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DOJ Opinion on Plagiarism and Copyright Infringement

The Dept. of Justice has issued Advisory Opinion 02, Series of 2012 explaining the meaning of plagiarism in the context of Philippine law and cases.

The Opinion addresses a recurring issue in the country’s criminal justice system, lays out the scope of protection of authors under the country’s intellectual property laws, and sets out the liabilities for infringers.

“Plagiarism is a concept more understood in academic circles as an offense against academic integrity anathema to the strict standards of originality of scholarly works which members of the academic community subscribe to,” DOJ Secretary Leila De Lima said.

“However, recent events brought to fore the importance of knowing exactly what plagiarism is and to clarify the misconception that there is no crime of plagiarism under our laws,” De Lima added.

The Opinion provides guidance on how to avoid, prevent and resolve plagiarism as it is recognized as an undesirable act that breaches the standards of propriety by depriving another person of the fruits of creativity.

The highlights of the Advisory follow:

— Plagiarism should be avoided, regardless of the presence of sanctions against it;

— Cultivate the habit of attribution. When in doubt, cite;

— Everyone can be a victim of plagiarism;

— Always be vigilant in detecting cases of plagiarism; and

— Encourage institutions to adopt anti-plagiarism measures.

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