I Hate Plagiarism

When I say “I hate plagiarism” I mean it. I mean it not only for my work but for others work as well. If you look closely at my blog you will find that I have mentioned copyright where it belongs. Plagiarism on internet is really a matter of concern and even though there are licenses or banners to warn people from copying, plagiarism still continues. It is fine to copy-paste someone’s work but one must show some respect and mention the author at the end of the post.
Few of my poems have been copy pasted at sites I never knew existed but then my name was mentioned at the end of the poem, a complete stranger from Brazil wrote to me asking for permission to post my poem at his blog, I gave him the permission because he said he will mention the copyright and he did mention.
Hence I got the shock of my life when I found out that one of the fellow bloggers who also happens to be a regular visitor of my blog had copied one of my poems without mention of my name. This definitely upset me but what hurt me the most was the poem he chose to copy.

He copied the poem I had written for my dad and made it into a love poem. I left my reaction at his blog but he tried to turn the tables on me by saying that he had asked for the permission to copy. I had clearly mentioned though, that he can keep the poem for collection. I never expected that he would change the gender of the poem and make it into a love poem. A poem written by 29 year old daughter for her 65 year old father was made into a love poem, just imagine!
When I read different blogs I find a few interesting poems and I write to the author asking for the permission to copy the poems, it does not mean that I will post their work as my own. I can never do that. If someone else inspires me to write, I make it a point to mention the name of the person who inspired me to write. If I learn new things from someone I mention about it. Am I a fool to be so specific about everything?

Anyways, finally a friend stepped in and commented at his blog; it was after my friend’s intervention that he chose to delete the post. He neither published my friend’s comment nor mentioned that the concerned poem was copied. I decided to let go the matter because he deleted the poem. He also mentioned that he simply forgot to mention my name at the end of the post whereas the fact is that he wanted to show off the poem as his own, perhaps to impress someone or else he would have at least mentioned in the comment section that the poem was not his but he simply kept thanking people who commented that the poem was wonderful, beautiful, made them think of someone, etc. I was in tears when I read the comments. Just imagine how one would feel when her poem for her father makes someone think romantically about someone!

The next thing that surprised me was that he left messages for me at yahoo messenger telling me how I had betrayed his trust in me by mentioning about plagiarism in public instead of writing to him personally. It was after his offliners to me that I decided to check on the rest of his posts as to why he did not want me to go public about plagiarism. What I found out shocked me. When I checked the url’s of his poems using copyscape I found out that mine was not the only poem that was copied. He had copied many more poems and the moment I found out about it I knew I had to do something. I did not want him to feel that I am exposing him for personal reasons hence I shouted in his shoutbox as “copyscape”. I knew there was no use commenting on the posts because he would never publish my comment. I mentioned the links of the poems that were copied and personally wrote to the original authors telling them about his blog and their poem being copied.
Back to his blog I found out that he had spammed his own shoutbox to hide my messages. This was amateurish thing to do. Later on, another person joined me against plagiarism and then I took a back seat. I just wanted someone to know that this guy had been copying other people’s stuff without respecting the efforts the authors had taken; once this was achieved I simply watched silently hoping that some action would be taken. The best thing he should have done was to mention the copyrights or delete the concerned posts but he simply kept spamming his own shoutbox. Finally, what he considered as the final step, he removed the shoutbox. Now, he thought, there was no way anyone would raise their voice against his copying act. There was no shoutbox and comments are moderated, which gives him the power to publish only the posts he wants to be seen. But he failed to understand that removing the shoutbox from his blog does not delete the shoutbox from the net. It is still accessible. The other person posted comments at the shoutbox that no more existed at this guy’s blog and left links of file-sharing sites where the PDF of the plagiarized poems has been uploaded by someone for circulation. The link of 4shared works… I have downloaded the PDF myself and don’t be shocked to see that there are 16 poems in the list.

