What is International Legal Standard Law for Plagiarism?

Plagiarism is a serious offense that can have significant consequences. It occurs when someone copies the same exact written work of another person and uses it as their own without crediting the author.

In other terms, it is also known as stealing or cheating, and if it is found in the work, it can be very serious.

Not only that, against plagiarism, there are also some international legal standard laws that academic institutes or businesses follow when they find it in someone’s work.

So, in this article, we are going to explore those international legal standard laws for plagiarism.

If you want to know about them, read till the end!

International Laws for Plagiarism & Consequences

International law, aka public international law, is the set of rules, policies, and regulations generally recognized as binding between states. It establishes normative guidelines and a common theoretical agenda for states over different fields like war and diplomacy, economic relations, or human rights. Plagiarism comes in human rights because it’s a human right to complain against a person who just stole his/her idea or work.

These laws differ from state to state, but the majority of them have the same laws against plagiarism. Let’s explore these laws for plagiarism.

In different countries, there are different laws applied against plagiarism. However, there are also some countries that consider plagiarism legal and don’t have international laws for it.

We will discuss some major countries and see what international laws they have for plagiarism.

United States Law Against Plagiarism

In the US (United States), plagiarism is not considered illegal in most situations. There is no court hearing or jail punishment against plagiarism because academic institutes have to deal with it on their own. So, they have created some laws for plagiarism, which are:

  • If US institute finds plagiarism in students’ work, they can fail them or lower their grades.
  • If the institute finds plagiarism, they can charge them a penalty, which will be from $1,000 to $10,000.
  • They also have the authority to revoke a student’s degree or even withdraw their name from the institute.

Canada Law Against Plagiarism

In Canada, plagiarism is against the laws under Copyright Act passed in 1921. According to this law, only the real author has the authority to use their own work unless he/she has given permission to someone else too. However, if someone is caught using other works without permission, here are some laws against it:

  • If the Canadian academic institute finds out plagiarism in students’ works, they can punish them, not physically, but by failing them in their subject.
  • If someone’s work caught plagiarizing, the institute can penalty them, which are:
  • $100 to $5,000 if someone doesn’t take permission or doesn’t give them some cost to use their work.
  • $500 to $20,000 if they break any commercial infringement, which is usually in between organizations (not for students).
  • $1,000,000 or 2 years in jail if someone breaks copyright infringement work (like rental or sale of copyrighted work without permission).
  • If the academic student’s work finds plagiarized, they may suspend permanently from the institute, or their degree will be canceled.

Real-Life Examples of Plagiarism Consequences

So, the above discussion was the laws and consequences applied to it. Now, you might be wondering if there is any real case who has faced plagiarism consequences. Then yes, there are several different cases. Some of the real-life cases are:

Senator John Walsh

He is an American Politician who also served as US Senator from Montana (2014-15). In his academic years (2007), his master’s degree was revoked because his final thesis was found to be plagiarized.

He nearly copied word-to-word text and used it in his thesis, which led nowhere, but all his years were wasted. Even NYTimes has written a full article on John Edward Walsh about its plagiarism issue.

Jorgo Chatzimarkakis

He is a German Politician of Greek Descent and also a member of the European Parliament. In his academic years, when he was completing his Ph.D. degree from the University of Bonn, his thesis contained exceeded amount of plagiarism.

He also used the same exact words in his thesis and didn’t give the credits, which as a result, caused him to lose his doctorate degree. NYTimes also talked about Jorgo Chatzimarkakis in their article.

Preventing Plagiarism

Now, if you want to save yourself from the consequences of plagiarism, here’s how you can do that.

  • First, you have to do is, find plagiarism in your work. Because if you don’t know what part of your text is taken, you will not be able to eliminate plagiarism from it.
  • So, for this, you can use an online plagiarism detector and see which part of your written work contains plagiarism.
  • Now you have identified the plagiarism. It’s time to eliminate it.
  • You can eliminate plagiarism by various methods:
  • Cite the source
  • Quote the information
  • Paraphrase your work
  • Eliminate the part if it is not important

Now, the text is unique and plagiarism-free.


So, this article was all about what is international legal standard law for plagiarism. Here in this article, we have discussed everything related to this topic. It is important for people to understand and follow the laws applied to plagiarism in order to avoid consequences. Following international laws will also maintain academic and professional integrity.

However, there are some states where plagiarism isn’t considered illegal on the international level, but academic institutes have laws against it.

Author: dafney john,
I'm a student

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