Plagiarism In Media & Entertainment Industry

Contributor: Simran Singh


The Media and Entertainment (“M&E”) industry is one of the most important and major growing industries in today’s world. Approximately 4 million direct and indirect employment opportunities are generated. There are huge risks and hardships faced by the M&E sector concerning the protection and enforcement of their rights in the event of any infringement as it is experienced by many, that it is easy to plagiarise or infringe the work in the M&E industry.

Aspects That Revolve Around Plagiarism

As we dig down, plagiarism is generally defined as copying or taking credit for someone else’s work and presenting it as your own, which may lead up to harsh legal actions and the possibility of losing one’s job. The excuse that is most commonly used for plagiarism is that the reference was taken from similar research as background material. Sometimes to preserve themselves from the backlash resulting from plagiarism, one may say that they forgot to add attribution or a link giving the credit. Plagiarism in the media industry was first recognized by the Turkish media.

Therefore, in the M&E industry, people may confuse plagiarism and copyright infringement. The former not being an illegal act, whereas the latter is a clear violation of copyright law amounting to an illegal act. The long-standing problem of plagiarism in India exists because there is no clause to protect the idea, but the expression of an idea is protected. To protect the work’s originality huge amounts of royalties are also paid to the writer of the work. Plagiarism in the media & entertainment industry is one of the most unethical crimes to commit.

However, in the M&E industry, the viewers and the readers also play an important role as they can recognize if the work is plagiarised and will find its source. Even if someone has taken the copyright permission from the holder, they need to give credit to the author, only then it will not amount to plagiarism. We all know and it is a well-known fact that incidents of plagiarism are common in the music and film industry. The major issue and catastrophe are that many plagiarised works in the M&E industry may go undetected and are ignored by many, as it consumes so much time and money. In a fast-growing world where every day new content is produced it becomes difficult to detect plagiarism.

Examples of Plagiarism in the M&E industry can be witnessed in the Bollywood industry, They are on many occasions accused of plagiarising movie posters and scripts. The natural defence taken by them is an expression of an idea and the work is shown to be different as witnessed in the case of Flora Rossi, a freelancer artist who accused the makers of a Bollywood film “Judgemental hai kya” of plagiarising her artwork and using it as the poster. Urvashi Rautela wrote the same words as a Twitter user named @jpbrammer in reviewing the Oscar-winning movie parasite.

One more example which I came across recently was of Daboo Ratnani plagiarising the work of international artist Marie Barsch, as the photograph was very similar to the artwork and cleared the accusation by putting a picture taken by him and claiming to take the inspiration from that.

Video games can also be plagiarised and it is not very difficult to detect them, as mentioned above., A company “Majestic Studios” released a new game “lost in limbo” in March 2008. It was soon revealed by the players that the game was plagiarised and the scenes, storyline and characters were stolen from other games and it was taken off the market.

Remedies Through Which One Can Avoid Being Accused Of Plagiarism

  • By citing honestly every source through which the idea, text, facts, numbers and design is taken.
  • By making notes, recording the source and giving credits at the end of the product result.
  • By using quotation marks for the wording or sentences which are directly copied and pasted work.
  • By using your style in representing and creating work, and by not using the same methods and if using the same work critically evaluating plus giving attributes.
  • Paraphrasing also comes under the ambit of plagiarism. Using your own words or ideas will be a remedy to avoid plagiarism.
  • Self-plagiarism must be avoided, text recycling is also known as plagiarism.
  • Proofreading can also help you from the accusation of plagiarism.
  • Add value by adding your insight and not sourcing everything from outside.

Defences Which Can Be Used By Whom The Copyright Have Been Infringed

  • Doctrine Of Fair Use – By making limited and reasonable use of the IP-protected work to delve deeper into thorough research and that would not amount to taking any permission from the owner of the work. And it is decided on a case-to-case basis by the apex body.
  • By showcasing the proof that it is not copied or stands in infringement of the original work.
  • By showing any agreement contrary to the matter of any licence agreement.
  • Misuse of rights by the owner.


From my research, I would like to conclude that there are no such strict measures adopted to avoid plagiarism, also it can be performed in many ways without even being noticed. Examples have been plenty from which we can agree, measures adopted are not enough to protect an individual’s innovation or thoughts, plagiarism is not an illegal act, but at the same time, it is the most unethical crime to commit. The M&E industry has been a top player in this game.

Sometimes people may confuse plagiarism and copyright infringement. As stated above the main issue behind the whole façade is there is no clause for the protection of ideas and copyright saves the expression of ideas and not the whole idea. The viewers and readers play an important role in recognizing plagiarised work. Therefore, the viewers and the readers have the power to recognize whether the work is plagiarised or has come from a source as nothing can go unseen from the eyes of the viewers or readers and every work produced should to true to their viewers and readers in this article, I have also stated in this article the measures which one should keep in mind before conducting research and taking references from other’s work which may save them from committing any unethical act of plagiarism.

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