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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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  • Re:Bzzzzt! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by DingerX (847589) on Monday May 22, 2006 @01:57PM (#15382142) Journal
    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.

    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.
  • Re:Bzzzzt! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by jav1231 (539129) on Monday May 22, 2006 @02:03PM (#15382212)
    No it isn't. No where in the definition of plagiarism does it mention "profit." What you are descibing is profitting from someone else's work. That's stealing of another sort.
  • by zappepcs (820751) on Monday May 22, 2006 @02:03PM (#15382219) Journal
    If you give any given group of teen boys a box of firecrackers, someone is going to get hurt. If you give the great unwashed masses access to tools to publish their thoughts online, someone is going to get plagiarised. Most are too lazy to type out full words; as in "u r 2 kul". What in the world ever made anyone think they would type out complete sentences of their own making? Its much easier to cut and paste someone else's words and then simply point at it and say "wut he sed!."

    Blogging tools don't come complete with a copy-editor in a box.
  • Competition? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by 31415926535897 (702314) on Monday May 22, 2006 @02:09PM (#15382273) Journal
    From TFA: "The idea being that they can create a much larger volume of content if they only have to write a small portion of it. Users will simply visit the gray blogs since they are able to provide so much more information and, due to the use of liberal quoting, the user will then have no reason to visit the original source. After all, they already have most of the critical information." (wait, was that okay?)

    First off, if they're attributing their source, it is not plagarism.

    It seems like the media might get pissed off that bloggers will extract the most important information from articles and post that with some (maybe-not-so-) insightful commentary, rendering the rest of their article impotent. For instance, when I read the newspaper in the morning, I've noticed that I can get most of the details I want without ever having to turn the newspaper page--it's always in front (and they designed it this way). Sure, occasionally there are some details I want further in the article, and if it's a good article on a good subject, I'll keep reading. Anyway, in a sense, these bloggers are becoming competition for journalists using the journalist's material. I feel that if this is the case, journalists need to improve so that most or all of their articles are relevant instead of puffing up their word count.

    But, I personally don't see bloggers as competition, even if journalists do. In general, journalists provide fact, and the blogger provides opinion based around the fact. Sure, there are many OpEd pieces in newspapers, but the blogger is merely presenting their point of view on the original text (even if they can't assemble enough coherent thought to "outquote" the original article).

  • by MikeRT (947531) on Monday May 22, 2006 @02:41PM (#15382549) Homepage
    Usually the bigger the blogger is, the less original content they produce. The same is also true for many of them on the lower ends. It's absurd to see the popularity of a lot of these bloggers who, in the words of Pajamas Media, "take on a subject" by quoting a lot of someone else's text and adding a little bit of extra stuff to it. That's called a few casual remarks, not really "taking on a subject."
  • Heh. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy&gmail,com> on Monday May 22, 2006 @02:58PM (#15382704) Journal
    Well, I don't forsee a rash of bloggers rushing out to crib chunks of Moby Dick. And clearly, when they correctly cite their sources, it's not plagarism.

    On the other hand, with the internet cash flow model being built around page views, it is clearly dishonest for a blogger to simply copy-paste someone else's content on their own site.

    Someone who is actually creating their own content would be satisfied with a hyperlink...for them to be pasting huge chunks of material, suggests to me that they have a simple (and intellectually dishonest) profit motive.

    On the other hand, I do like the occasional full article text post, but I think that should only be in the comments, and only where there is a link in the top-level post, which is either restricted (i.e. WSJ, NYT, AJC, etc) or Slashdotted.

    Either way I think a content provider could make a solid case for copyright infringement. If I printed my own copy of someone else's book with a citation at the beginning stating that all that follows comes from this other book, then I'm clearly ripping them off.
  • Re:Blogs (Score:3, Insightful)

    by JahToasted (517101) <toastafari@yahoo.cSTRAWom minus berry> on Monday May 22, 2006 @03:40PM (#15383048) Homepage
    How is that plagiarism? They are citing their sources. One of the sources took down the page.

    If they had have plagiarised they would have copy and pasted the entire article, and not attributed the source. You would have gotten all the information and would not have seen the 404 error. Yeah they probably should have all linked to the yahoo article, but that wouldn't change the fact that yahoo took down the page.

    You should be saying damn you for not plagiarising, or even better, damn you yahoo for removing the page.

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