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Writers, how do you feel about plagiarists and why do you feel that way?
As a writer, how do plagiarists make you feel? Do you think it's no big deal if someone steals words and passes them off as their own work, or do you think it's just as bad as stealing something physical?
Personally, I find myself a bit annoyed that a lot of people people I know think plagiarism is no big deal and plagiarists irritate me much, much more than they probably should. How do you feel about plagiarists and plagiarism and why?
It infuriates me! If this makes any sense, I just found out that someone lifted an article I had published on Yahoo! Voices back in 2009 (the publishing site was discontinued last fall). Since my article was unpublished, that left the door wide open for someone to steal it and now I can't use it again because I would be accused of plagiarizing (my own work)! I could have sold the article and now some scumbag basically has the rights to it. Grrrrr!
You can use google's wayback machine http://archive.org/web/web.php to find and prove you published an article first and get your rights to it back.
Almost all my articles from Yahoo! Voices got stolen. Chloe is correct about using the wayback machine to file your DMCA. Good luck reclaiming your property.
Thanks, I'll give that a whirl and see what happens.
Same has been happening to me. Only some writers got smart and changed my words around but stole my ideas:(
Emoting about them is an exercise that releases very little tension because their activities are not once and done, but have long-lasting effects. However, their reputation also suffers long-term and their activities will catch up with them. I actually wrote a little how-to hub for anyone interested in doing it right, tongue-in-cheek, of course.
It makes me very angry. While I have read some great things and have interacted with very good writers/people here on HP, I don't consider myself to be a "great" writer worthy of having anything stolen but even I have been victimized despite being careful to only post my opinions and certain life experiences. I will never understand the lack of respect for themselves and the lack of respect for others that plagiarists show through their thefts.
I doubt I'll ever understand their motivation, either. Silly as it sounds, I created this question to use as evidence that most writers strongly dislike plagiarism both for use in a hub and to show it to a particular person who doesn't "get" it.
I certainly hope they can understand the positions posted here.
They annoy me, because they want whatever reward comes from writing well without doing the actual work. Online it's really hard to prosecute too, I've had a few articles ripped off and posted on other sites. But then again, it is flattering that your work is good enough that they wanted to take it. But it makes me mad and hurts my Hubpages revenue. Which isn't much at all to begin with.
It's like playing whack-a-mole, fighting plagiarists; you knock one down and he just pops up somewhere else with a new name.
One person plagiarized my article but credited me at the end, which is fine with me but Hubpages still doesn't like it and they didn't ask first.
Rachael, thanks for your comment about the mixed metaphor.
Do you have a favourite?
Mine would have the HubPolice down on my case faster than greased lightning up a ferret's downpipe.
Why would the original content be hurt by loss of revenue? Wouldn't the stolen content just be penalized by Google as it senses it as duplicate? I do not understand how the revenue of the original author can be hurt from websites copying the content.
" I do not understand how the revenue of the original author can be hurt from websites copying the content." Whenever Hubpages sees your article has been plagiarized they disable ads on it. I guess they don't know who was the original.
It gets me mad too. I had written a bunch of articles for Associated Content and was planning to publish them on Hub Pages when that site closed down. But I found that a lot of them-even the ones where I got upfront payment were copied and on other sites. So I can't publish them here because it would be considered duplicate content. Now would it bother me if somebody took one of my articles and reworded it-like paraphrasing the article I wrote? Probably not-not really sure if doing this is a copyright violation but it would be better if he added some original information in it as well.
Most of my AC articles had been copied by the time it shut down. If you want to get your rights to yours back, you can file DMCAs using the wayback machine URLs where you can see them for the authorized copy location space on the form.
The ones that were stolen from me, I contacted the website owners and the articles were taken down and usually the same sites
Plagiarists, the bane of our writing lives
they live in dark holes and eat mouldy cheese
and would steal honey from innocent hives;
how I would love to catch them and tease,
tickle and perhaps paraphrase one of their
pieces of original craftsmanship, an essay
with the controversial title : Prose Thief! Beware!
How I would love for them to simply crawl away
and curl up miles from any high tech keyboard.
How angry I used to get when my original work
was stolen and published by some cheap fraud
using a different name - yeh - like Ignatius P Jerk!
But now I'm philosophical, I tend to live for the day
and not fret over these morons. I send a DMCA.
Plagiarists are people who annoy other writers like me by copying other people's work and make it their own. If I knew that someone copied their work I would not be reading it because I know that another person had done all the hard work and this lazy person comes along and copy it, publish it as if it was theirs. Truly irritating. I saw one of my articles published somewhere else in the web and I asked the website to remove it because it is my work that they copied. I was fuming, thanks God they removed it. It is so unfair when other people steal our work which we sweat for. The thing is the web is so wide, it is difficult to keep guard of our work.
I agree completely. I hate how it causes me to check the writing of others for plagiarism before I subscribe to their blogs or feeds, too. I don't enjoy being suspicious, but I really don't want to support plagiarists, no matter who they steal from.
Oh I hate these people, they stole 12 of my hubs are claimed as theirs in their own website. Idiots!!
As a “victim” of plagiarism, I find it somewhat annoying, but not annoying enough to do anything about it.
