On plagarism

It happens to me every so often. Once again, I was pointed to a piece that someone thought I would be interested in. I followed the link and found the piece to be extremely thoughtful, showed great insight and was extremely well written.

I should know, I was the author, at least originally. Someone had once again re-published old work of mine under their name and as always, it’s a little surprising when i see my words under someone else’s name. I won’t point to the site. I’m not here to embarrass someone in public but I did write them (as I do when this happens from time to time) and ask why they did it. What dives someone to plagiarize instead of offering up their own thoughts?
Someone once said that “the difference between plagiarism and originality was a bad memory”. I’d tell you who said that, but I seem to have forgotten.

One response to “On plagarism

  1. Even before the Web, when I worked in advertising, I would occasionally be shown a portfolio which included something I’d done. I’d ask about the assignment and concept behind the piece; sometimes they had what seemed like a perfectly plausible answer; other times, I’d wait while they stuttered and stumbled. But eventually, I’d get to say, “No, that’s not true. And I know it’s not true because *I* did this and you did not.”

    It’s becoming more ironic in this age of “original content” — I suppose because so many are driven to provide links, and I imagine it is fairly easy to strip authorship. But, in the same way that I was able to see my own work 15 years ago, or that a h.s. teacher can search on a student’s term paper to see if a phrase has been lifted, words and images have a way of finding their way back home. And communities — especially those organized around particular ideas — are actually pretty small. Also, @Corvida today mentioned “FairShare” — website is actually http://makeuseof.com — a free service that lets you track your content — and see who is stealing it.

    Good luck to you.

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