Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Plagiarism rampant even by pros

There are a few things that are key to a civilized society. One of them is property law. It lets us be secure enough about our stuff to leave it behind while we do other things like drive to work, go on vacation, etc.

There's a parallel with intellectual property. Written things have a name attached, which lets us put the words out there, knowing they will remain ours.

That is until people copy, paste, and use them as their own.

This happens on message boards, which gets posters warnings and edits. Some of them just didn't know the rules. OK, they're learning.

But this draft season, my work for Hockey's Future was plagiarized by an NHL team and a Canadian Junior league team -- one of them in a press release! Putting it in a press release means they disseminated the information to other outlets to use (and of course they did, multiplying the problem). It's truly unbelievable that this would happen. Non-print media get a lot of crap thrown at them, but who's the professional here?

It's stuff like this that will eventually make me stop writing. Will it make others stop too?

At the very least, we'll call in the chits that these two teams owe us this year. But that won't make up for it.

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