This article was written by me, for the online community resources for MomDot.com
I have been thinking a lot about the whole Plagiarism issue in the online world. What? It happens online? You bet it does! I have been a victim of it, so I feel very strongly towards this topic. According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to “plagiarize” means
- to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own
- to use (another’s production) without crediting the source
- to commit literary theft
- to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else’s work and lying about it afterward.
I have written about this several times. Plagiarism and even copyright infringement are not nice and both are very illegal from what I have learned about it. A couple of years ago, I had a photography website in which a session that I had went to my website, print screened all of her session images, then uploaded them to Wal-Mart’s website to have them printed. I got a phone call from the photo lab. They knew me there, so I was very happy that they took the copyright law in to full effect and notified me. Needless to say, the images were not printed. Let’s just say that this session person and I were friends. We are no longer ‘friends’. Burn me once with something this serious and I will take in to consideration for a second chance. I believe in second chances, but a second chance is ALL you will get with me. I do not believe in rekindling those relationships that have been ruined numerous times due to Plagiarism. I tried this once, never again. Once you burn this bridge, all you will see is smoke in your mirror. Well, as far as my blogsite is concerned, I have been plagiarized numerous times. Just like with the photo printing incident, I took in to consideration and I was apologized to. Well, it happened over and over. I had to create my own Copyright Regulation page because content and even images of my kids were being taken off my website and passed off as someone else’s. Seriously, how can someone steal a picture of someone’s child and pass it off as their own? 😕 I have been plagiarized from blog posts, to blog ideas, my own blog information pages, my personal PR content, to even Twitter content. All of the following are considered plagiarism:
- turning in someone else’s work as your own
- copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
- failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
- giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
- changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
- copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not
(Above information is from plagiarism.org.)
I will admit that I use things from press releases to use in my reviews (some of my reviews), but I will always add my OWN thoughts to the review, otherwise I will not post it (unless that is what the company prefers) If I do an excerpt from another blog to promote that blog or that specific post, I will link back and quote that section, but again – will add my OWN thoughts to it. Linky love is polite and will not make you look bad. If I wanted to copy and paste info like a robot, then I would have a blog that is just that, but I am not. If I wanted a press release blog, again – I would have just that type of website.
If you are a writer and have writer’s block, then take a break. Step back and take a breather. Taking the lazy way out and copying an entire post, but changing around the words… again, this is rude beyond words. I have had this happen numerous times, as well as several others have had this happen to them.
Be polite. Don’t plagiarize! If you want to borrow content from a site, ASK! I am pretty sure if someone approached me asking me if they can take an excerpt from a post, but they link back, I would surely consider. Not only is plagiarism illegal, it is beyond rude and uncalled for.