The Department of Justice ("DOJ") issued Advisory Opinion No. 02, Series of 2012 explaining the meaning of plagiarism in the context of Philippine law and cases.
Consistent with the proactive stand of the DOJ, the Advisory Opinion addresses a recurring issue in the criminal justice system and 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. 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," said Secretary of Justice Leila M. de Lima.
As the Advisory Opinion points out, plagiarism, which the Supreme Court has described as the "deliberate and knowing presentation of another person's original ideas or creative expressions as one's own", if committed under certain circumstances, can amount to criminal violation of the Intellectual Property Code, the E-Commerce Act or the
Cybercrime Prevention Act.
The Advisory 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 are as follows:
1. Plagiarism should be avoided, regardless of the presence of sanctions against it.
2. Cultivate the habit of attribution. When in doubt, cite.
3. Everyone can be a victim of plagiarism.
4. Always be vigilant in detecting cases of plagiarism.
5. Encourage institutions to adopt anti-plagiarism measures.
With this Advisory Opinion, the DOJ hopes to continue to build community awareness and increase social trust for a peaceful and just Republic.