Sunday, February 18, 2007

The wretchedness of plagiarism...

Off late I stumbled upon not one, but three instances of blatant copying of my posts from my other blog, Poomanam by some bloggers. One was a cookery blog and the guy had sort of reworded this post to make a new post. One of my regular readers and commenter via email bought this to my notice. He also left a comment on the plagiarized post which made the guy pull down the post, post haste.

Recently this post was blatantly lifted in parts without even an acknowledgement for the same. I have had instances of people quoting my posts, but always with a link to the post. However the new and disturbing trend is to lift parts of my posts or reword whole posts to make it look like new posts…

If I am perturbed and disturbed it is not by acts of plagiarism, but by people who read these copied posts but never bought this to my notice. That really hurt. As for the plagiarists I feel nothing but disgust and pity for these people. How long do they think they will lift other peoples work and bask in reflected glory? And for what? Blogging is all about being yourself and being honest. But there seems to be a new breed of bloggers whose only aim is to get comments and webhits by hook or by crook or plagiarism. For some it is Google Ad sense that is the motivating force, for some it is plain egotism.

I have never acknowledged the silent majority of people who read my blog but never comment. Today I want to do that. It is these silent readers who make the bulk of the 600 odd hits I get on the day I post a new post and the 200/300 odd hits I get when I don’t post. Most instances of plagiarism have been bought to my notice by this demography of people. And hold your breath, a good proportion of these are college students from Kerala. And a good majority from this group are from The National Institute of Technology Calicut and strangely, IIT Roorkee and IIT Delhi! Thank you guys and gals, you are the best!!

A special thanks to Sreejith Narayanan, the only person who has written a post inspired from
an article here in My Think Pad and acknowledged the same. Yes, dear folks, a lot of posts from here have “inspired” other bloggers but none have acknowledged the same.

Today was the last straw when I came upon yet another act of plagiarism and hence this post. I am sorry for the wretched tone of this post. But I needed to get this off my system.

32 comments:

Sachin R K said...

"Imitation is the best form of flattery".

G said...

Damn. Sachin took the words right off my keyboard. Now, I feel like a plagiarist.

Silv - All I can say is, you have arrived. Take no heed, plagiarists are like traffic jams, dust and bad roads. You know they're there, ignore them and life goes on.

Abhishek said...

A,
I understand your anguish on being plagiarised... for every creator, there is rarely something unkind than somebody stealing and deforming their creations...

Despite our occasional tiffs with you, I am afraid to state that you are one of the best writers I have ever come across… therefore it is no surprise, that through out the country, your blog provides moments of much needed relief in a day riddled with other crazy stupid things…

Your blog is an outlet to you… and is popular, essentially because it carries through to people who identify with it, but can’t express it.

Be yourself… for me my blog epitomizes freedom of expression… a forum devoid of hypocrisy, a honest plain on which I don’t have to waste time, creating a ‘friendly’ email type text… but a place where I can be myself…. A place wherein my innocence is still safely interred… … Points like what others think or indeed, do… it doesn’t really matter… for all these stories are personal reflections of what I feel…there is no political agenda involved… it is a vent… it is a refuge… it is freedom… my little universe…and I think in some measure, it is still the same for you…

Forget the moochers… move on. When something within you is powerful enough to be written… it shall be written… moochers be damned… Write, not for your readers, but for what you feel should be written (as you do)… and your readers wont ask for more…
Regards
Abhishek

Abhishek said...

Sorry, a typo In the sentence "Despite our occasional tiffs with you, I am afraid to state that you are one of the best " , as you would have figured out, the sentence intends: " I am not afraid.."
Sorry :-)

mathew said...

exactly echo what abhishek says..i dont know how to put it better than that..

plagiarism is just for the 2 seconds of fame or hits they want..
they will just wither away in time..

but finally when you dont blog for others and you blog for yourself.. things fall in place..cheer up bud.

alex said...

Good to see you mention this.

Well, 3 days back, 3 or 4 articles from my blog was posted in another blog without changing even a single word.

I left a comment there, and the comment was deleted.

What should i do?

alex said...

One more thing. My dad was telling me, that when people copy stuff, it is because they admire the respective authors. :)

Fleiger said...

Seems it is copy season on blogosphere. Even Iyer sir was vexed by the problem...

