I guess I should have specified, I was mostly concerned with academic writing, not so much the broader legal issues like copyright etc.
Plagiarism really is just a short cut. You haven't actually learned or gained any knowledge or skills, and it will be a disservice later in life. Further, I have to say that in order for society to function well, we need to have plagiarism as something that is culturally unacceptable.
I agree with you on this. Plagiarism is basically cheating. Academically, this can range from paraphrasing without proper citation to buying papers online.
Unfortunatly in American schools today, students are often taught to plagiarize work when they are given questions in textbooks and required to rewrite the answers that the book already gave.
This brings the question: who owns this information? Obviously using the exact words from a textbook is plagiarism, but the math, writing, historical, concepts taught within the texts are clearly within the public domain. One cannot own the American Civil War.
By writing, do you mean handwriting, or does typing count?
I'm mostly concerned with compositional writing. The medium of writing is not quite as important as the "work" being created.
2a) What do you think an author is?
Sounds like a loaded question. I assume you want me to say someone who writes something. And really, that's what I'm going to say. Be it a fictional story, a grocery list, or a piece of software: the author is the one who creates it.
I like this. In the broadest sense an author is simply the creator of something. Does the author have to be the one that puts the pen to paper? Creation only requires an idea. This is why paraphrasing without giving credit is considered plagiarism.
Taking someone else's work and claiming it to be your own.
3b) Why is it considered bad?
It's considered bad in terms of morality. It's a lie, which is normally perceived negatively. It could also be considered theft of intellectual property, and theft is considered bad by most.
You and sac agree on what it is, but you both gave different reasons. I think that's interesting.
For academic purposes, the plagiarizer should not be credited with the stolen work as their own. Any plagiarized content should be treated as a cited source as opposed to any work on the particular assignment or activity (meaning if they plagiarized their entire paper, none of it should actually be counted as work). A more extreme approach would be disqualifying the entire assignment, though I wouldn't consider that to be objectively fair.
So you are saying that you think students should still be given credit for the work that they did legitimately if it's not entirely plagiarized. I actually like this concept. This would discourage plagiarized work, but still encourage the correct behavior. Would you mind if I quoted you in my assignment?
An author is someone who develops the content of their work and creates it. Authorship is not a term I am familiar with but sounds legally muddled. The only context I know it in is in patent work, where the person that invented the patented object might be different than the person that wrote the patent itself. From that standpoint the only thing an author should be is translating inventor-speak into legal-speak. In a more romantic term with stories the author should be responsible for the moral of their work if there is one, for concisely and correctly conveying the material and for properly engaging their audience. This is still really vague because it relies heavily on the type of work the author is doing.
In the case with the invention, are you saying that the lawyer would be the author of the legal document, and the inventor is the author of the invention itself? I'm not sure if the person writing the document should be considered an author, as they are just translating the information.C
Plagiarism is defined by the law, and as it is illegal it is considered by social standards to be bad. If society determines plagiarism to be different, than the law should redefine it. (on that note, new patent laws go into effect in like two weeks). Plagiarizers should be held liable for whatever punishment is applicable by law.
Well the law is the final say. There's no arguing with that.
I do disagree with you on one thing though. While the law might have a definition for plagiarism, the definition is only for legal use. The United States government also legally defined pizza as a vegetable, and we both know that's not true.
Personally I think you're looking for a very subjective/personal/emotionally driven response to questions defined by law without driving the correct questions to support or to change said laws.
That's probably my fault, I didn't mean for this to be a legal conversation, but your feedback is still helping me fully explore the topic so thanks