Recently, the great humor blogger IowaHawk had a post plagiarized by a newspaper columnist. The Munchkin Wrangler (h/t) recently suffered the same fate thanks to a club newsletter. He asks:
Ugh. Is the new rule that “everything found on the Internet is automatically public domain”?
No, I don't think that the Internet has encouraged plagiarism, so much as it has exposed the pervasiveness of plagiarism. Internet search tools have made it much, much easier to catch a plagiarist, and I suspect that a lot of less web-savvy people have yet to catch onto this.