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Bloggers are the New Plagiarism 326

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the i-think-i've-heard-that-before dept.
mjeppsen writes "PlagiarismToday offers a thought-provoking article that frankly discusses concerns with plagiarism and rote content theft among bloggers. In the section entitled "Block quotes by the Dozen" the author mentions the so-called "gray area". That is PlagiarismToday's classification of the common blogger practice of re-using large blocks of text/content from the original article or source, even when the source is attributed."
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Bloggers are the New Plagiarism

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  • You know (Score:5, Funny)

    by baldass_newbie (136609) on Monday May 22, 2006 @12:49PM (#15382062) Homepage Journal
    I've seen the results of this study before somewhere...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 22, 2006 @12:49PM (#15382064)
    I hope somebody has quickly plagiarised their article because their server appears to be already slashdotted.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@noSPaM.gmail.com> on Monday May 22, 2006 @12:49PM (#15382066) Journal

    I agree, it is easy to copy and paste, and with the proliferation of blogs, on-line stories, etc., realizing and detecting inversely proportionately becomes harder.

    What makes this issue so difficult to address, and so difficult to write about, is that it's not so much about gray blogs, but rather, various shades of grey blogs. The difference between someone simply quoting blogs and someone trying to tweak the system is not a clear cut matter, but a separation of degrees.

    Quoting, even liberal quoting, is expected by blogs. It's a part of researching a story and covering ongoing stories as well as sharing information. If done properly, it can not only be used to create a new work, but also drive valuable traffic to the original site. In the blogging world, being the source is often a badge of honor.

  • by aapold (753705) * on Monday May 22, 2006 @12:51PM (#15382081) Homepage Journal
    PlagiarismToday offers a thought-provoking article that frankly discusses concerns with plagiarism and rote content theft among bloggers. In the section entitled "Block quotes by the Dozen" the author mentions the so-called "gray area". That is PlagiarismToday's classification of the common blogger practice of re-using large blocks of text/content from the original article or source, even when the source is attributed." I agree completely.
  • OH NOES! (Score:2, Funny)

    You forgot to link the original source! You... you... PLAGIARIST! *GASP*
  • Bzzzzt! (Score:5, Funny)

    by Tx (96709) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:01PM (#15382189) Journal
    even when the source is attributed.

    Its not plagiarism then is it?

    - Whiney Mac Fanboy

    (If you get the joke, you'll mod this up)
  • Re:Bzzzzt! (Score:3, Funny)

    by deesine (722173) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:02PM (#15382202)
    "It's not appropriate to copy long swathes of text just because you threw in a citation somewhere."

    Sure it is.
  • Re:Bzzzzt! (Score:5, Funny)

