Since time immemorial, authors have wanted to own various kinds of

exclusive rights in the works they create. Curiously, the rights authors want

to own at any particular point in time tend to reflect the nature of the market

for the works they create. The first exclusive right authors wanted was attribution.

In classical Greece, philosophers accused each other of copying

ideas without attribution. The Roman poet Martial coined the term plagiarius

to criticize other poets for passing off his poems as their own. Even

medieval Irish poets observed plagiarism norms that prohibited copying

without attribution. In all of these cases, authors cared about attribution

because it was essential to their livelihood.

Many people have argued that authors ought to be able to abandon their

copyrights and place their works in the public domain. I agree. Unfortunately,

it can be difficult and complicated. Under the Copyright Act, everything

copyrightable is automatically copyrighted, and there is no explicit

mechanism for abandoning copyright. Accordingly, Creative Commons

created the CCO tool, which is intended to help authors place their work in

the public domain, to the extent legally possible. I think authors also ought

to be able to abandon their attribution right and permit plagiarism of their

works. Property is property, whether or not it has economic value. Accordingly,

I provide a couple of CC+ tools intended to help authors abandon

their attribution right.

Document Type


Publication Date



Notes/Citation Information

Brian L. Frye, A License to Plagiarize, 43 UALR L. Rev. 51 (2021).


To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.