Tuesday, April 10, 2012


What is plagiarism?  Whom has the first claim to a written thought?  Is anything ever new?

What if I had a thought - then wrote it down.  While you might have had the same thought and didn't write it down.  OR you had a thought - then months/years later you read the same type of thought. 

These are confusing times......

I wrote a post while in Hawaii this spring  AND granted, I QUOTED it from an article 

" a person can only take so much beauty and inspiration before they have to get back to the grocery list".  We take for granted what we see on the way to the store.

Today, I'm reading a book - "The Rum Diaries" - and NO, I'm not reading it because Johnny Deep is in the movie.  Once again, it's me and a "classic" I need to read.  Hunter S. Thompson  I'm on Chapter 17, page 169 and I read this:  "The delicate illusions that get us through life can only stand so much strain-"......

Those two quotes SOUND very similar.  I didn't plagiarize - I quoted what I had read.  BUT WHAT IF, that person took their writing style from Hunter S Thompson?

Where do we define the line?

According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means

  • to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
  • to use (another's production) without crediting the source
  • to commit literary theft
  • to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone's work and lying about it afterward.

I understand photographs.  If I take a picture and you use the picture I took for your brochure, website, etc without my permission that is plagiarism.  It's very simple.

What if some us actually think the same?  Not only think the same, but are able to express our thoughts the same?

I'm not talking college essays' here - I'm talking about my rambling thoughts used in your article.  Your quote used in my "wall post" on Facebook.

Where do we draw the line?   This line might make a circle......



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