DOGGONE EVERYTHING (In Search of Something)

Thursday, January 17, 2008

More Plagiarism

I have neglected this Blog for nearly a year. Time is flying. How depressing. I was looking up an agent when I came across someone she represents and ended up on that author's Blog. I was appalled to read about yet another plagiarism case. This blogger/author writes under the entry title, A rose by any other name...is still someone else's damn rose (Jan. 13th, 2008 at 8:11 PM ): "All week, I've been watching the news unfold about the Cassie Edwards plagiarism scandal. For those of you who haven't heard of it, you can get the details by going HERE and HERE. Long story short, she's an author who was first accused of copying passages from various research texts, and pasting them slightly paraphrased but uncredited into her novels. Then most recently, it seems she may have copied whole passages from a 1930 Pulitzer-winning novel into one of her books. / My reaction, as a reader and a writer, is to be both sad and angry."

To me it is yet one more case that makes it increasingly tougher for us writers/authors to write and not be scrutinized. These cases are creating a murky atmosphere, and causing all prose to be scrutinized and suspicious. It happens with students and professors also. There are so many cases of plagiarism that one nearly has to start from the premise that the student is guilty of 'lifting' material. (It is harder to catch the material that is purchased.) This is sad - that it has come to the point that 'stealing' is somehow normalized. I wonder if it is happening more among younger people, as they seem to not understand clearly the rules surrounding originality, and how to give proper credit to sources (citing material not your own). Intellectual property laws exist for reason.

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