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Wednesday, December 08, 2021

Steve Outing’s recent brush with having his work plagiarized by a blogger reminded me of the ever-present threat of having your Web-presented content unabashedly swiped. Not that I need much reminding: That back-of-mind knowledge keeps me from putting much in the way of truly valuable ideas on this blog (or anywhere else that doesn’t translate into a paycheck).

But here’s the rub: How can you check on the potential theft of your content? I guess you could compulsively search the Web for exact-quote snippets of your work, but that’s mighty scattershot, and probably not terribly effective regardless of which search engine you use.

I have stumbled across a site that might make such vigilance easier: Copyscape is a tool designed specifically to scan for instances of duplication of text on multiple sites. You enter your URL, and Copyscape spits back results.

I haven’t dug into it, but it seems to look only for whatever’s on the page of the URL inputted, not the entire site. If you want to check on archived or non-index/default page stuff, you have to input those specific URLs — making it an arduous task if you have a bunch of archived stuff. Much like most basic search engine functions, this is text-only, so hunting for image-swiping is out. I also have no idea just how far and wide Copyscape searches; my tests gave back results within 10 seconds, which is great for speed but perhaps not as much for comprehensiveness. Still, it’s better than nothing.

The idea of blatant copy-and-pasting, particularly when it’s blogger stealing from blogger, is mind-boggling. What makes the thief think it won’t be detected? And what satisfaction can you derive from it anyway?

More than anything, it’s indicative of pure laziness, since most bloggers likely wouldn’t mind the borrowing of material as long as it was even slightly reworded and re-presented.

On the other hand, such practices highlight how fuzzy things have gotten in the digital/Internet age. Where does attribution end and plagiarism begin?

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 12/08/2021 10:03:33 PM
Category: Internet, Bloggin', Media | Permalink |


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  1. I did spot someone who had copied some of my Warner Bros. Loss Leaders pages, though not verbatim; after an exchange of friendly email, I decided to let him copy as much stuff as he wanted provided it was properly attributed and linked back to the original.

    And some Chinese doofus once picked up one of my index pages down to the last HTML tag, including the SiteMeter code, which is of course how I spotted him. I did nothing, and the page disappeared in a couple of months.

    Comment by CGHill — 12/09/2021 @ 10:18:37 PM

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