I have “published” a couple of books on Kindle, through Amazon, and by chance saw the identical work being offered on the Internet, not only as a downloadable e-book, but also to be read on line.
However, my original writing was basically very tongue in cheek and relied a lot on a somewhat British and esoteric sense of humour. So what was somewhat ironic, grossly insincere and vaguely facetious appeared under another name. But my “brilliant prose” had been translated into Russia, Polish and several other languages. Anybody attempting to read any of it would have been at an absolute loss.
Obviously there are more ways to kill a cat than by catching him in the bush and teaching him to count a leopard’s new spots! (I love mixed metaphors.)
LOL! I can only imagine how such a thing reads after translation. I know Americans who can't understand British humor and that's when it's in English.
Mixed metaphors are like a bird in the hand being better than all your eggs in one basket!
Well the thing is, there is no such thing as 100% original work. Everyone gets ideas from others, or mimics a style, or is inspired by other writers. If another's work is somewhat reflected in the work you create, I don't consider that plagiarism.
For those who copy word for word, well that's a compliment to the writer they copied! I would be flattered. Slightly bothered, but flattered nonetheless. Besides, if we have been copied, we can always create another copy-worthy piece of work. For those who have plagiarized, well they depend on us, no?
While you make a good point about 100% original, and there's good food for thought on that topic, "slightly bothered" is not an appropriate description of how those writing to make a living feel if someone absconds with their work/reputation.
Yeah but when you get an idea from others you need to have quotation marks and attribute the quote to the original author, or if you're paraphrasing someone you should cite the source. That's why we teach citation styles such as MLA, APA, and Chicago
This is how I would feel. I speak only for myself.
RL, Yes, but I think AK's reference is to writing that is more nebulously related to another's work.
AR, Yes, understood, and I think I can understand the position!
I'm too poor to feel flattered when people steal from me. However, if you've got plenty of wealth to spare, I could see how it would be mildly flattering. Thanks for the insight into a different viewpoint.
It's terribly annoying and frustrating.In my case, nothing close to feeling flattered, I feel ripped off as if somebody has stolen my identity (especially when they put their name on the content and manage to steal my pictures too) I know of websites that have copied entire websites and are making money off the work of others, so awful. Building a website and adding content is hard work and can be expensive, and sadly many seem to want to cut corners. It's sort of like opening a store and selling stolen merchandise. I wished there were stricter rules so thieves would be deterred. Also, even if an article wasn't copied and pasted, it's important to give attribution when using other people's ideas or expertise, especially when going into specifics. When I write for certain publications, this is a must, not an option. Articles without proper attribution are sent back so attribution is made or rejected. Sadly this isn't followed much, and you can find websites that are clearly just repeated info from one another. End of rant...
Stealing art or someone else's creation is intolerable at any level. It should be dealt with seriously. Plagiarism is equivalent to pickpocketing.
Plagiarism is the same thing as cheating on homework. Therefore, plagiarism isn't something to do.
Like any other thieves they need to be stopped. Ignorance is no excuse for the law. A common mutual knowledge is shared freely, but repeating the same written words from that knowledge and then calling them your own is stealing.
If I was paid to write, I would be upset. But there is so little that can be done anymore about this problem. Plagiarism has become so ubiquitous within the internet culture just in the past decade that Millennials and the following generations may not even grasp the concept outside of academia. 15 years ago the issue was music copyrights. Today, it is taken for granted that an artist's music should be free and easily accessible to all through the internet. Naturally, record sales plummeted, artists have to tour to make money, music stores went out of business and pop music is increasingly dominated by younger, commercialized performers who are deemed marketable. In short, the music industry is ruined along with music retail. It's happening to journalism and essays now; and perhaps, later, books. There is a website today called Buzzfeed that is essentially built on plagiarism. Wikipedia is a good, "first-look" resource for information. But there are still often uncited sources listed. And Wikipedia is the universal "go-to" for information today. Printed publications are still relatively secure; if only more people still read as much as they once did. No one wants to read anymore. They all want to write. One thing the internet did is to empower everyone to think they could all be artists, celebrities, successful writers, etc. Unfortunately most fail and get desperate. In order to get more "clicks", they have to plagiarize the work of others in some way.
From personal experience, I HATE IT when people steal my work without giving me credit. It siphons off my own traffic, and I know for a fact that I have lost $1,000s in revenue because of it. On top of that, I work hard on my hubs and articles.. sometimes 30 hours on the more research-heavy ones, but generally at least a day on each of them. It really ticks me off when people steal my hard work, my words, my thoughts verbatim. I could go on about this all day, but alas, there's not really much we can do about it. Buying a copyright for each hub would cost a minimum of $30 + hours of time per hub.. and that's really no guarantee anyway.
Yeah it takes hours of research. I review anime, movies, and TV shows, so I can easily spend more than 10 hours on just the watching per article. Not to mention the rare book review I manage and all the time it takes to read a book. It's not fair.
I've had hubs copied down to the text under the images I've added saying "picture of author's daughter".
I hate it, because it is theft of my work and likely loss of income. I invested hours of work into some of my hubs, and they copy it and try to make money off it in minutes.
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