An important part of the research process is studying the work of others. But in producing your own work it is important that you clearly distinguish your own ideas from those of the other people you have studied. Plagiarism can occur when a person tries to pass off someone else’s thoughts or ideas as their own without giving the appropriate attribution. Another example is if you have someone else write a paper for you, and then you take credit for that work as if it were your own. These are ethical offenses.
Copyright Infringement is a legal offense. It occurs when significant portions of another person’s work is used to make a new work, is copied, or is distributed without the permission of the copyright holder. Even if appropriate attribution is given to the original creator (thus avoiding plagiarism), without the copyright holder's permission, these uses are still examples of copyright infringement.