Monday, January 05, 2009

Plagiarism and the Internet

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.


johnmeunier said...

The Internet culture does seem to promote the idea - in a way the old print culture did not - that whatever you find is free to be taken.

The college student I teach have a very hard time understanding why it is wrong to take someone else's words and work without attribution.

Finding the words and taking them constitute "work" in their minds and should be rewarded not punished.

I may be using the word incorrectly here, but they have an open-source view of the world.

Craig L. Adams said...

It's not a new rule, it's an extremely old rule. The original ARPNET was set up for the purpose of freely sharing information. No, it was not for making money. No, it was not for publishing copyrighted information or opinion. Post on the Internet at your own risk!