As you said, blogging is not just about page-hits (and that's not "I don't want any awards" kind of sentiment on my part), but it is about being original.

Though it might be hard to credit the original blogger if you are writing inspired posts (because you might have to decide whether readers really need that background, and whether there is really that much a connection) but the kind of "inspired" posts mentioned in your and iyer sir's posts are abomination at the least.

And I applaud your not linking to those sites and so not improving their ranks...

Fleiger said...

Didn't want to include light-hearted stuff in a (rare for me) serious comment...

So, as I said earlier, think of the number of copies of Monet, Da Vinci and Picasso etc. floating around. That would put you in a better mood ;)

Anonymous said...

Seems to me like it would be easier to put up an original post, then rework someone else's. I wonder what these copycat people are thinking...

I am quite suprised by the news, since I don't think I understand. I can only think of people copying for some sort of gain, mostly financial. To my understanding, having a blog has no financial gains. I may be wrong:-) But still, it is depressing to think that people will just blatantly copy. I have heard of the press ripping blog posts, but blog to blog is too much:-) Hope people stop this...

-kajan

alex said...

@Kajan,

Having a blog can have financial gains by using programs like Google Adsense.

TheDawg said...

Yo ! Monkeys imitate humans. Does'nt mean that monkeys are humans or humans are monkeys. Does it ?

Neihal said...

That defeats the whole purpose of blogging....and I still cant understand how posting other people's feelings and experiences helps...and I wonder how they reply to the comments.

I will not check out the links...too disgusting this whole thing is...plus I aint giving any free hits to these blogs.
on a lighter note, silverine It makes me happy that I never have to bother abt all these things.

I barely get 20 hits a day, and if any of those go back and posts anything from my blog....
hehehe....what a moron he'd be. :D

ToOothlEss WOndeR! said...

bleddy plagiarists - every one of them!
and they steal even before you write - I thought i'd console you and walk away with them few points - and look at all these guys - now i'm left with nothing to say!
:X hmph!

Somya said...

This kind of plagiarism is difficult to understand. I have been reading ur blog for long and admire ur way of writing immensely. This is quite surprising that there ppl who can stoop so low...this shows nothing but how shallow they are bcoz its hard to understand how can one copy other's life and experiences. One's blog is part of one's existence and personality and if you need to copy others even in this matter then probably these plagiarist deserve more of your pity than wrath.

Nariyal Chutney said...

Silverine , You are not the only one. There is a contoversy going on between the Malayalam Blogger Suryagayatri and Yahoo . Click Here . But why dont u name the people who took from your post .

Mind Curry said...

congrats..you have reached the big league then :)

anyway continue writing..i never ever left without commenting..except a couple of times i guess.

and donttt worry...get that book ready..manager make sure no one plagues you or plagiarizes your work.

mathew said...

@NC

I think it will be quite nasty if the person is named. Should be quite a disgrace for the copycat to indulge in such third-rate publicity stunts.

Wish whoever they are, to remove the entry and refrain from doing such cheap acts further on.

Jithesh said...

Plagiarism seems to be fanning out in the blogosphere. The other day I was reading an article on this issue. Google provides some relief against plagiarism by means of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) of United States. But it is available only for copyrighted works. Don’t know whether blogs are copyrighted in the US or in any part of the world.
Talking about plagiarism, it’s a matter of concern that our society is turning a blind eye toward the blatant copyright violations that’s happening these days. The hypocritical attitude of certain sections is further more worrying. For eg. on one hand Bollywood/Kollywood/Tollywood and the likes are spearheading a tirade against video/audio piracy and on the other hand they are churning out movies and music that are carbon copies of their western counterparts. It’s high time we learn to respect creativity.
Anyway hope such acts don’t dampen your spirits and you still continue to write the way you do.

silverine said...

Sachin: Thank you :)

G: *hugs* you made me feel so much better :)

Abhishek: Thank you so much, you really cheered me up. I was down in the dumps yday! Our blogs are the only place where we can have our say and I feel people should respect that.

Matts: Thank you buddy, I guess ignoring them is the onlyway...but it hurts.

