Plagiarism, as defined in the 1995 Random House Compact Unabridged Dictionary, is the "use or close imitation of the language and thoughts of another author and the representation of them as one's own original work." Within academia, plagiarism by students, professors, or researchers is considered academic dishonesty or academic fraud and offenders are subject to academic censure, up to and including expulsion. In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination of employment. Some individuals caught plagiarizing in academic or journalistic contexts claim that they plagiarized unintentionally, by failing to include quotations or give the appropriate citation. While plagiarism in scholarship and journalism has a centuries-old history, the development of the Internet, where articles appear as electronic text, has made the physical act of copying the work of others much easier.
"The tense question of plagiarism has become a regular part of advertising life ever since. Accusations from artists and directors crop up periodically in the media, where a discussion on their validity will take place before the subject is usually dropped. The agency in question may be left with a minor stain on its integrity but with no major ill-effects to its client relationship or bank balance. The rise of internet sites such as YouTube has made this issue even more pertinent, however. Suddenly a research tool is available to advertising creatives giving access to millions of films and ideas from all over the world, leaving the makers of these films vulnerable to having their ideas stolen."