    by nomadic (141991) <.nomadicworld. .at. .gmail.com.> on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:04PM (#15382235) Homepage
    I think you said it best when you mentioned:
    Well, yeah, it is. In this case, while the citation may be there, enough of the text is taken that there's no point in consulting the original article (so it's not like aggregators such as slashdot, which point to the article). The blogger adds no additional content, and effectively profits (whether in "community kudos" or adsense) from unauthorized reproduction of someone else's content. That's plagiarism, whether cited it or not.
    You went on to note that:
    Think of some of the "techno trends" blog links that make it to slashdot sometimes. Slashdot links to the blog; the blog contains pretty much the whole news item, and you're done.
  • by IflyRC (956454) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:18PM (#15382357)
    "How Opal Mehta Plagarised, Got Busted, and Got Kicked out of Harvard"
  • by Senjutsu (614542) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:19PM (#15382371)
    I'm an anti-copyright advocate who sees more power in releasing my information for free to the ether of the Internet. Not only do I not copyright my blog posts, e-books and music, I openly request others to copy it and even put their own name on it. I've realized that once I put something into easily copied form, it will be copied. It might be partially used, fully mimiced, or completely turned upside down, yet I've also found that the more I am copied, the more people tend to find out that I am the original author. For me as a writer, I love to know that people are reading me and replying to me -- that is my "profit" in the short term -- reader input. I tend to make up my own words that I write with, in order to see who might be copying me fully. I then look at what people say about their "writings", too. One such word I created was unanimocracy, but I've invented a few other phrases that are easily searched, too. I believe the best way to "fix" plagiarism isn't to make it more illegal or immoral, but to work on a free market and open system where content creators can submit their creations to be cataloged as "the first." Let others copy it, but Google or another toolbar can easily flag a new creation as "very similar to another." Imagine if the Google toolbar had a "% of originality" for every site you visit (or every paragraph to highlight with your mouse). This could work for lyrics, guitar tabs, writings, opinion, news articles, etc. Plagiarism is "OK" is some circles -- do a Google News search and see how many big named media outlets just regurgitate each others' news. Boring. Bloggers do the same thing, but many put a unique spin on the original writer's ideas. I love when people plagiarize me. In the long run it builds my credibility even if they don't reference me as the original writer. I'd rather find free market solutions (such as the one I outlined above) rather than find penalties for the copying. If someone discovers that the person they respect didn't write the content on their own, the market fixes this by making the reader not read the plagiariser anymore. Easy solution. In the long run, trying to protect your creative works will be a losing process. I use my previous creations to gain new customers who appreciate the information that I don't share. That is the product/service I sell, and I use my years of writing to show a history of original opinion and beliefs. Anything I write for public consumption is merely a marketing tool to get people to hire me for real face-time -- I could care less if someone else found a better way to make money with my thoughts. Most of my thoughts are based on a lifetime of reading and thinking about what others say. My blog network forum is based completely on the comments of others -- I even pay my readers who give me the best comments. Their input on my writings is what gives me MORE information to sell at a higher price to those willing to pay for my knowledge. Why should I stop others from using my works to create new opinions that I can learn from?
  • by blugu64 (633729) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:37PM (#15382520) Homepage
    I'm an anti-copyright advocate who sees more power in releasing my information for free to the ether of the Internet. Not only do I not copyright my blog posts, e-books and music, I openly request others to copy it and even put their own name on it. I've realized that once I put something into easily copied form, it will be copied. It might be partially used, fully mimiced, or completely turned upside down, yet I've also found that the more I am copied, the more people tend to find out that I am the original author. For me as a writer, I love to know that people are reading me and replying to me -- that is my "profit" in the short term -- reader input. I tend to make up my own words that I write with, in order to see who might be copying me fully. I then look at what people say about their "writings", too. One such word I created was unanimocracy, but I've invented a few other phrases that are easily searched, too. I believe the best way to "fix" plagiarism isn't to make it more illegal or immoral, but to work on a free market and open system where content creators can submit their creations to be cataloged as "the first." Let others copy it, but Google or another toolbar can easily flag a new creation as "very similar to another." Imagine if the Google toolbar had a "% of originality" for every site you visit (or every paragraph to highlight with your mouse). This could work for lyrics, guitar tabs, writings, opinion, news articles, etc. Plagiarism is "OK" is some circles -- do a Google News search and see how many big named media outlets just regurgitate each others' news. Boring. Bloggers do the same thing, but many put a unique spin on the original writer's ideas. I love when people plagiarize me. In the long run it builds my credibility even if they don't reference me as the original writer. I'd rather find free market solutions (such as the one I outlined above) rather than find penalties for the copying. If someone discovers that the person they respect didn't write the content on their own, the market fixes this by making the reader not read the plagiariser anymore. Easy solution. In the long run, trying to protect your creative works will be a losing process. I use my previous creations to gain new customers who appreciate the information that I don't share. That is the product/service I sell, and I use my years of writing to show a history of original opinion and beliefs. Anything I write for public consumption is merely a marketing tool to get people to hire me for real face-time -- I could care less if someone else found a better way to make money with my thoughts. Most of my thoughts are based on a lifetime of reading and thinking about what others say. My blog network forum is based completely on the comments of others -- I even pay my readers who give me the best comments. Their input on my writings is what gives me MORE information to sell at a higher price to those willing to pay for my knowledge. Why should I stop others from using my works to create new opinions that I can learn from?
  • by pi_rules (123171) on Monday May 22, 2006 @05:41PM (#15384237)
    Hey did ya hear? Karl Rove's been indicted!

"It's when they say 2 + 2 = 5 that I begin to argue." -- Eric Pepke

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