One of his blogger friends who regularly commented at his blog has joined me as well. She usually comments as a poem and then posts the comment at her blog as post along with the link and author of the original poem that inspired her to write. When she found out that this guy had copied my poem she kept the post with strikethrough.
Also, after knowing that he has copied most of the poems at his blog she went one step further and in addition of strikethrough she even mentioned the original authors of the poems. I really admire such people.
Taking her example and word, I am going ahead and making this matter public.

My only intention of publishing this post is to spread the word about plagiarism. Though his act of copying my poem for dad did hurt it is not the sole reason for all the things I did. I contacted the authors because I felt they deserve respect for the time they have spent writing. I want people to fight against plagiarism. I know I cannot change the whole world but I can at least do my part by raising my voice against plagiarism that I have noticed.

Perhaps a few people might be of the opinion that I should have not written this post. Perhaps there will be some back lashing from that guy or his friends / supporters but I do not care. I know in my heart that I am right and I am true to myself. I have been truthful from the first word to the last word of this post hence I am ready to face the consequences, whatever they are. I do not have comment moderation at my blog and I will not delete any comment other than advertisements.

A friend suggested that I go and comment at the blogs of all those who comment at this guy’s blog and tell them that all the wonderful poems they thought were his are actually copied. I am not really sure whether I want to do this.
I do know in my heart that I want this matter to end, sooner the better. I personally hoped that the guy would admit that he has copied poems but by not accepting it he has landed himself in deep trouble.
This has to stop and only one or two people cannot stop it. We all have to join hands and fight against plagiarism. Those who wish that something has to be done about this, please follow the links mentioned at the end of the post and step in! Those who do not wish to follow the links at least express your views in my comment section so that if ever my blog is searched in google, it will be known that people have raised their voice against the wrong.
If anyone knows how to tackle this matter then please write about it in the comment section.

Please note that I have not mentioned any name in this post. But the name of the person will be disclosed in the following links. I have done my best to show respect and not defame someone’s character.

I had left a message at his shoutbox saying that I would be writing an article on plagiarism, I wanted to warn him once again and see whether he deletes the poems he has copied from others but instead of doing the right thing he wrote to me using the contact me form. This is what the message read:
[I have "hidden" the name and email address of this person]

MESSAGE SENT THROUGH YOUR WEBSITE

This form was submitted:  Sep 06 2007 / 11:04:00
by a visitor with this IP Address:  202.63.168.35

userid = artihonrao
FirstLastName = hidden
Email = hidden
Message = Arti why do u all these things. What will you get from this??????


I want to tell him that I am not doing anything to get something out of it. This is nothing personal. IF I want something from him it is apology to all the concerned authors for copying their valuable work.

He has even left messages for me at yahoo [yes he was in my friend list]

the guy: Arti what do u get from all these
the guy: why do u do all these
the guy: arti come on yaar dont be so strong yaar
the guy: and i dont know that u were the one with the name Plagarisim-Squad
Me:I AM NOT THE PLAGIARISM SQUAD ... IT IS PERHAPS ONE OF THE AUTHORS... I AM NOT ANSWERABLE TO YOU BUT I THOUGHT I SHOULD LET YOU KNOW.
the guy: arti r u online
the guy: pls talk to me yaat
the guy: yaar


UPDATE

yahoo messages after the post was published.



the guy: i did mention my e mail address i dont know why i did not show up
the guy: hey if u want i will delte all the posts
the guy: arti reply me
the guy: talk to me buddy
the guy: arti u dont want to talk to me?
the guy: arti soory yaar
the guy: sorry yaar
the guy: this will not happen again
the guy: please stop all this yaar
the guy: i have related all the poems with their author names
the guy: thanks a lot for all such actions
the guy: i will never forget u in my life
the guy: good bye
the guy: for ever


I checked his blog, he has deleted a few posts and labeled few others with author's name.

Related links

My poem that was copied
Snapshot of the poem at his blog
Forum where I raised my voice against plagiarism
The link to this guy’s shoutbox that was removed from his blog
[Do check the older messages too]
Link for download of PDF of list of plagiarized poems
Copyscape link of responding to online plagiarism
Link to the blog where his friend has strike-through all over his poems