Imagine my surprise! Twice in the same week, I stumbled upon two completely separate incidents of plagiarizing . . . . . . . .me.
The first incident I happened upon was a person who had posted one of my poems in its entirety without attribution or source citation. The people commenting on that site were then giving accolades to that person. I’m not terribly vain, so the accolades are not the point.
Discovery of the second incident feel in my lap via email. A link included in the email led me to a website in which I discovered that a person had lifted specific phrases from my blog and posted them verbatim as his/her own.
What to do? I own, and am quite comfortable using a few good renditions of several four-letter words at varying decibel levels, but that doesn’t solve anything, really.
From: http://definitions.uslegal.com/p/plagiarism/ 3/3/2010,
“Plagiarism is taking the writings or literary ideas of another and selling and/or publishing them as one’s own writing. Brief quotes or use of cited sources do not constitute plagiarism. The original author can bring a lawsuit for appropriation of his/her work against the plagiarist and recover the profits. Although not normally a crime, a person who plagiarizes is subject to being sued for fraud or copyright infringement if prior creation can be proved. Penalties vary depending on jurisdiction, the charges brought, and are determined on a case by case basis.
“The Internet has made plagiarism easier than ever before. From elementary schools to the highest levels of academia, the ease of downloading and copying “untraceable” online information has led to an epidemic of digital plagiarism. Plagiarism detection software now exists and is used in schools to monitor student’s work. If you adopt someone else’s language, provide quotation marks and a reference to the source, either in the text or in a footnote, as prescribed by such publications as Format, The MLA Style Sheet, or another manual of style. Students who commit plagiarism may be subject to grade or disciplinary penalties, which vary by institution.
“Intentional or unintentional use of another’s words or ideas without acknowledging this use constitutes plagiarism: There are four common forms of plagiarism:
- The duplication of an author’s words without quotation marks and accurate references or footnotes.
- The duplication of author’s words or phrases with footnotes or accurate references, but without quotation marks.
- The use of an author’s ideas in paraphrase without accurate references or footnotes.
- Submitting a paper in which exact words are merely rearranged even though footnoted”
Most schools and institutions of higher learning have strict policies regarding plagiarism, but that isn’t the only venue in which plagiarism occurs.
In both of my recent discoveries of digital plagiarism, the online transmissions are/were NOT untraceable to the author or the source. In fact, in the instance of the poem that was lifted, there are any number of places where it has been used with my permission and attributed as such.
It was posted to a secure site, open to postings by members only, so I will have difficulty righting that wrong. I sent an email to the moderator of the secure, members-only group notifying him of the infraction.
In the second instance of digital plagiarism I discovered, I sent an email to the person. I showed the specific phrases that were lifted from my blog without attribution and also gave evidence of how they had been used verbatim.
In both instances I have heard nothing.
I have been thinking about this for a couple of days now, and I guess it still bothers me.
People blog for a variety of reasons, I suppose. But the way it was originally described to me is a digital diary/journal that other people can read and then leave comments.
And apparently steal words from . . . . . .methinks.
Academic consequences for plagiarizing include failing grade for a specific assignment, suspension, or expulsion. Beyond the edcuational realm, consequences can be more serious, causing a person to lose credibility.
It’s an offense against honor.