Tuesday, September 09, 2008

KISSING THE RAT


While some people just have a fantastic way with words that could stir emotions, crumble mountains or make glaciers melt, there are others who stumble at the end of every sentence, chewing the backs of their stubby pencils while deep in thought. And then there are the people who come, take a look, and form dangerous ideas in their heads.

A while back, the author of one of the blogs that I frequently visit had the shock of his life when he found out that he had been plagiarised. It wasn't mere lifting of sentences from here and there, but his whole life seemed to have been copied word for word, and the pictures that accompany his posts weren't spared either.

It seems as though the author (if he can be called so) of the copycat blog was entirely intrigued by this blogger's life and his opinions that he figured that it might as well be his own.

Now, copying or plagiarism isn't really something new. It happens almost everywhere. Even recently (based on my definition which I noticed is not the same as anyone else's) there was a lawsuit pertaining to a newspaper reporter being reported plagiarising and the person who exposed the issue got dragged in as well and there was a sort of small storm that has since passed. I also remember an incident during one lab session (the class who took the lab subject one semester after me) where the instructor gave C- to the whole class because they used their senior's report template for the lab reports, where usually lab subjects are easy to score.

So, perhaps people do so to get ideas across when they're too lazy to do some thinking on their own, or when they couldn't be bothered to sit down and type things word for word (then why bother, actually?) and with the ease of a click and drag to highlight, a small tap for the right click, and voila! you've got an amazing array of tasks ahead of you, one of them carrying the word "copy" which you click without hesitation. Then you switch windows, right click again and select the word paste. Without moving too many muscles, your job is done. Besides, you think to yourself... "who on earth is going to research this and find out what I did?" so you save it (and maybe publish it) and leave to go and have some roti canai with your buddies at the local mamak.

What amazes me the most though, is why would anyone copy another person's blog? So what if you think your life is boring? I'm sure someone out there thinks that your life is interesting enough to read. And if no one does, life doesn't end there.

For this particular case, you could say that the plagiariser was seeking the fame the blogger had in the blogosphere, but then I think it has more to do with the copycat's fascination towards the way he writes, how he builds up suspense with his sentences and his wit. I think it is downright creepy to wake up someday and realise that your thoughts and life have been "borrowed".

But I still can't figure out why anyone would want to copy a blog...


6 comments:

  1. Oddly enough, I recently plagerised myself in a recent post and nobody noticed. So very devlish ;)

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  2. This isn't the first time I've heard of stolen blog content. A few months ago, Sharon Bakar of Bibliobuli blogged about her very own blog content that was stolen.

    I wonder how I'd feel if some wretched person did that to me. I'd be flaming furious! A short while ago, I was very upset when I realised how a couple of my readers whose blogs I frequent had suddenly changed their style of writing; so similar to mine (phrases, words, the way I express my emotions). It may sound silly, but every artist is recognisable by his trademark / signature.

    Damn it! They should stop being a copycat and find their own identity!

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  3. orhan: A recycled post from the not-so-distant past, I presume?

    So very devlish ;) This got me laughing :D

    anita: So, it's more common than I imagined. I'll check out her blog in a bit.

    If anyone copied stuff I wrote (which I don't think anyone would anyway, I hope), I actually don't really know how I'd feel... on one hand, I'd most probably be smirking to myself thinking that my stuff is liked well enough to be copied, and on the other hand, I might be upset as well.

    Just like you said, everyone's got to have their own style.

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  4. well, the cyberspace is fast becoming the final frontier, where almost everything is possible. how are you going to trace these copycats? as long as we hold true to our very own style, we will forever radiate an aura of genuine quality.

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  5. You can't... unless someone tells you about it (such as in your case), or you overuse that copyscape thingy. I tried it once and it led me to a duplicate post on another blog where I guest blog.

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  6. Trust you to know better ;)

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