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No, plagiarism doesn’t just “happen”

22 May

Back when the shitstorm surrounding Kristi Diehm, plagiarist, aka The Story Siren¹, broke out, I posted about apologies, and how I think it’s useless to expect–or indeed to receive–an apology from a plagiarist. Like many other offenders, said apologies tend to be of the “fuck, I’m sorry I got caught” variety. Or, much worse, they include so many excuses, explanations, rationalizations and justifications that in the end, to many an uncritical follower/fan, they read like a justification to hate on the victims of the plagiarist.

Well, that queen of chutzpah, Kristi Diehm, is at it again. The short hand for those who don’t go to the SmartBitches: apparently this plagiarist, who has still to apologize properly (as in, without excuses) to her victims, and who has failed to address her fans outright hounding of said victims, has decided to organize a week long event on plagiarism, designed to ‘educate herself’ (yeah, because that very pointed post she wrote on the topic, after allegedly being plagiarized herself, shows that she reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelly didn’t know what the fuck she was doing when she stole Beautifully Invisible and Grit and Glamour. Right.) Continue reading

Long ago, in a galaxy…wait a minute–it is now and just next door.

29 Apr

Plagiarism keeps rearing its ugly, unimaginative head. In the past few months there have been plenty of instances where people are caught dead on yet them manage to pretend not to know what they did wrong.

Or they didn’t know they were doing anything wrong.

Or plagiarism just occurred. *cough*

Or they were doing their victim a favor.

Or because they are not profiting from it.

Or they thought it was their own work, how could they know they had copied and pasted the entire thing without attribution in the first place.

Or it was ignorance about what plagiarism really is (never mind writing and posting on the topic long before indulging in their own theft)

Or…anyway, I’m sure anyone with half a working brain cell gets the idea.

For those who are still struggling with the concept, a few pointers: when a person plagiarizes/steals the  words/intellectual property of another person, the plagiarist is the thief–the other one? That one is the victim. Continue reading

What the fuck is her actual problem?

27 Apr

Have you ever dealt with a person who always takes exception to what you have to say, no matter what it is?

I mean, even when you agree with her, she bitches at you because you don’t agree with her enough. Or you don’t use her language to agree with her.

And if you don’t talk to her, she bitches at you for what you say to other people–people who are adults, intelligent and articulate enough themselves, mind you, to ream you a new one if they thought you deserved it, or if they felt you were attacking them.

Yet this person, who has no dog in a fight that isn’t even taking place, comes at you loaded for bear, demanding (basically) that you shut up.

But, lest you think it’s lil ole innocent me (fragile flower of femininity that I am *adjusts halo again*) who is the problem, I have seen this same person do the exact same thing to…well, everyone else she comes in contact. It may take her a day or a few months, but no one who is present where she is escapes her constant harping.

Anyone wanna venture a guess, why does she do this?

(And bonus brownie points to whoever guesses who I’m talking about)

Oh no, she didn’t! (sadly, yes, she did)

27 Apr

And for those of you tired of the plagiarism conversation, go somewhere else and look at some puppies and rainbows.

It seems that the latest version of the thief’s apology reads thus:

“When I first received the allegations of plagiarism, I was presented with the information and could not deny the facts. While the content was not identical the subject matter was. I thought only content could be plagiarized. Changing a few a words around with a thesaurus, or simple copying and pasting content. It seems as though taking a general topic and rewriting it is plagiarism. That is simply my own ignorance on the matter, and I should have known better. It was a confusion of inspiration and plagiarism on my part. I am not denying my actions. I was in the wrong. I read a post, I thought it was interesting and wanted to make it into something that would be relevant for book blogging.”

I guess it was just a matter of time for her to claim ignorance Continue reading

Why does anyone care…

24 Apr

…whether a plagiarist apologizes or not?

Yesterday I read one of the latest cases where a plagiarist is caught, confronted and shamed (with the inevitable “leave the poor plagiarist alone, she’s suffering enough as it is” comments thrown in).

What baffles me is the repeated expectations for an apology.

Why?

What does an apology change?

Look, not all crimes¹ are equal, and I’m not going to call for pitchforks here, but plagiarism–and particularly repeated plagiarism–is not an accidental thing, there is intent. A person cannot inadvertently copy and paste chunks of other people’s work and then forget it’s not his/her own work.

Given this, what is the value of an apology? How can any apology over a deliberate act be anything but, “sorry I got caught”–which is no apology at all?

So, why does anyone care to receive an apology from a plagiarist?

~~~~

¹ Plagiarism = theft, ergo, crime

Pondering copyright: an unpopular position

3 Feb

Reader beware: this is a long post, with multiple links to further reading. It is also likely to bring down the fury of pattern creators all around the web, if they ever happen to find my humble online abode (which isn’t likely, but could happen) and probably make me persona non-grata in many online crafting circles. Read at your own peril, and feel free to have at me in the comments.

Further disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. I don’t play a lawyer on television or online. I am not offering legal advice. I am sharing what I have learned by doing a bit of research.

Long, long before SOPA or other variants were even thought off, I had declared my hatred of all things piracy, most particularly when the pirated items are books, but also in general. (You are welcome to do a Google search for my comments at the time of the Cassie Edwards plagiarism scandal–handle azteclady–and later on, here and here)

The reason for copyright, if I understand it correctly, is to provide incentive to the artist. If a person can’t profit from her creativity, then other things—like, say, making ends actually meet—will take precedence. When creativity is stifled, innovation tends to slow down. To a crawl not dissimilar to that of frozen molasses.

However, taking copyright to the extreme also stifles creativity because, in most cases, new stuff starts as old stuff that someone looks at in a different way. All those “what if I did this first instead of that?” or “wouldn’t it look better if I didn’t put that there?” lead to entirely different things and ways of doing things.

So there must be a balance, right? Continue reading

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.

Continue reading