by Mike Masnick

If You Must Plagiarize, Why Be So Blatant?

from the laziness-or-stupidity? dept

Over the past few years, we've begun to recognize that perhaps the issue of plagiarism is blown out of proportion, echoing a fascinating discussion about how Malcolm Gladwell came to terms with his own story being plagiarized for a play. However, what still is fairly amazing is just how blatant some plagiarists are. The latest is that the Harvard Crimson (yes, the same paper that broke the story that a Harvard student had plagiarized parts of her best selling novels) has suspended two staffers caught plagiarizing. What's amazing here is that people do this sort of thing and don't think they'll get caught. One of the cases involved a cartoonist who copied cartoons from well-known newspapers, and the other was a columnist who took content from the popular online magazine Slate. Why would anyone think that they could get away with copying the content from readily available, easily found sources? Perhaps it really is a case that, for some people, it's become so easy to do that they just can't help themselves, but you would think they'd at least realize that they should cover their tracks.

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  1. identicon
    soylentyellow, 25 Nov 2006 @ 12:07pm

    I believe that the difference between reusing/recycling part of a TV episode (History channel example) and copying a text in a research paper is a difference between copyright infringement and plagiarism.

    If you don't hold the rights it's copyright infringement and you are liable for a fine.

    If you plagiarised a work, you don't pay a fine but you fail the course.

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