Detect and Fight the Threat of Plagiarism

This is a situation with many pro-bloggers. When they post a highly valuable, linkable, original content with useful information, within a week’s time, the same article will be reproduced in half a dozen different blogs and article directories worldwide, without any knowledge of the original creator. This is the theft of intellectual property, we know as plagiarism. One of the greatest crimes out there. And for me, theft of intellectual property is more despicable a crime than that of tangible goods.

Though in blogosphere, plagiarism is booming like anything, it is in academia and publishing industry that it is most felt and most despised. The blogs, which copy content from bigger bloggers out there, are mainly smaller blogs, which may not have even been indexed by search engines. They may read somewhere that “the content is king.” They mayn’t have enough language skills or knowledge to create that content. So, what they do as soon as they set up a new blog is going out in search for content and copying it from top bloggers out there.

The major problem in this is that they don’t know of penalization. When they have content copied from any other blogs, and if search engines like Google finds this out (which is very easy for them), their blogs may be permanently banned from the search engine indexes. So, it is a petty crime to do plagiarism.

While most of the online plagiarism doesn’t result in any prosecution, it is a mean and despicable thing to do. People engaged in plagiarism are not at all worthy of any sort of respect.

How to Avoid Plagiarism

If you are into academia, writing some research articles or dissertations, you can well avoid plagiarism through rules of citation. When you write something, if you come across any idea, sentence, or paragraph with any content that you wish to use in your writing, you should cite the source. Citation styles like APA, MLA, Chicago, etc., are meant to make it easy and understandable to the readers and evaluators.

So, it is extremely important to credit the source wherever you found a particular idea or usage, in your writing. While the citation styles are mainly applicable to academia, the online publishing entities like blogs and article publishing should cite their sources as well. This can be done by directly linking to whichever resource you used in doing your research.

Plagiarism is not applicable only to the written content. It is also important to any other types of media like audio, video, intellectual creations, business ideas, trade secrets, etc. Plagiarism of written and media creations are protected by Copyright, while the protection intellectual creations, business secrets, etc., are protected by Trademarks and Patents. Each of these entities have their own rules and regulations as well. You can also use selective rights to your articles through Creative Commons license.

Ways to Detect and Ban Plagiarists

1. Always do a Copyscape of your content, within a week of publishing your content. Copyscape is something which can readily find out the duplicate content from across the web for any particular article you write and publish. Copyscape application is a highly powerful one, which can detect blocks of text, which contain similar keywords as in your text.

2. When you find any copy of your article, first contact the offender and ask him to link back to your original work, if you give rights for reproduction and reprint. If your content has been modified in some way, and you don’t provide rights to do that, then you should ask the offender to use the original version and link back to your resource. If your article gives no rights to reprint or reproduce or modify, then you can readily ask the offender to remove the content, and instead, just link to the content as a reference.

3. If you don’t have contact details of the offender or the offender doesn’t reply to your messages, the best thing you can do is contact the offender’s website hosting company and let them know of the infringement. You can find the hosting company by doing a search here: Whoishostingthis.com.

4. Most of the time, the hosting company support officials can verify the content, see that it is yours, and penalize the offender.

5. If all these methods fail, contact the major search engines and their support group, and let them know of the offending website. This way, you can speed up the process of penalization.

Of course, plagiarism is one of the meanest things to do in today’s world. All genuine writers should hold their hands together to fight the thugs that do plagiarism. Only cooperation can help us out in this. When I find some blog copying content from any other blog I know of, I readily alert the original blog. This way, you all should work against this threat to intellectual property.

Some references

http://www.plagiarism.org/

http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/

http://www.indiana.edu/~wts/pamphlets/plagiarism.shtml

Copyright © Lenin Nair 2008

4 Opinions:

  1. Hello, we feel we also have a very good free copyright protection tool that is worth a look:

    http://www.bitscan.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for that information, how did you find this site?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a google alert set to copyright protection which picked up your post.

    Very thoughtful article, thanks for publishing!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Mark for posting comments, Bitscan doesnt give me results when I tried to check dupes of my blog. It showed error that it is a wrong URL, doesnt it accept blogs?

    ReplyDelete

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