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Long ago, in a galaxy...wait a minute--it is now and just next door

Plagiarism keeps rearing its ugly, unimaginative head. In the past few months there have been plenty of instances where people are caught dead on yet them manage to pretend not to know what they did wrong.

Or they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

Or plagiarism just occurred. *cough*

Or they were doing their victim a favor.

Or because they are not profiting from it.

Or they thought it was their own work, how could they know they had copied and pasted the entire thing without attribution in the first place.

Or it was ignorance about what plagiarism really is (never mind writing and posting on the topic long before indulging in their own theft)

Or…anyway, I’m sure anyone with half a working brain cell gets the idea.

For those who are still struggling with the concept, a few pointers: when a person plagiarizes/steals the  words/intellectual property of another person, the plagiarist is the thief–the other one? That one is the victim.

And blaming the victim is really, really,  really low.

It shows ignorance. Because it’s not that difficult to learn what plagiarism is and what it isn’t, so that you can study the evidence and make up your own mind.

It shows lack of empathy–and lack of imagination. Because all it takes to see how wrong it is to blame the victim is to imagine, for a moment, that someone stole your content.

It shows narrow-mindedness (particularly when the reason for blaming the victims, when the crime has been proven, is that you like the thief).

It shows lack of understanding. Because a few minutes of thought will make you see that, the plagiarist you are defending? S/he lied to you. S/he made you believe s/he came up, all by his/her lonesome, out of the awesomeness of his/her own imagination and hard work, with those words and ideas.

Allow me to repeat that:

S/he. Lied. to. you.

Every time you thanked him/her for all her good advice/ideas from the content she stole? S/he. Lied. to you.

Every time you praised him/her for all her hard work putting together those posts she stole? S/he. Lied. to you.

By defending the plagiarist you are encouraging him/her and others to continue to lie to you.

So if you cannot stop defending the nice thief because blaming the victims is low and further victimizes those whose only error was to actually create good content, perhaps you’ll stop doing so because, every time you defend a plagiarist you are encouraging people to lie to you.

Be selfish–demand that people be honest with you.

Be selfish–demand that people who lie to you stop doing so.

Be selfish–demand that others stop defending the nice thieving plagiarist, so that others are not tempted to start lying to you.

5 Comments »

  • Same old excuses. I’m actually a little impressed by how MANY excuses they’ve come up with though – and I just boggle at some of them

    How can you think plagiarism is your own work? Do they not recognise their own writing? Do they think they dream wrote it or something? And plagiarism just happened? Hoooow? It’s not like something random or accidental!

    And I agree so much on the “lief to you”. So many people defend people simply because they like them no matter how awful their actions – and they cosntantly excuse the inexcuseable. We can’t just condemn the plagiarism of people we don’t know or don’t like – and, as you say, they’re lying to you as well. How well do we know the person we’re defending if their writing, the medium we know them through, is not actually their own?

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  • I am going to be brutally honest, under normal circumstances (meaning your garden variety plagiarism incident) I wouldn’t have said a peep. This time around, however, what got to me was the bullying of the victims. That has me very disturbed and pissed off on behalf of the victims. Last night I found a couple of blogs that made me want to scream: one is saying that things “have been blown out of proportion” the other is supposedly owned by a Jr. High English teacher (not sure if male or female), that particular one was gleeful about the reaction from some romance related blogs and how they don’t want to play with one another any longer. They have the right to their opinion, however, neither one touched on the fundamental and very WRONG fact that the victims are being harassed. One thing is people under a certain age reacting in the very stupid (albeit predictable) way they have, another is to have full grown adults (one of them supposedly an English teacher) reacting that way. The irony is that one of them is doing a poor attempt at level headedness, without bothering to have all the facts straight and from the RELEVANT sources (aka the victims’ own blogs).

    Either way, this has been disgusting, and every time I think I am over things like this, someone manages to reach a new low.

    M.

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  • The craziest part of it is that it’s so easy as a blogger to say “I saw this on Blog X and I want to talk about it here…” and then you can talk about it and not steal and omg, is it so hard to be honest and attribute?

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  • @Lori: Isn’t that exactly what we are doing, right now? What the SBs and The Book Binge and AnimeJune and so many others are doing?

    We have a topic that fires up our imaginations, we talk about it everywhere–and we leave a trail to wherever we heard about it first. It doesn’t diminish the impact of what each one of us has to say, does it?

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  • Frankly, I’ve worn out my outrage button. Probably because I’ve seen so many people- authors/publishers/agents-who have not only survived accusations of plagiarism and dishonesty, but have thrived.
    Cassie Edwards is still with us.
    Janet Daily is still raking in royalties.
    New Concepts isn’t out of business.
    There always seems to be this attitude of “what’s the big deal?”
    I don’t have a solution. I’m just frustrated that it makes so little impact when we (meaning the online community) point out these people who steal, who lie and who screw other people over.
    Again and again, I’ve warned people about certain publishers and they go there anyway. I’m stunned that Cassie Edwards books are still popular.
    I guess all we can do is continue to state the truth and help the ones who want to listen.

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