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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:11 PM   #111

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With as much sarcasm as possible, I do enjoy how the concept of plagiarism has become an "Oh well, you can't beat the system" argument.
Which is why you become part of the system. You get your stuff published. Then there's no "moral" debate. When someone takes an idea they get fined and/or jailed for their offense. I appreciate the moral and ethical stance you both have on the issue. However, honesty isn't exactly the best policy when it comes to the competitive nature of academics. Survival of the fittest perhaps?

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From what I have seen, the overwhelming opinion is, "If you don't publish it, it's not your idea." So I'm guessing I could lift content from historum bloggers and credit it as my own; your response would have to be "tough luck, should have published it."
Theoretically, yes. Morally and ethically, no. It's one of the reasons why I haven't introduced my entire work to the forum (and I've been here since 2006). I'm not quite published yet and I don't want anyone taking my work.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:24 PM   #112

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Originally Posted by Comet View Post
Which is why you become part of the system. You get your stuff published. Then there's no "moral" debate. When someone takes an idea they get fined and/or jailed for their offense. I appreciate the moral and ethical stance you both have on the issue. However, honesty isn't exactly the best policy when it comes to the competitive nature of academics. Survival of the fittest perhaps?
There is a point to be made from this. The issue lies within society which has come to accept plagiarism or treat it as a minor offense, if even that. Because of the lax nature of enforcement and punishments for plagiarism, people consider it less serious. Researchers who focus on the methods of academic dishonesty and why people plagiarize tend to make excuses as to why people commit acts of academic dishonesty, all which add to the problem.

There is no "statute" or law against plagiarism, it is a moral and ethical debate. Copyright law has guidelines for the action to fall within in order for it to be considered infringement, BUT, not all plagiarism constitutes infringement and information can be drawn from copyrighted material without violating the terms of the copyright. So, especially at the college level, plagiarism can be committed and only be considered a violation of a student code of ethics and not a real crime. So, plagiarism is a debate of morals and ethics, not of law.

If you want to delve into the finer points of copyright law and infringement, then we can talk about non-moral based, legal arguments.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:35 PM   #113

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There is a point to be made from this. The issue lies within society which has come to accept plagiarism or treat it as a minor offense, if even that. Because of the lax nature of enforcement and punishments for plagiarism, people consider it less serious. Researchers who focus on the methods of academic dishonesty and why people plagiarize tend to make excuses as to why people commit acts of academic dishonesty, all which add to the problem.
Absolutely right. The way that I see it, we need more education in plagiarism...which should start early in school. From there we continue to teach with the emphasis on why taking someone's ideas is wrong. I've started doing this with 6th graders. The problem is that I can teach it until I'm blue in the face for a full year. The following year, that area of work isn't stressed. Therefore, they lose or don't care to follow the teaching format they learned the previous year. Some of the issue at the collegiate level stems from our own educational system. When I decided to get into education, this was one of the areas I wanted to stress...to fix the very problem we are discussing. While I tend to do the same thing every year, its sometimes gets hard to motivate myself knowing its not going to be retaught in a similar fashion for years afterward.

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Originally Posted by JoeGlidden View Post
There is no "statute" or law against plagiarism, it is a moral and ethical debate. Copyright law has guidelines for the action to fall within in order for it to be considered infringement, BUT, not all plagiarism constitutes infringement and information can be drawn from copyrighted material without violating the terms of the copyright. So, especially at the college level, plagiarism can be committed and only be considered a violation of a student code of ethics and not a real crime. So, plagiarism is a debate of morals and ethics, not of law.

If you want to delve into the finer points of copyright law and infringement, then we can talk about non-moral based, legal arguments.
That's true. However, the reason why people aren't being called out more is because of the current cultural and academic standards. It may be plagiarism, but issues like the one Carl has isn't going to be completely resolved because one cries plagiarism. Again, everyone needs to be educated on this stuff. Until it is taught properly, the system will remain broke...with people like Carl continuing to get the shaft.
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