Sunday, January 20, 2013

SPILL THE FEELS (02) : PLAGIARISM.

Where I share all my bookish feels about certain topics I find intriguing, fun or controversial. Basically my two bookish cents.

My take (and some questions) on plagiarism.

Last night while browsing Twitter, I noticed that a few book bloggers I recently followed were ranting about plagiarism. Curious as I was, I read all of their posts about it (I feel bad about their current situation) and that particular incident brought questions to my mind.

Plagiarism is defined as "the practice of taking someone else's work or ideas and passing them off as one's own". Having said that, how can we tell if we are (specifically book bloggers) plagiarized? Is it by the templates we use, the design, color or layout? Is it the book info we put on our blogs? How about on reviews, can it be considered plagiarism if the writing techniques are the same? It is through the review's length, the introduction, summary or closing paragraphs? Is it all about the memes/discussion post we all participate in/host? Can we say we're plagiarized if others are using the same terms/expressions? Is it by using the same images from Goodreads? If yes, then aren't we all guilty of plagiarism?

Don't get me wrong. I don't agree with plagiarism. I feel violated. I feel used. I feel upset. Who wouldn't if you're not even being credited for your work! I've been blogging about 8 months now and all I could tell you guys is I work hard on my blog. From the books that I invest in to the effort I exert to personalize my page/post to the tiniest sacrifice I give just to finish a book, I know deep inside me, am one of those hard working bloggers there is and a few friends could attest to it. Though my blog's stats are so far doing just about right, I still ask myself, what if along the way, I'd be a victim too? How would I handle it? How would I know if am being plagiarized even?

I still couldn't find the answers to those questions and am praying that I wouldn't come across this in the future. That is why am always careful, it is a must for me to credit back to the right owners of whatever I put in the blog that aren't mine. I always make sure that I put watermarks on my pictures and I signed up to the copyright website. But would those things really suffice? This is the reason I posted this, not only to warn but to seek advise especially to those who are all well-established bloggers. I understand that book blogging isn't always safe especially how the internet works, but there's always respect right? There are no rules on how to show respect to your fellow book bloggers or to other people for that matter.

So my questions are:
If someone copied you but asked for your permission or credited you, would you still be considered plagiarism?
How can we identify if we are being plagiarized?
How to handle it?
How to prevent it if possible?

Bloggers should be helping one another in whatever way they can and I hope that whatever bad is going on with some of our fellow book bloggers would get through this. No one should be a victim of any heinous thing after all.

Let me know your thoughts.

6 comments:

  1. This is a tough one, and as an author and blogger, one I worry about -- a bit.

    On the other hand, one of my favorite quotes is: My biggest threat as an author isn't piracy, it's obscurity.

    I guess--for me--my stand on plagiarism would depend on what's at stake. If someone snagged a blog post, I wouldn't stress too much, but a whole book might be another issue.

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    Replies
    1. I see your point, Jen. An entire book is totally a different story. But being mainly a blogger, someone stealing our reviews would feel just as the same.

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    2. “ I wouldn't stress too much, but a whole book might be another issue.”

      Kate has a point. Us bloggers spend so much time on their posts. I don't just spend time writing it either. I write the review, but I also have to find book covers, cross reference dates, book data, book description, quotes, and that's just gathering the assets. I still have to code the HTML, apply SEO, test it, edit it again.

      Please remember that bloggers don't get paid. Don't be ignorant.

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    3. Thanks Giselle. Different people have different views. And you're right, being a blogger requires so much effort and time. Its not a walk in the park. No matter what "part" of a review is plagiarized, it isn't only annoying or irritating, its painful and unfair.

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  2. You don't wanna get ME started on plagiarism.

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