Plagiarism & Copyright Infringement

Plagiarism is an ethical offense, which includes use of someone else's work without providing proper attribution and passing it off as your own. Plagiarism does not necessarily include copyright infringement, although it can be used as the basis to charge someone with copyright infringement.  Even though copying one sentence, for example, from a short story or an online article is legal under copyright law, it may still qualify as plagiarism from your instructor’s perspective, unless the source has been adequately credited.

Copyright infringement is a legal offense, which involves the unauthorized use or distribution of someone else's creative work, which can include writings, songs, video clips and movies, visual art, or other creative works, and is punishable under federal law. Taking a copyrighted work and making changes to it creates a “derivative work,” which would not be considered a unique work and also would not provide you with full copyright ownership. Fair dealing exceptions in the Copyright Act allow you to legally copy small amounts of others’ work.

For more information, please review the Guidelines for Academic Conduct, which are regulated by University Council. If you require further information about plagiarism or student conduct, please contact the Office of the University Secretary.


The Copyright Office is available to help if you have questions or would like more information about copyright.

Note: The information obtained from or through this site does not constitute legal advice, but is provided as guidelines for using works for educational purposes.

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All information found on the University of Saskatchewan Copyright website is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 2.5 Canada License.