For several years, I've been reading blogs here and there on various subjects. Some of my favourites were sites devoted to the essay-style of writing. Authors would make their statement, and then defend it with evidence and list sources.
Today I was talking about an article about blogs in the Vancouver Sun with someone at my favourite coffee shop, and he was saying that his work had been stolen many times by people for use on other sites. When I asked how he knew this, he replied “Either I find them when I follow links, or other people tell me”.
Plagiarism has been a problem for thousands of years, and the internet makes it quite a bit easier. I'll admit that sometimes I come across some really great blogs where someone has made an entry that is meaningful on a personal level, and I would love to share the ideas expressed with the same eloquence and style on my site, but I would never think about cutting and pasting the article and claiming it as my own. Links were made for a reason.
Lord knows that not all of us can write a great article day-in and day-out. Some of us can't even write a proper sentence, or know when to use a semi-colon. I just wish that people would give credit where credit is due.
People don't steal music off the internet and say that they wrote the song. People don't steal movies off the internet and say that they directed and produced the film. So why steal words and say you did them? Anyone who really knows someone would see when they're plagiarizing another person's work.
So to those people who feel the need to take credit for someone else's intelligence, I'll ask you kindly to stop. Not that I expect this post to make any difference whatsoever.