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Steve Jones is the editor of SQLServerCentral.com and visits a wide variety of data related topics in his daily editorial. Steve has spent years working as a DBA and general purpose Windows administrator, primarily working with SQL Server since it was ported from Sybase in 1990. You can follow Steve on Twitter at twitter.com/way0utwest

Another Plagiarizer

I received a note today about someone else that is plagiarizing content from SQLServerCentral. It’s a blog on Windows Live Spaces by ?? in Peking. I won’t link it here, since it’s not important.

There are any number of articles copied, with no attribution listed whatsoever. This person is from Peking, and lists their occupation as SE, which I am guessing is software engineer.

I did try to contact them, as I usually do, but their privacy settings prevented me. So I sent a copyright violation to MSN.

I read Brent Ozar’s post yesterday on plagiarism, and I somewhat agree, somewhat not. On one hand I get that cultures view this stuff differently, and laws are viewed/enforced differently. However leaving aside all the legal stuff, what about this:

Do you ever feel that it’s moral for you to take credit for someone else’s work?

I can’t imagine any culture supporting this. Does anyone want to tell their kids they can copy someone else’s work so they don’t have to learn in school? If your neighbor’s kid cut someone’s grass or performed a chore, would you send your kid out to the person’s house to get paid and take credit for the work?

I don’t think most people would. But that’s what they’re doing when there’s no attribution or credit. I get that you might want to “share” information, but why not link back to the first site? At the very least it would raise both your search engine ratings and spread the information further.

Why else would you blog? To get a job? That’s immoral. You’re implying you know how to a) do the task and b) communicate well. At least one of which you haven’t done, and you’re deceiving the person reading it.

Make money from Google ads? Again, you’re implying you deserve the results from work you didn’t create.

There’s no good excuse for re-posting someone else’s work and saying that you deserve credit for it. At least Cook’s Source gave people credit, and just violated copyright law.

Comments

Posted by SQLSharma on 16 November 2010

Well said, I love this part:Do you ever feel that it’s moral for you to take credit for someone else’s work?

Posted by Jason Brimhall on 16 November 2010

Well said.  I got into a discussion the other day with a teacher complaining about a different teacher who we will call Joe.  Joe was docking students for plagiarizing content.  The first teacher thought there was nothing wrong with it and wondered why bother.  My stance was firm on the side of Joe.  I was baffled that a teacher found it unimportant to teach attribution and copyright and thusly allow students to plagiarize.

Posted by Stefan Krzywicki on 16 November 2010

Nope, never moral to take credit for someone else's work. I try to link back to where I learned things even if I didn't use anything directly from their site. As you say, linking back helps both sites and I believe in credit where credit is due.

I'm very surprised by the teacher you mention, Jason. What grade level? Not that any grade level gets an excuse, I'm just wondering.

The number of parents I've seen doing their kid's homework keeps me from being surprised that palgiarism is rampant.

Posted by Roy Ernest on 17 November 2010

Plagiarism, once in a while it raises its vary head. No, I would not support anyone who does that. Ask for permission before you put it up and even when you put it up, link to the original post/article. I remember one instance when a German website contacted me and Steve to ask for permission to post a translated article in their web site. Steve was more than happy to let them do it. That is the way it should be done.

Posted by Tom.Thomson on 19 November 2010

I don't like plagiarism. It seems to me to be immoral, dishonest.  I don't understand how anyone does it and retains their self-respect (maybe they don't?).

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