I’ve been imitated so well I’ve heard people copy my mistakes.
~ Jimi Hendrix
Give me the liberty to use the wrong word for ‘photocopy’ today. Today’s the toughest day in the challenge!
I’m hoping that you have already figured out the analogy between the title of my post and the topic I want to write about today. If not, here it is: plagiarism in blogging.
Many better, and more knowledgeable, authorities have written about this topic. I can’t claim that about myself, as no one has felt the need to plagiarise my content. (Or at least if they have done so, I have no clue about it.)
But here I am anyways, trying to tell you why you should be ashamed of being a plagiarist.
You became a blogger, for the reason of sharing your views.
Highlight the word ‘your views‘.
Not the views of some random netizen. Not the views of some random person you’ve never met. Not the views of some person you trust.
Your own views.
There may be ideas that are repeated. I don’t believe that there’s a single idea that hasn’t already been thought of by someone else. And so does Mark Twain:
“There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.” ~ Mark Twain
I do believe that everyone has their own magic touch in writing and sharing their thoughts and emotions. I feel that this magic touch is what forms the ‘mental kaleidoscope’ that Twain talks about. Early experiences in your life will shape the way you think about a certain phenomenon and the way you choose to present your views to someone else. Since everyone’s experiences are unique in their own way and everyone’s thought processes work in different ways, I can’t think of any possible reason why you should possibly plagiarise anyone’s content and be happy about it.
And even if you claim to ‘just copy someone’s writing style’, you are fooling no one but yourself.
I’m not even going to talk about the view of the person whose content you are plagiarising. Because I’m sure of this: If you couldn’t think about the emotions of the other person while you were busy ‘Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V’ ing their entire post, I doubt you are capable of any emotion after the deed is done.
Instead, I’ll make this entire post about your selfish needs, and make you feel a bit more craven about copying someone else’s posts blatantly. (Yeah, that’s the ASOIAF effect: ‘craven‘)
I’ll sign off with a quote from one of my favourite classics (my only favourite classic, actually), The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. In this quote, Basil Hallward tells Mr. Dorian Gray that Lord Henry Wotton would be a bad influence on him, jokingly. But on Mr. Gray’s questioning, Lord Henry gives this reply:
“There is no such thing as a good influence, Mr. Gray. All influence is immoral – immoral from the scientific point of view.”
“Because to influence a person is to give him one’s own soul. He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with the natural passions. His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of someone else’s music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him. The aim of life is self-development. To realize one’s nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for.”
If Mark Twain and Oscar Wilde can’t convince you, no one can.