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Plagiarism - The Lazy Man Tool

By Expert Author: Anthony Wood

Plagiarism - a word that is noticed in almost all the printing media and on TVs these days. The intellectual community around the world has looked into plagiarism seriously and it is something that worries most of the 'original thinkers' of the literary world. But I am here for a different reason altogether, though most of the readers of this blog may not agree with me (!), I am sure, this blog will be of great interest to everyone including those who may not sit with me on the same fence.
Plagiarism is not something new in the modern world. It is not something incarnated just in the modern world ever since copyright has been agreed upon as one of the intellectual rights of men/women. I am convinced that plagiarism has been in existence, since man/woman started thinking in life. For me, plagiarism is found in all fields and in all walks of life. However, some of the ways could be considered 'acceptable plagiarism' and some may be labelled as unacceptable or could be labelled as 'infringement of copyright'.
Plagiarism fundamentally refers to copying the other's idea, wholly or partially, without the implicitly expressed permission of the creator/author. Since plagiarism revolves around ideas, I would like to concentrate my article on this word for my discussion here.
Ever since the human evolution, it is the 'idea' that separated human society from the rest of the creation. Ideas are always 'copied down' by the next generations, which resulted in further revolutionizing of human life. The society has always encouraged the younger generations to 'imitate' the living style of / character of their predecessors. In other words, copying or living out the ideas of the other is always encouraged since it has proved to be leading towards something better or resulted in something better. Again, it is the ideas that make the quality of life in human life. Looking at the earlier history, learners of arts and literature are asked to 'imitate /copy as closely as possible' the existing masterpieces of their 'elders', as original thinking was not encouraged till the 18th century. In other words, plagiarism has been an accepted social norm in the society till recently. It was in the 20th century, the practice of plagiarism has been heightened and the idea of copyright infringement has come into existence.
According to me, and I am more than convinced that plagiarism cannot be treated as a crime or for that matter on par with any other crime in the society. It is more of moral ethic of the particular profession. Plagiarism is considered as an unethical act in the contemporary journalism and for that matter, anything related to writings especially where the issue of copyright comes in. However, it is still encouraged when it comes to paintings/art imitating. I also agree that cases of plagiarism in the field of journalism have turned out to be a bitter experience to many leading columnists / journalists and its in the history. Plagiarism in journalism has been considered as academic dishonesty and breach of journalistic ethic in the modern society. However, and again, I would like to underline, plagiarism or imitation of the original is well accepted in arts, dramas etc. For an example, a junior artist is asked to imitate/copy the character played by a senior artist in an earlier drama or movie and is asked to imbibe the acting quality of his/her senior/predecessor thus making it his/her own. If journalistic plagiarism is considered as academic dishonesty, artistic plagiarism can be called as 'approved artistic dishonesty'.
Why do people resort to plagiarism in the first place? Are they lazy to think and write something new instead of looking for an easy way to fill the pages? It looks to me a big 'Yes'. In the contemporary world, where tailored information is available on the internet, if not the same that one might seek for, it becomes very easy and convenient for anyone to cut and paste the information and complete the work. I am not against this act of cut and paste culture, but what I expect is that the person who involves in cut and paste act should be courageous enough to acknowledge the source of the information. This only shows the characteristic honesty of the personality of the person.
See you soon friends...

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