I agree with you on the cultural differences observation. I was going to make the same point until I read your node. Many Americans just don't realize that plagiarism is viewed differently in other parts of the world. In fact, I have been told that in some countries, plagiarism is expected in certain situations, especially academic ones. (Teachers will get upset if you do *not* plagiarize.) When I was first told this, I was surprised. I guess it is a hard thing to accept when you have been told since childhood that plagarism is wrong. The world is an interesting place. The more you explore it, the more you learn about yourself and your own beliefs.
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