Arun Bhat sent me a link to this piece in USA Today on folks who pass off other people's articles/ columns as their own on blogs/ websites. Del Jones observes..
The Internet is becoming a cesspool of plagiarism.
Steve McKee, a partner at Albuquerque advertising agency McKee Wallwork Cleveland, found that out in June after he wrote his monthly column for BusinessWeek.com.
The column, entitled "Five Words Never to Use in an Ad," was one of his more popular pieces. A search revealed that 36 blogs had picked it up and posted it to their sites, something that is usually considered to be fair use in the blogosphere. However, to McKee's annoyance, 13 of those took credit for writing it as their original prose.
"They're like cockroaches," McKee says. "Ideas are our assets, and it's frustrating when people take them from you without shame."
I fully agree. I've had some of my writing used by bloggers and little known websites without attribution or permission. It really sucks.
But wait, the USA Today article gets more interesting:
A July 3 column written for BusinessWeek by former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his wife, Suzy, was posted on the Indian Institute of Planning and Management (IIPM) site from New Delhi. There was no attribution to either BusinessWeek or the Welches, only a photo that appeared with the column of professor Arindam Chaudhuri, a business guru and best-selling author in India who works for IIPM.
When USA TODAY tried to contact Chaudhuri by e-mail on July 21, the e-mail was forwarded to Naveen Chamoli, dean of IIPM's Centre for Planning and Entrepreneurship. Chamoli e-mailed back saying that Chaudhuri was traveling, inaccessible and had nothing to do with the Welch column being posted beneath his photo.
Chamoli said in his e-mail that IIPM has rights to the Welch column through the New York Times News Service/Syndicate. Chamoli said in a subsequent e-mail that a Welch byline was added after the USA TODAY inquiry because, "others could be confused."
Jack and Suzy Welch, on vacation, had no comment.
All I can say is, while the internet enables plagiarism, it also makes it easy to identify a plagiarist. Someone, somewhere generally notices and tips off the original author. To fayda kya hua? Apni izzat mitti mein milane waali baat hai...