, one of the most commonly used commercial options available is Turnitin; there is also Turnitin's student version, WriteCheck. Another commercial option is PlagScan. These options can be somewhat expensive though; PlagScan, ...


5

Allusion is a time-honoured writing technique. Copyright only protects the expression, not the idea itself, so as long as the expression is yours (you are saying things in your own words), you should be in the clear. Short quotes will generally be okay as well, under a "fair use" or similar policy, but should be properly attributed and sourced, if possible, ...


4

You need to have express permission from the author before you can translate a book into another language or adapt it into another format -- otherwise, you're liable for copyright infringement. Works that are in the public domain are exempt from this. The rules how a work passes into the public domain vary, but generally it's 70 years after the author's ...


4

I'm hoping those weren't restaurant reviews! Also, IMHO, your phrase is a nod to Tolkien, a literary allusion. That is not plagiarism, any more than it would be plagiarism to say at the end of a review of a robotics show, "Next year, for sure, I'll be back."


4

Consider that the theme in author A's book that is inspiring you was almost certainly found by author A in author B's work and inspired them, and so on. What's important is that you find a unique and original way to weave a story around that theme. For instance: Humble, unremarkable individual finds, quite by accident, some supremely important object ...


3

On my last university course the department insisted everything was submitted to a system called "TurnItIn" (http://turnitin.com/en_us/home) but there are loads of others. TurnItIn gave a load of different metrics for direct copies of other material, rephrasing and the like. Only problem I found was it often got confused with citations and references.


3

Legally, it depends. If you're asking in terms of legality, then it varies depending on many factors including country of publication, the nature of the original work and the new work, how old the original is, and where the original was first shared. In terms of "best practices," always provide what information you can. The original purpose of citation is ...


3

I haven't heard this five-word rule. But I can easily think of many sequences of five words that no one would seriously consider plagiarism. I think that I will was the first time that Britain, France, Germany, and Italy all men, women, and children March 1 of this year turn left at the traffic light (that's six!) five words ...


3

Plagiarism is an ethical concept, not a legal one, so there is no universal accepted standard. The 'five-consecutive word' is a rule of thumb, not a legal precept. If you are writing for a particular forum, they may have anti-plagiarism guidelines. This is universally true for universities and other educational institutions, you should check your student ...


3

When reading a plagiarized research paper turned in by a student, the signs of plagiarism may not always be obvious. However, there are some things that professors can pay special attention to when suspecting plagiarism. Observe citations throughout the paper: This will help determine whether or not the required citation style was used. For example, if the ...


3

If we're genuinely talking just five consecutive words: yes, that could happen by chance. But plagiarism is not just about five words in the middle of a 120-page thesis. It's lifting ideas, plots, characters, paragraphs, pages. See the Opal Mehta mess for an example of what's really plagiarism.


3

If you're writing this as a pastiche - an original work which closely resembles some specific author's style - something that "they could have written", you're clean: style is not copyrightable. Of course this must be entirely original work, which may use similar construction - similar metaphors, same meter, the same stylistic tools but entirely original ...


2

In reverse order: As far as plagiarism, it depends on what you're doing with your take-off. Is it mean to be performed in public? Are you trying to get a recording contract? Does the music of yours sound the same note-for-note as the original? Is the original copyrighted? Do the monetary rights belong to a composer? Then you're veering into copyright ...


2

The best practice currently is to obtain current copyright holder's permission - a license to use the copyrighted motives; possibly, for a fee or percentage in expected royalties. This is not always viable or possible. In this case you may either change enough that it doesn't violate copyright (but becomes a different story entirely) or pick more guerrilla ...


2

Even when no-one steals my ideas, I don't want the bones of my book exhibited on the internet for all my readers and critics to pick over. I only post ideas and excerpts in closed forums with a small number of members that I personally know. If I hand out text for feedback, I have the recipients sign a non-disclosure agreement. Also I give paper copies ...


2

Indeed, if someone was really "prosecuting" by a 5-consecutive-word rule, I think a would-be plagiarist could beat that by going through the text and substituting some pronouns and prepositions, rearranging word order here and there, etc, while still retaining the sense of the original. He'd have to be meticulous to make sure that he made at least one such ...


2

Take elements from multiple sources and combine them in a unique way. The reality is that none of us is entirely original; we all borrow (consciously or unconsciously) from others. French writer Georges Polti claimed in the 19th century that there were only 36 dramatic situations that could occur in a story or performance. More recently Christopher Booker ...


2

Copying ideas is not plagiarism. Copying execution is. Further, some phrases are so common they couldn't possibly be considered plagiarism. The idea of being unable to quite recall something is not unique. It's a little bit like me using the phrase, "it's a little bit like." I'm sure if you did a google search of the phrase, "I could never quite recall" ...


1

At my college they use this software to determine the authenticity of a thesis when submitted.


1

Copying discrete details, outside of parody, is plagiarism and is often protected under copyright laws. Think of it this way. Copying large ideas is okay. Copying the actual details or implementation of those larger ideas is violating someone's rights. Writing a story about a boy who goes to wizardry school is okay. Writing a story about a boy with round ...


1

I constantly read books and watch movies that are totally unlike anything that I have ever read or seen before. There is an unlimited wealth of stories that have never been told. If your story is like "all other" alien invasion stories, then that is because you have seen or read those other stories, learned their underlying schema, and now have applied it ...


1

When a phrase from a novel or movie becomes so widespread that it can be considered a common figure of speech, using it is no longer plagiarism. No-one in their right mind would accuse you of plagiarism when you opened a review with: "To read or not to read, that is the question." Tolkien's Lord of the Rings is one of the most read books of our time, and ...


1

I'm completely sure picks like "as he walked up to", "he screwed his eyebrows and" or "as far as I know" will happen notoriously but they don't constitute plagiarism because they are very common expressions. Don't count conjunctions, pronouns, particles and prepositions in the "five word" count - you'll start getting correct matches, and they will be ...


1

Well, now, there's stealing which, although normally frowned upon, in our context comes recommended by T.S. Eliot. On his view it consists of taking an author's phrase verbatim, but using it in a different setting where it therefore does something different from the original. It can be done, but sparingly, and I don't wish to be the one to quantify it. ...


1

During college, with my professor's permission, I re-adapted a short story that I'd read to be from the point of view of another character, changing elements of the story. It was a great exercise for my writing skills and proved to be one of the best things I've ever written. Without substantially changing the story so that the original author couldn't ...



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