Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action has arrived, stop thinking and go in.
- Napoleon

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Plagiarism Rears Its Ugly Head Again

First off, thanks to Kristen Painter for the heads-up on this latest foray into stealing other people's words. Today's winner seems to be Cassie Edwards, for shamelessly borrowing phrases to use in her less-than-steller 'Savage' series. To be honest, I've never read her work, but after seeing her books on the shelves and reading the blurbs, they looked too hokey to be published, let alone purchased, IMO. Then I read what the gals over at Smart Bitches had to say about her writing (read the earlier posts on this chick and you'll understand), and it underscored my own impressions, so it was a definite NO.

Now, I find out she's been plagiarizing, and I'm so glad I never wasted a penny on her books.

In that last link, DearAuthor said it best: "Plagiarism is a Community Issue". The writing community should stand together against this theft of our work. Face it, it's hard for any one writer to police the world to make sure no one is stealing from them, especially since there are so many books being published, and so much information floating around the internet. We need to stick together and watch each others' backs on this.

And we need to make sure no one ever EVER does this. We need to catch the ones doing it and slap them... HARD. Whether you think of it as cheating or stealing or just not fair, it's WRONG. The plagiarists are earning something for themselves off work they never had to do for themselves--work other people busted their butts to do and who are now not reaping any benefits. Think of it as busting your butt at your dayjob and then at the end of the week, a co-worker claims credit for your accomplishments, so he gets paid for sitting on his ass. Since the person writing your paycheck doesn't know the work wasn't his, they pay him for your work.

Sucks, don't it?

Additionally, we need to watch ourselves to make sure we never do this unintentionally. Not that I think anyone could really accidentally copy a line word for word from another book, but I'm making allowances for the less than self-aware in the world. The point here is that I CAUGHT them before any of them went to print. We all read a lot, so I'll allow the possibility, but I won't make allowances for it getting past our own ability to edit. And I've caught myself writing things so very similar to something I once read, I had to go back and change them. If it sounds similar enough to catch your eye, for petesakes, change it.

To any and all plagiarists, I'd like to say:

Stop riding around on the backs of others. If you can't do something for yourself, don't do it at all. And leave the publishing contracts for those of us willing to do the work for ourselves and on our own merits.

Plagiarists make me sick.

'Nuff said.

1/10/08: Update

1 comment:

Graeme K Talboys said...

You tell 'em. It is theft, pure and simple. Sneak thieving of the worst kind.