"The Internet is becoming a cesspool of plagiarism"
OK, maybe we’ve heard this before and it isn’t “news” to us, but I found what was mentioned after this first quoted line from the August 1st USA Today article, “Authorship gets lost on Web” by Del Jones to be very interesting and certainly pertinent to all of us bloggers and other Internet authors. A few of my favorite quotes/info bits from the article are the following:
They’re like cockroaches,” McKee says. “Ideas are our assets, and it’s frustrating when people take them from you without shame,” which referred to bloggers who used McKee’s specific material in their posts without giving him any credit.
“Pew Research two weeks ago said it found that of the 12 million adults who blog, 44% say they have taken songs, text or images and “remixed” them into their own artistic creation.”
As a contributing chapter author for Vibiana Bowman’s 2004 book, I must say that we went to great lengths to ensure that we were giving credit where credit was due in our writings before we published them. It can take some time and effort, but it is worth it.
That being said, I must say that not everyone seems to care about this, and I agree with McKee–it is annoying when we come across our intellectual content found in someone else’s post, online article, PowerPoint slides, or Website–with no attribution given at all. I truly believe that Jones is correct when he states: “In some quarters, plagiarism remains a serious offense. But where it involves the Internet, an acceptance of plagiarism is taking hold, and when confronted, offenders often shrug it off as hardly newsworthy.”
At the end of this short, enlightening article, Jones quotes Berkowitz concerning properly attributing someone’s original content on the Internet: “It’s like the Wild West out there.”
Maybe the Internet, in general, and blogs, specifically, are fast becoming “cesspool[s] of plagiarism,” or maybe not, but you have to admit that you have seen plagiarism on the Web. Let’s not help online plagiarism continue to grow within our own Websites–let’s do our part and remind each other to quote and cite/link to each others’ intellectual property and not let “authorship get lost on the Web.” Yes, even within our own blog postings.
Anyway, thank you, Del Jones, for the stories, quotes, and reminder to honor others. And I hope I gave you and others enough credit–no, really, seriously, I do. To everyone else, read his article.
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