Literary Ethics, Plagiarism and Intellectual Property Rights


The world of writing seems to be really simple at the front but as you delve into the depth of it, you will find the complications here. Writing is of several types and each type has its unique style that makes it different from the others.

You begin by writing essays and continue till your research paper writing. And as you figure out the written complications of this world, you are presented with ethical ones. One of these concepts in literary ethics and plagiarism. 

Literary ethics are the moral foundations over an individual while he is writing. These boundations make the writer come up with his piece of original work. Plagiarism is the act of forging or copying from the literary works previously done by certain prominent writers, claiming them as yours and not recognizing these writers in your work. 

This means that you cannot copy and if at all you are quoting any line, you will have cited it in your bibliography. Therefore plagiarism is equivalent to the act of stealing. It is not only ethically and morally wrong but also illegal.

The person stealing is not only committing theft but also fraud since he or she is lying as well, after stealing, and claiming the work to be his or her own when it is actually not.

And it is actually not to be taken very lightly. The US government has proper laws for the same. It says that if you steal someone’s work, you go against the intellectual property laws and are punished accordingly. 

Students who are caught plagiarizing at school levels may face serious consequences like suspension, expulsion or loss of grades. At the college or university level, when students work upon research paper writing and they are caught stealing the content from some other work, even without recognizing it, they too can put their degree at stake and even face expulsion.

Overall, at any level, disobeying literary ethics may result in the image of the person being tarnished forever. This may reflect in your character certificates from schools or university and thus may impact your admission into the college of your choice.

In fact professionals, if caught stealing from someone else’s work, can face monetary fines and other such legal repercussions. The author of the original work has all rights to sue such a person for the plagiarism done. Therefore in order to avoid plagiarism we must keep in mind:

  • You may refer to other works but do not copy them directly. Your work should have use of your own language. The work you have referred to for thesis writing help or any other writing help, must be properly cited in the bibliography so that the readers get to know your source of reference and your work is plagiarism free.
  • If directly writing a quotation from someone’s work, cite the author surname and page number then and there, in brackets beside the quote. For example: It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single man… (Austen, 10). Later you may cite the entire details in bibliography. This way you are telling the reader that you have copied the line from somewhere and you are even recognizing the author. 

These are the two major ways that you can use to avoid plagiarism. There are others too which you can refer to but these are the most important ones. 

Literary ethics is the basis of all successful and protected literary works. Writers know that their work is protected under some law and thus are free from the fear of their work being stolen. This particular law is what we call Intellectual Property Rights.

As the name suggests, Intellectual Property includes every such creation that was worked upon by our mind. It may include literary works, pieces of art, music, and in fact logos of brands. These works are protected by laws like copyright, patent and trademark. Using these the creator of an art can claim the work to be his own artistic creation and gain recognition as well as monetary benefits from it. 

A copyright is given for works that are a result of artistic creation like music, painting, maps, sculpture, design and literature. Patents are offered for new inventions. Though this invention can be used by others, it is decided by the patent owner as to how, when and where this invention has to be used. Trademarks differentiate the products of one brand or company from that of others. Thus they are unique to every brand. 

There is an international organization protecting these Intellectual Property Rights, which is known as World Intellectual Properties Organization (WIPO). It ensures that the rules stated by it are obeyed by all nations, in order to guarantee to the artists, protection of their rights over their creations. 

Since we are dealing with literary ethics, copyright becomes our concern. Any piece of literature published by a writer becomes his copyright as soon as it is published in his name.

Then the writer has all rights to go for copyright claims on a person who has copied his work. It is to be remembered that a mere expression of an idea is not covered by copyright. It covers the work produced after the expression of these ideas in words. Also copyright is not provided for an unlimited time. There is a specific time period allotted for it. Therefore the points discussed above might have made it clear to you, the importance of literary ethics. Whenever you are writing a piece of work, keep this in mind otherwise be ready to face grave consequences. In the times when technology is developing at a fast pace it is not very difficult to find plagiarism in minutes. Thus one must not think that their work is going to be left unchecked.


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