Write Your Own Damn Article!

AAAA AAAACorrespondent IFebruary 1, 2008

Plagiarism is the practice of claiming or implying original authorship of (or incorporating material from) someone else's written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one's own without adequate acknowledgement. Unlike cases of forgery, in which the authenticity of the writing, document, or some other kind of object itself is in question, plagiarism is concerned with the issue of false attribution.

In journalism, plagiarism is considered a breach of journalistic ethics, and reporters caught plagiarizing typically face disciplinary measures ranging from suspension to termination.

Plagiarism is concerned with the unearned increment to the plagiarizing author's reputation that is achieved through false claims of authorship.

I quoted the above two paragraphs directly from Wikipedia because I wanted everyone reading this article to understand exactly what plagiarism means.

I had a few ideas rolling around my head last night as I intended to post another article at Bleacher Report. I entered a generic string on Google and began perusing the pages.

Suddenly, I came across a link that looked very familiar and navigated my way to the site. I discovered that someone going by the screen name of"bamaboy550" had copied, pasted, and edited my recent article The SEC: Overrated? NEVER!! and posted it at The Sporting News claiming it to be his work.

In fact, I could tell by the way it appeared that the article was copied from Bleacher Report. He even went as far to post only the first half of the article to generate anticipation for the second half.

I’m not a naïve person, nor am I shocked this occurred. I’m shocked it happened with regard to an article I wrote because I don’t consider anything I write to be that good. I’m not going to make anyone forget Shakespeare anytime soon and there are countless writers that put me to shame every day. But I am thoroughly pissed off because the article in question took weeks to research, and nearly four hours of my free time to write.

We may be classified as bloggers and receive no compensation for the articles we write, however, the articles we write and post belong to us. And in this case specifically, it belongs to me. I can prove my work, as all writers can, by the time stamp on the document.

I would have never known this occurred unless I was performing a search for another article I intended to write. This problem of plagiarism isn’t limited to me, but affects thousands who take the time to research, write, and post articles around the internet.

I notified the administrative staff at The Sporting News of this abuse, and they were quick to respond. I received an e-mail shortly before completing this article informing me the article had been removed and the person who posted it was being dealt with appropriately.

For all of you that take a few moments to read this article, please be aware that some of us take a lot of time to do the right thing. If I quote something I make it clear I’m doing so; if I use images in my post I capture them from the public domain. Any blogger or professional writer with a moral barometer would understand this, but apparently there are people that don’t.

For all of you posting articles here at Bleacher Report, or any other site, I suggest you take a few minutes and conduct a search. You may be surprised to find that an article you wrote apparently looks good to someone else and they’ve decided to claim it as their own.

Don’t shrug your shoulders if you discover someone else claiming your work to be their own. Notify the web site administrators and demand they take immediate action. For the owners of this site, I’d ask that you take measures to prevent this from happening in the future. I realize it is nearly impossible to do so, but I ask you make a concerted effort to protect those of us posting articles on this site.

Bloggers deserve to be treated no differently than a professional journalist. I can assure you I will make it my personal goal to ensure that we get the respect we’ve earned. My advice, for anyone reading this article, don’t copy and paste it somewhere on the net because I’ll locate it. And when I do, the person committing plagiarism is going to be dealt with harshly.