Joe Biden among infamous plagiarists

US Vice President Joe Biden (Getty file)
US Vice President Joe Biden (Getty file)

First-lady-wannabe Melania Trump's allegedly plagiarised speech has already become the stuff of legend.

Of course, she's not the first to lift her words from someone else. Here are some other infamous examples from history.

US Vice President Joe Biden is a serial plagiarist, with offences dating back to the 1980s.

He started by lifting phrases from British politician Neil Kinnock, but has also been caught ripping from John F Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey.

Mr Biden even admitted failing a law school course after copying five pages of a published work.

The scandal cost him a chance at the US presidency - he was forced to drop out of the 1988 race.

In 2005, researchers found Mr Putin's university thesis liberally borrowed from an American textbook.

The renowned chimpanzee expert lifted several passages of her 2013 book Seeds of Hope from Wikipedia and even an astrology website.

She blamed it on "chaotic note taking" and was forced to rewrite parts of it, delaying its release until 2014.

Johnny Cash is one of many musicians throughout history who has proved that copying costs. He copied the melody and many of the lyrics in his 1955 hit 'Folsom Prison Blues' from a song released two years earlier.

He and was forced to pay out US$75,000 dollars - NZ$850,700 in today's money - to put the resulting lawsuit to bed.