The reason plagiarism is not codified as a crime is because plagiarism causes no physical harm to the victim and there is no monetary theft.
Thus goes the difference between something illegal and something unethical. Copyright arbitration royalty panels: Establishment and purpose" before making claims that plagiarism is not in some form of statutory law.
A part of the reason is the understandable need for common understandings of the rules.
The lawyers understand that very well -- and themselves generally agree on not re-inventing wheels. If I put your definition of "plagiarism" into quotes and google it, I get 71 hits, most of which appear to be from other university's honor codes.
Law is one outlet, and an imperfect one, for capturing what society deems as right or wrong.
Cheating on one's spouse is in almost no state illegal.Yet most translations of Thucydides I have looked at have the core of that idea in Thucydides's Introduction.When did plagiarism occur-- with Santayanna, or with Thucydides and some nameless Greek teacher of Thucydides?We would say, assuming that plagiarism codes are not simply a mass of plagiarism, that it is OK for another university to copy your definition of "plagiarism", but not OK to copy something different -- your notes on Chinese history, for example.A common saying is "Those who do not know history are doomed to repeat it", sometimes attributed to George Santayanna.Professor Johnson, You haven't thought this through very carefully.1) It makes all the difference in the world _how_ you use _both_ primary and secondary sources.The more we all write and read, the more we all increase the chance of sounding very similar.And it is not impossible for more than one person to have identical thoughts and opinions!Some have argued that we never have original ideas, just further developments of old ideas.I could be mistaken about this, but I believe that most plagiarism cases filed under civil law are a) treated as violations of copyright and b) settled out of court.