Plagiarism: Violation of the Mind

Plagiarism is obviously not something people in the profession of journalism enjoy very much.  To me, plagiarism is like having your mind violated.  Someone is taking the idea that you had, the completely original awesomely unique idea that you wanted to share to the entire world, and claiming it for themselves.   It’s frustrating.  imagine seeing your genius idea being produced by somebody else.  I personally would be left angry like, “WHAT DO YOU MEAN IT WAS YOUR IDEA?!?!??! AHHHHHHH!!!!”

In 1976, Ralf Baer, designer of the first commercial games console, the Magnavox Odyssey, had a settlement it Atari after they felt Pong was a rip-off of their game Ping-Pong.  There is even more acts of plagiarism in the gaming world.  An interesting article to take a look at, which is the same place I got my information, is one from The Guardian entitled “Clone Wars: is plagiarism killing creativity in the games industry?” In the article, they explain how games are created based off of other games but contain minor tweaks in order to avoid plagiarism.  This reminds me of all the Farmville like games that change it into the same type of game play but just a different theme or name.

The copy-and-paste method on all computers is a huge contributor to plagiarism.   People assume that if the information is out there,  they can find it and place it in their essays without sourcing the information.  The biggest aid in avoiding plagiarism is to SOURCE SOURCE SOURCE all of the information that you found somewhere else.  I found this funny picture to help explain the misconceptions of plagiarism.  Enjoy!



9 thoughts on “Plagiarism: Violation of the Mind

  1. I like the mention of Atari, because I did not know that situation was around when those systems were invented. I kind of just assumed that Atari was the first, and they had the rights to make the game however they wanted. The reason I like this mention is because I like how you used a real world situation outside of writing to portray that plagiarism is all around us and is so hard to snuff out. Copy and paste has helped me in my work a good amount of times, but you have to be able know how to limit yourself when using it. Going overboard with ControlC is a good way to get yourself in trouble very quickly.

  2. I completely agree with you that plagiarism can make you feel violated! And I also didn’t know the thing about Atari. At least they got a settlement, but it still stinks that that happened to them. People have to be so careful about sourcing things these days so they don’t get in trouble…I really liked your article! It was interesting to read!

  3. You do a good job of pointing out how the “copy-paste-change” has crippled the gaming industry. I think it’s an interesting case, because industry competition isn’t resulting in better video games; we’re just getting a lot of the same product.

    I’m wondering if you think the same thing of the news industry?

    • Bobby- I completely feel the same way about the news industry. The reporters I follow on Twitter always credit the person who broke the story first. For example Jon Heyman from CBS reported that Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire was given a contract extension but also added that Ken Rosenthal broke the story first. If he wouldn’t have, and I was Ken Rosenthal, I would have been extremely upset.

  4. I completely agree with you about sourcing. It’s better to source than to be sorry. Even though you source if you’re completely stealing someone else’s idea, I think it’s counted as plagiarism. My question is, because you used the same photo in someone else’s blog, do you need to source them also?

  5. I like your example of gaming here. I never thought of Pong as a plagiarism of Ping-Pong, except for the name of it and the use of a table. It is also very true that the “cut and paste” option on computers is a major contributor of plagiarism, and it is very easily to be guilty of that.

  6. Like everyone above me, I really like your use of technology as a form of plagiarism. It’s worth mentioning that Samsung and Apple are involved in a similar lawsuit, where Samsung is being accused of ‘plagiarizing’ Apple’s patented technology. I believe the issue of patents is also very similar to the problem students face in deciding what is plagiarizing and what is not. Now, Samsung is dishing out millions more than they would have initially if they had paid royalties to Apple for the rights to use their technology in mobile phones.

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