Given, there is virtually almost nothing that’s new in the present world. Almost everything has been explored and re-explored in the world. What this means is that, whatever you talk about, probably isn’t original anymore. Plagiarism as a result, has consistently become a hot topic among analysts, experts, academics, artists, designers.
Plagiarism as it is today can be defined as the copying in whole or part, of another’s set of ideas or composition, passing them on and presenting the outcome as your sole effort. From the ethical point of view, or if we approach it from the pilfering dimension, plagiarism is as bad as it can be. For most academics and others in the education sector, plagiarism is often considered as anathema because, most of those who created the education system syllabus, it amounts to intellectual plundering, which has to be discouraged as much as possible. However, can we all just assume plagiarism is bad and dismiss it or can we can choose to look at some of it as borrowing, which is good. And this is for good reasons.
First, when a great work is created, it’s what motivates others to create better works. In many cases, when a piece of work is developed on, there is no way this can be done without borrowing from or imitating a few aspects or many aspects of the original, one way or another. And when this happens, it’s pretty hard for the new creators to give credit to who they borrowed from, because, in their eyes, their product is original and to where they god the initial ideas, a source of inspirational for a new creation.
The other aspect that comes with borrowing someone else’s works is that, sometimes, it’s the only way you can blow the original idea up. This has often been the case in musical performances where a beat or version is sampled to make a new song or performance. If the new sample is successful (there are so many examples for this in the music sampling business) the original version is recognized.
In terms of the academic sphere, simply getting information and acknowledging others does not help things according to experts. This often brings good research but does not spark creativity or new ideas. Therefore, borrowing from others needs to be encouraged because, more often than not, it promotes intellectualism in fact.
One would imagine that the internet has virtually made it almost impossible for someone to plagiarize without being caught. Yet Google, the search engine giant, is constantly coming up with new ways to combat this problem, evidence of the extent that it still abounds today. It is astonishing that some, even in this computer age, still commit the mistake of plagiarizing. Just recently, Jon Flatland, veteran columnist and former president of the North Dakota Newspaper Association (who also used to have his own newspaper), was found out to be a serial plagiarist. Flatland’s twenty eight year old career was flushed down the drain just hours after he was exposed. Yes, despite of technology plagiarism still thrives. It is like a computer bug that won’t go away, no matter how one tries to arm oneself against the attack.
For any writer, especially freelance writers who earn their living writing articles online, plagiarism is something to guard against. The good news is there are actually easy ways to find out if your work has been plagiarized:
Use Google Alerts
To check whether you’ve been plagiarized, you can either do it manually by copying a unique sentence from your own work and adding quotation marks before clicking search. The quotation marks will ensure that you get accurate search results from the words you used exactly. However, doing this manually and daily will be too time-consuming. What you should do then is set up a Google Alert. Google alerts will then send you regular emails every time your work gets published on-line.
Use Anti-Plagiarism Software/Websites
To combat plagiarism many schools, colleges, universities and companies rely heavily on expensive anti-plagiarism software. You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to safeguard your work. There are many anti-plagiarism websites online, you can use plagiarism checker Plagtracker, for example.
If you’ve suddenly been alerted to unauthorized use of your work, yes, you’ve been plagiarized! Before you hit the panic button, calm down. Remember, it’s hard to think rationally when you’re angry. Here’s what you can do:
Investigate and gather as much evidence as you can. You can do this by taking screenshots. Remember to gather as much proof before you even contact them.
If the culprit has posted your work on their website or blog but acknowledged you as the author and “forgot” to inform you about it. This isn’t plagiarism, though it could be a copyright violation. It’s up to you whether to get in touch and ask them politely to remove your work from their website.
If someone has published your work on their blog and passed it off as their own, don’t confront them right away by leaving a public angry comment. Be professional and look for an email address or contact form. Send them a professional email and politely ask them to delete your content from their website. If nothing happens, you can report them to whatever blog platform they are using or you could also report the problem to the culprit’s hosting service.
If none of these actions are heeded, you can retaliate by embarrassing and naming the culprit on your own blog and other social-network cites likes twitter and Facebook. The World Wide Web may seem like a vast ocean of space, but in reality, it is actually really small which means lambasting a person on line is as good as front-page news on a tabloid paper.
You can file a DMCA complaint to Google. Google is taking these complaints very seriously. Google had recently included copyright content removal issues as one of rankings factor here. Websites that receives lots of valid copyright removal requests may notice their website rankings going down on Google search. So if you are seeing people copying your website content without taking permission from you, you can send a copyright removal request to Google here.
And, you can always sue. However, ask yourself if you’re prepared to spend thousands of dollars on lawyer fees and not to mention the stress of a lawsuit.