Alex: I am so sorry to hear this, having gone thru it all I can imagine your indignation and hurt :(

fleiger: Thanks for the support!! Even I heard about this, never thought it would happen to me. There seem to be a new breed of people entering blogging these days, the 'wanna be famous quick types'. More is the pity!
And the analogy was sweet :)

Kajan: Let me plagiarise a qoute from Mind Curry, I am sure he wont mind :P "everybody wants to cut,copy and paste their lives into fame and fortune."- Mind Curry

the dawg: I am gonna stop stalking you to say "boo" :)

neihal: LOL that was soo funny!!!
I havent linked them, the links are to my posts that have been copied :)

toothless wonder : lol :p

somya: You are right, your blog is the way you look at things and people who copy that are wretched indeed!!

NC: Thanks for the link!

MC: "manager make sure no one plagues you or plagiarizes your work." LOL

Jithesh: Thank you buddy. In fact it was a namesake of yours who helped pull down one of the posts that were copied :) That was quite an observation about movie piracy, completely agree with you!

Fleiger said...

Oh well, that was my way of saying you've arrived without using the oft repeated words.

What I don't understand is do these bloggers get so much money from their blogs to justify all this? And if yes, how can I get the piece of the action? ;) Preferably legitimately...

abhishek said...

It hurts to be plagiarized; I completely empathize. It's as if someone cut out your kidney while you weren't looking. You still live on but with the painful thought that someone out there is taking credit for your originality, creativity and hard work. A writer's words are sacrosanct - most people don't realize this. For every plagiarist out there who's stolen someone's words, there's a plagiarist in the making when someone buys a pirated book.

Jiby said...

i know the effort and the talent that goes behind writing in the comedy genre, to make someone laugh, off the written word, is a tough proposition and when you do it so consistently you surely have the right to be angry.

u have mentioned an important point...bloggers and readers need to watch out for each other and bring to notice any act of plagiarism by others.

Inji Pennu said...

Hi anjali, what a coincidence!
Plagiarism here, plagiarism there and plagiarism everywhere!
We are having a protest on March 5th against Yahoo! for plagiarism from blogs.

If you would like to join, here is the link for the
href="http://myinjimanga.blogspot.com/2007/02/bloggers-protest-event-against-yahoo.html
">event
.

If biggies like Yahoo is doing this without a bit of shame, I think it is wonly because they all think in India there is not law!

Fleiger said...

Thanku thanku... or was I supposed to say something like "I speak only the truth and nothing but the truth"?

Consider it said... :D

Ajith said...

I guess this is the season of plagiarism .. See http://knowventure.blogspot.com/ ..
On a brighter note, its an indication of ur celebrity status going up :$

Anonymous said...

Are you from NIT Calicut too?

Jay Sun said...

It's always good to vent and get it out of the system...hang in there :)

silverine said...

fleiger: Well then, you have a nice way of saying it :)

abhsihek: You are right, when we buy pirated work we also indulge in plagiarism!! Thank you for your support! :)

Jiby: Thank you :) I just love to see the lighter side of our traditions, wish people would find their own way of looking at things.

inji pennu:I read about the whole thing. Shameful!!! You have my support..

fleiger: :p

Ajith: I read the blog and I think whoever the speechwriter for Mr Reddy was goofed up.

anon: No I am not, in fact heard about NIT from the students who write in. I have studied in Blr.

Jaysun: You are right, I am feeling better now :)

naan said...

Comes as no surprise and as others have already said plagiarism is just a testimony to your popularity

Well we are living in an age of plagiarism. Cut, copy and paste rules our lives more than innovation or originality..

I am working in an industry which openly promotes plagiarism, they call it re-use. Search in Google -> find the piece of code you want -> ctrl+c then ctrl+v

Pradeep said...

Plagiarism is bad, to say the least.

Ideas do overlap. We get influenced by others' thought processes. When an idea is wholly borrowed, we must acknowledge.

How many books published in India have a good bibliography, footnotes and acknoledgements...?
The same applies to many articles in newspapers and magazines too...

Ideas do overlap; and it's a bit unrealistic to feel that another person can't strike a similar idea... For all that we know, some of our "brilliant" ideas may have already been not just floated but even discussed threadbare, without our knowledge!

But wholly lifting from another person's creation is not just unacceptable but totally mean.

silverine said...

Naan: Thank you :) Since I work in the IT industry I know about the cut, copy paste of codes, designs etc that happens :p

Pradeep: The copied work was exactly the way I had written..dialogues and all except for a few words rearranged here and there :)