“Getting information off internet is like taking a drink from a fire hydrant”

  • Mitchell Kapor


Plagiarism is an ethical issue which involves using the work of another author without crediting the credentials to the author. Justice Black defines plagiarism as “The act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.” In order to have said to commit the act of plagiarism, it is not necessary that the content must be the same verbatim. In case one incorporates one idea of another person without crediting the same in the name of the original and actual author, then it constitutes plagiarism. According to Section 63 of the Copyright Act 1957, it attracts criminal proceedings on account of plagiarism.


Plagiarism v. Infringement:

Many a times, it so happens that the terms “plagiarism” and “infringement” are misunderstood as one thing. The primary reason for the same is that copyright exist for a term of 60 years from the death of its author, while the right of an author is perpetual.

In case of there being a violation in manner as articulated in Section 14 of the Copyright Act, 1957, maybe through an exact reproduction then it would amount to plagiarism and copyright infringement.

Consider the best example for this aspect, in case of any unauthorised use of any copyrighted work it would amount to copyright infringement even if the same is credited to the concerned author. This would not amount to plagiarism since the copyrighted content has been credited in name of the concerned author.


Copyright Infringement Case: ZEE KHANA KHAZANA

One of the most famous shows on the televisions is the “Khana Khazana”, teaching various cooking techniques and recipes for all kind of foods. This famous TV show had also a facebook page in order to facilitate its activities. However, there were a couple of images that were being copied from the other food blogging sites and posted on the page of Khana Khazana in order to give a visual appeal of their recipes to the visitors. On being aware of this, various food blogging communities complaint to Zee Khana Khazana requiring them to remove all images from their page.

Upon various requests and intimations and the same being met with a negative result, the victims ultimately decided to take stringent actions in a consortium. Many of them reported in the Zee Khana Khazana page and also reported the page to Facebook.

Upon understanding the situation and the magnitude of agitation, Zee Khana Khazana finally removed all images from their page and apologized the victims in that respect.


Is Content On Internet Free?

Internet today is a source accessible to each and every individual globally and the common assumption of every person is that the content over internet is free on grounds of it being on a global platform, which is not true. Just like corporates and companies, every site contains the copyrighted content which is not available for free unless and until it is specified. Even in case of an image not being watermarked it falls within the ambit of copyrighted protection. Speaking legally, the general defence portrayed by the violators is negligence of law on grounds of some or other excused, but one must know that “negligence of law” is not a valid defence in court of law.


Written by – Sarvesh Giri

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