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Although plagiarism is not a criminal or civil offense, plagiarism is illegal if it infringes an author's intellectual property rights, including copyright or trademark. For example, the owner of a copyright can sue a plagiarizer in federal court for copyright violation.

Under the IPC, the act of plagiarism -- when it amounts to copyright infringement -- carries a penalty of 3-6 years imprisonment and a fine of P50,000-P150,000. Under the Cybercrime Prevention Act, however, the penalty is a degree higher.

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