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Plagiarism is not a crime but is disapproved more on the grounds of moral offence.
Speaking of crime it is about the breach of rules or laws for which some governing authority can ultimately prescribe a conviction. Moral here is pertaining to, or concerned with the principles or rules of right conduct or the distinction between right and wrong. For details about my subjects visit these links: simultech.org, cracked.com and plagiarism what happens.
I can still remember, when I took up my creative writing with The Writers Bureau in Manchester, London in 1999 and Journalism and Short Story Writing with the ICS (International Correspondence School) Pennsylvania, USA in 2000 – my tutors told me that titles and ideas have no copyrights – that means anyone can use them.
Also I was told that copyrighted materials after at least 75 years starting the day the author died can be considered as domain materials. And domain materials can be used by anybody that include the Holy Bible and Fairy Tales.
But when I referred them to an encyclopedia the definitions of Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement are far beyond of what I have learned from my tutorial schooling. Does it mean my tutors were liars?
Anyway, to avoid from plagiarism and copyright infringement charges – one should ask first the permission or authorization from the copyright holder of copyrighted material and give credits to the authors for their original works.