I gave an answer to his question, but in case he's still reading, someone else has come up with an even better answer.
Friend and writer Adam-Troy Castro recently had to deal with a plagiarist who violated his copyright by posting an excerpt from his powerful story "The Juggler" on a vampire role-playing board, and represented it as his own work. When confronted, the malefactor removed the excerpt and apologized. But a few other people in the RPG complained that this wasn't so big a deal.
So by invitation from one of the other RPG board participants, Adam wrote a response, laying out exactly why this was, in fact, a big deal. He's posted his response on his own newsgroup under the title Plagiarism Note, and I encourage any and all of you to go read it. The gist of it can be summed up in one sentence from the letter: "The fact is that plagiarism is a serious crime with serious consequences." And Adam explains exactly what those consequences can be, and how they not only hurt the victim, but damage the public good as well.
Copyright © Michael Burstein