Plagiarism according to Wikipedia is wrongful appropriation and stealing of another author’s language, thoughts, ideas or expressions and the representation of them as one’s own original work. In a nutshell, plagiarism is the lack of authenticity. My personal favorite though is a first-century plagiarism definition by the Roman poet, Martial. He used the Latin word plagiarius (literally ‘kidnapper’) to denote stealing someone else’s work.
It would by definition then follow that plagiarism is a crime punishable under the law, right? Not so fast. Plagiarism in itself is not a crime (shocking right?) however, it can constitute a copyright infringement. It should, however, be noted that plagiarism and copyright infringement are not to be used interchangeably being that many types of plagiarism are not copyright infringements.
In a century where information is so readily available, laziness more often than not creeps in. We find ourselves overwhelmed by unreliability in terms of content. In the age of copy and paste, originality has been shunned in so many fields be it literature, music, the arts, journalism and most profoundly academia.
So passive has been the approach in dealing with plagiarism in modern times that a certain comfort has incubated the vice. It is not a surprise that well-recognized individuals and personalities in recent years have had some of their work unearthed as plagiarized content.
Yet the pat on the wrist that is the chastisement that they receive from such does no justice to the fight against plagiarism. From the likes of Melania Trump to Jayson Blair, Martin Luther King Jr, Hellen Keller and Johnny Cash just to mention a few of high-profile personalities with proven cases of plagiarism in their respective fields and beyond, some downplayed so much they were completely ignored.
It’s not all gloom however with a class of dedicated authentic content developers saving the market a blog at a time. There’s also a considerable desire for originality from content consumers with a keen eye for the real deal.
Advancement in technology has also given a shimmer of hope in the curbing of online content plagiarism albeit on a minor scale. The availability of plagiarism checker tools has helped in aiding the resurrection of online content authenticity.
Plagiarism should never be downplayed as it not only denies a well deserving author recognition for their hard work but also creates a culture of mistrust and contempt towards the field of modern content development, more so for modern millennials widely regarded as the lazy generation.
In conclusion, like all major paradigm shifts and revolutions, it all starts with individual effort.