I think I'll just lift these ideas and post them here…

Rebecca Moore “Schenectady Synecdoche” Howard has had a couple of interesting posts on plagiarism lately– first, this one, which is about a “plagiarism” contestat the Utah Desert News Web site, which isn’t really about plagiarism at all. It’s based on a short story that was “written” by two of the paper’s reporters where they took quotes from a bunch of short stories– all of which are cited with footnotes (and thus not plagiarism)–and then put them together. The story is called “The Rearrangement” (warning– this is an MS Word file).

The second post on “blog plagiarism,” which (as far as I can tell) is what I would be doing here had I not credited Moore for these links/posts in the first place. I agree with the premise of Moore’s post about the claim maide in this “techdirt” post, that the plagiarism problem doesn’t matter much if it is a small-time blogger ripping off content from Google or Yahoo or something. However, as the first comment on the post asks, what happens if Google or Yahoo or something rips off the small-time blogger?

4 thoughts on “I think I'll just lift these ideas and post them here…”

  1. I’m grinnin.
    And also taking your last question seriously: According to Mike (the Techdirt blogger), this wouldn’t happen. Intriguingly, he represents “scraping” (a lovely metaphor for plagiarism) as something that only fringe writers do. Alas, it’s not always the case. But what exactly do you mean by Google or Yahoo ripping off a small-time blogger?

  2. I am thinking of something completely hypothetical here, but I am imagining the possibility of “the little guy” being the victim of “the big guy.” I think the comments on the Techdirt blog make a good point that it would be embarassing to Google or Yahoo or whoever to do some “scraping,” but it’s still possible. And it seems to me that with a blog, it might be harder to prove.

    Of course, if Google or Yahoo or the NYT were to “lift” something I wrote on my blog, I think I’d be flattered first and foremost.

  3. Yes. That was the reaction of the Japanese novelist whose words were appropriated by Bob Dylan for the lyrics of one of his (fairly) recent songs. The novelist had never heard of Dylan, but he thought it was kind of charming that a slice of his novel had become a song.

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