STOP Plagiarism

What is plagiarism?

Webster's Dictionary defines it as:

": to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own : use (a created production) without crediting the source.

: to commit literary theft : present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source."

Wake Forest University defines it as:

"To put your name on a piece of work is to say that it is yours, that the praise or criticism due to it is due to you. To put your name on a piece of work any part of which is not yours is plagiarism, unless that piece is clearly marked and the work from which you have borrowed is fully identified. Plagiarism is a form of theft. Taking words, phrasing, sentence structure, or any other element of the expression of another personís ideas, and using them as if they were yours, is like taking from that person a material possession, something he or she has worked for and earned. Even worse is the appropriation of someone elseís ideas. By "ideas" is meant everything from the definition or interpretation of a single word, to the overall approach or argument. If you paraphrase, you merely translate from his or her language to yours; another personís ideas in your language are still not your ideas. Paraphrase, therefore, without proper documentation, is theft, perhaps of the worst kind. Here, a person loses not a material possession, but something of what characterized him or her as an individual. Plagiarism is a serious violation of another personís rights, whether the material stolen is great or small; it is not a matter of degree or intent. You know how much you would have had to say without someone elseís help; and you know how much you have added on your own. Your responsibility, when you put your name on a piece of work, is simply to distinguish between what is yours and what is not, and to credit those who have in any way contributed."

Another view on copyright infringement by Elizabeth Gardner:

"In the euphoria of surfing around the Web looking for just the right photo, music bite, or graphical embellishment to add to a page design, it's easy to forget that those tidbits were created by someone. And the creators might be quite annoyed to find their creations redeployed without credit or payment--perhaps annoyed enough to sue. If they do sue, they can potentially collect statutory damages of up to $100,000 per unauthorized use, even if it didn't cost them a dime in actual damages."

However you define it, I hate it. It stinks. 3 times this year alone I have had to deal with people who have basically stolen my entire site word for word. One was a 5th grade student, one was a 16 year old girl, and one was a high school teacher from New Jersey. Can you believe it? The teacher took my work, word for word, and when I confronted her she replied "I did not plagiarize your page, I may have taken your idea, but I did not plagiarize." (sounds a little like Clinton to me hehe =) My entire site was on her page, word for word, she claimed it as her own and even had a copyright symbol on her page, but she did not "plagiarize." She has removed her site and I am relieved. But why should anyone have to work so hard to keep people from stealing their work?

Protect Yourself!

There are a few things you can do as a Web master:

What Next?

If you find that your work (graphics or content) has been plagiarized, you can take these steps to resolve your problem:

Link to this page using this graphic:

STOP plagiarism

<a href=""><img src="stop.gif" width="88" height="31" alt="STOP plagiarism">

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