Plagiarism — not just for money (and other almost random things)

22 Apr

How the wheel turns!

Way back when, after the SBTB exposed Cassie Edwards’ plagiarism, they got called all sorts of names. Hey, someone even wondered if Ms Edwards had run over the Bitches’ puppy (I don’t have the link, but I’m sure someone will provide it at some point).

If memory serves, months later there were some folks still bemoaning the mean girls who had almost killed Ms Edwards by making public something that was “a private matter” (I kid you not, this was said, word by word).

Now it seems that some enterprising thief has been lifting reviews pretty much verbatim from AAR–as well as copying their ratings and rating system. (Mind, this kid also lifted Kristie(J)’s blog name–no, no linkage for the thief–so color me not much surprised by the news).

The funny thing is that there are some who wonder why the blogosphere is not as incensed over the theft of reviews from AAR as it was over Ms Edwards’ 20+ years of plagiarism.

Huh.

How about that.

Mind, I have my suspicions, but I would like to know what the peanut gallery thinks of this apparent double standard.

* * *

Interestingly, reading the comments at AAR’s blog, I see several of the usual excuses: she couldn’t have known, she was young, she’s not profiting, perhaps she thought it was ‘public domain’, etc. (Update: oh, and I forgot, there’s the always popular “shaming the victim/blaming the messenger“)

To paraphrase one of my favorite characters: “You keep saying that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means”

We–all of us–need to educate those around us about what is and isn’t plagiarism, what is copyright infringement, the differences and similarities between them, the ethical implications of plagiarism, etc. (I still recommend this handy primer by the SBTBs, by the way)

* * *

Finally, a word to Cindy Hoffman: not everything that is unethical is prosecutable: men do bleat and wail about these kind of things, both in public and in private, and bringing gender into the discussion does nothing but obscure the topic and derail the conversation.

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