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fivetoesten
08-15-2012, 04:55 PM
Where do you draw the line and call it plagiarism?

Just How Awful is Nano-Plagiarism (http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/08/just-how-awful-nano-plagiarism)

Torgo
08-15-2012, 05:04 PM
Where do you draw the line and call it plagiarism?

Just How Awful is Nano-Plagiarism (http://www.motherjones.com/kevin-drum/2012/08/just-how-awful-nano-plagiarism)

The specific charge here seems utterly nonsensical. You can't claim copyright on someone's words when you're just reporting what they said to you.

heza
08-15-2012, 06:28 PM
So Zakaria didn't use Grove's words as his own; he just repeated the phrase in the context of "this is what Grove said"?

I don't think that falls under plagiarism, personally. IMO, Prestowitz didn't come up with that. Grove did, so Grove is the one who needs to be attributed (which I'm assuming he was if I'm reading the article correctly).

ETA: But IANAL, and I have no idea what the legal ramificiations are.

But something else was mentioned in that article... or maybe one of the others I clicked through to that I'm not sure I fully understand... why is self plagiarism just as bad as plagiarizing someone else? And is it always? Or does it only matter in specific contexts--like if a magazine owns the print right to something you wrote and you try to use it in an article to sell elsewhere? Or you've copied paragraphs from one book with one publisher and used them in another book for a different publisher? Say I have a personal blog, and I write a sentence I really like and then include it as dialog in a novel later on.... is that wrong?

Torgo
08-15-2012, 06:39 PM
But something else was mentioned in that article... or maybe one of the others I clicked through to that I'm not sure I fully understand... why is self plagiarism just as bad as plagiarizing someone else?

I think people probably dislike hiring a writer to do a piece and then finding out it's a rehash of something they published elsewhere. It's a slightly different issue - not a copyright one, just about professional ethics/courtesy. You'd feel ripped off.

heza
08-15-2012, 06:43 PM
I think people probably dislike hiring a writer to do a piece and then finding out it's a rehash of something they published elsewhere. It's a slightly different issue - not a copyright one, just about professional ethics/courtesy. You'd feel ripped off.


But if there is no other publisher (my blog, my self-published novel), then the ethics/courtesy issue doesn't come into play? ... Just trying to understand the nuances.

Torgo
08-15-2012, 06:50 PM
But if there is no other publisher (my blog, my self-published novel), then the ethics/courtesy issue doesn't come into play? ... Just trying to understand the nuances.

No, I don't think so, unless you're ripping off your paying customers in some way. Let's say you buy a book and it turns out to be a reworked version of a book you bought last year by the same author, but sold under a different title, etc. You'd probably be annoyed - you'd feel you'd been sold a pup.

I don't think people would tend to complain about reusing material between, say, a blog and a novel, or even between a short story and a novel (it's fine to work up stories into novels, it seems.) The nuances seem to be: did you sell this same work twice to the same person? Or did someone pay you to write it, when you'd already written it for someone else?

shaldna
08-15-2012, 08:27 PM
okay, having read through this 'article' the writer seems to think that stealing quotes/statements from others is a-okay because 'modern' plagiarism is all about rewriting paragraphs.

Silly me.

I thought that using another persons writing was WRONG!

In terms of using quotations etc - I come from an academic background and you would be SHOT if you used a quote an didn't attribute it to the person - this would count as plagiarism in an academic environment.

I see no reason at all why it shouldn't be that way in all areas - if I say something, write something etc, then another person uses that statement etc as their own, that's wrong.

End of.

Torgo
08-15-2012, 08:33 PM
okay, having read through this 'article' the writer seems to think that stealing quotes/statements from others is a-okay because 'modern' plagiarism is all about rewriting paragraphs.

Silly me.

I thought that using another persons writing was WRONG!

In terms of using quotations etc - I come from an academic background and you would be SHOT if you used a quote an didn't attribute it to the person - this would count as plagiarism in an academic environment.

I see no reason at all why it shouldn't be that way in all areas - if I say something, write something etc, then another person uses that statement etc as their own, that's wrong.

End of.

I think one of us has misread the article. Zakaria was being accused of quoting (with attribution) person A, the quote having first been reported in a book by person B. Person B feels that isn't right. I don't see how B gets any rights in A's words just by having been the first to report them.

In other words, it doesn't appear Zakaria passed off anyone's words as his own. So from where I am standing - no harm, no foul.

MJNL
08-15-2012, 08:37 PM
Well, in academic circles you have to report where you got the information, no matter what. So in this case you'd attribute the actual statement to the original person, but cite where you found the quote.

I assume the same thing goes for journalism.

Torgo
08-15-2012, 08:46 PM
Well, in academic circles you have to report where you got the information, no matter what. So in this case you'd attribute the actual statement to the original person, but cite where you found the quote.

I assume the same thing goes for journalism.

Nope, don't think it does. Either way it's not plagiarism, just non-attribution.


Zakaria, in an interview Monday, defended the practice of not attributing quotes in a popular book...."I should not be judged by a standard that's not applied to everyone else," he added. "People are piling on with every grudge or vendetta. The charge is totally bogus."

(From Paul Farhi's article on the subject :P)

Jamesaritchie
08-15-2012, 11:09 PM
If you read the quote in a book, you should say so. It's simply common courtesy. Not doing so is the mark of a writer I wouldn't want to do business with.

MJNL
08-15-2012, 11:31 PM
I agree, Torgo, it's not plagerism. But it is in violation of the standards of his buisness--the ethics of his buisness, if you will.

If it's just this one occurrence, then oops, shame on him and move on. If it's something he repeatedly does, well, yes he should be in the spotlight for it. Unethical behavior isn't necessarily illegal, but there's a reason it's unethical.

ETA:It should probably also be noted that there's a giant difference between how references and quotes work in fiction and nonfiction, and then the various branches of nonfiction. I have no knowledge of where the author of the article is coming from as he's only listed as a "political blogger," but he seems to have little understanding of the nuances that differentiate professions dealing with the written word. Not to mention I find his defense of people who do plagiarize (and his it's only a few paragraphs, get over it attitude) to be highly suspicious (as in, I'm not sure he knows what the heck he's talking about when it comes to copyright law).

In other words, I think a different source might give us a better idea of what’s really going on.

Torgo
08-16-2012, 03:09 AM
It's rude. It's a breach of etiquette. But plagiarism is deception. If someone has ganked the verbal quote that you elicited without mentioning your book in the bibliography, that's impolite, but if they stole your own words and passed them off as their own, that's something beyond that.

We can argue the particular rules of etiquette that we perceive to govern whatever it was that Zakaria was doing when he did whatever it was supposed to be that he did, but this is just a disagreement about specific kinds of professional courtesy in a role that is fairly new to the world, and I think reasonable people can disagree. It's not plagiarism, it's not copyright infringement... whatever else he's done, this gets a meh from me.