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Is plagiarism dead?

Tom Reilly
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Joined: Jun 01, 2010
Posts: 618
Prompted by another post on this site, I Googled struts1 vs struts2. Three of the top four items were these:

http://www.roseindia.net/struts/struts1-vs-struts2.shtml
http://struts.apache.org/2.0.14/docs/comparing-struts-1-and-2.html
http://www.java-samples.com/showtutorial.php?tutorialid=200

Each of them have the same text. Each of them even use the same presentation (html table). I didn't thoroughly read each but I didn't see where any of them quote their sources. In this age of information super highway, is plagiarism dead?
Mohamed Sanaulla
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3054
    
  33

With so much vast resources on the web, people often think that its difficult to track the articles (copied or taken as a basis). But with more intelligent Search engines, all of the related articles are thrown together But, yes, we ought to mention the source from which the article is based on.
And moreover these articles are just for the sake of information and mostly dont claim for any benefit from the articles written (except that they get some content and traffic)


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Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
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  27
The original is the one at apache.org, written by the Struts folks themselves, so it's not surprising that that one doesn't quote sources.

Roseindia is a terrible site full of bad advice and bad coding practices, all in the name of "teaching"; seeing it stoop to ripping off other sites doesn't surprise me the least bit.


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Mohamed Sanaulla
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Joined: Sep 08, 2007
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  33

Ulf Dittmer wrote:
Roseindia is a terrible site full of bad advice and bad coding practices, all in the name of "teaching"; seeing it stoop to ripping off other sites doesn't surprise me the least bit.

Lot of times I end up on this site only to find- the articles surrounded with ads and bad formatting which often doesn't encourage me to read the content from there.
Mike Simmons
Ranch Hand

Joined: Mar 05, 2008
Posts: 2969
    
    9
Ulf Dittmer wrote:The original is the one at apache.org, written by the Struts folks themselves, so it's not surprising that that one doesn't quote sources.

Sure it does:
Added by jcarreira, last edited by adrian deccico on Apr 03, 2007 (view change)

Following the "view change" link you can find the complete history of everyone who's ever contributed to the document.

The java-samples.com page also includes attribution, sort of:

but the links have been rendered useless.

Interestingly, in order to comply with the Apache license and transform these usages from theft to legitimate licensed use, all these sites would have needed to do is add some simple Apache licensing info to the pages. (Even in a comment visible only in source, as done on the Apache page.) But apparently that was too much trouble - blatant theft is easier, apparently.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
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Joined: Jul 08, 2003
Posts: 24166
    
  30

I should mention that we've seen a number of entire sites whose content consists of nothing but copied JavaRanch forum content. We actively work to get those sites taken down -- but it's disheartening to see it being done.

To answer the question, "Is plagiarism dead?" I'd say "No", sadly, not at all -- I think technology has made it far easier, and provided more incentive to do it.


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Tom Reilly
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Joined: Jun 01, 2010
Posts: 618
Rereading my question, I guess you can interpret it that way :-) I, of course, was asking whether the concept of plagiarism being bad is dead.
Ernest Friedman-Hill
author and iconoclast
Marshal

Joined: Jul 08, 2003
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  30

Tom Reilly wrote: I, of course, was asking whether the concept of plagiarism being bad is dead.


Nope. If I read site X's content on site Y, then Y gets the ad revenue, not X. Theft is still bad.
Jeanne Boyarsky
internet detective
Marshal

Joined: May 26, 2003
Posts: 29219
    
134

I agree with Ernest. Theft is bad. I actually had something happen recently where a PDF file I created was reformatted and posted. It had a reference to my work, but I didn't find it clear enough. The author reworded in a way I'm happy with and now it is no longer theft/plagarism. It is now used with my permission.

One incident Ernest referred to is explained on reddit. I'm impressed that it got almost two thousand upvotes.

On the original question, I don't think plagiarism is dead. I do think that it is easier to do and easier to detect. When I was in graduate school, we had to submit many papers to a plagiarism checking service before the instructor would grade it.


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Pat Farrell
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Joined: Aug 11, 2007
Posts: 4634
    
    5

Tom Reilly wrote: I was asking whether the concept of plagiarism being bad is dead.

I have two views on this. I write software for a living. I expect to get paid. So I think that musicians, actors, etc. should get paid for their work as well. Food has to get bought, rent paid, etc. and that takes money. So ripping off software, articles, music or movies is very bad.

I think in practice, the idea of paying for content is falling out of favor. The early Internet/Arpanet was completely non-commercial. These days, Internet is moving into countries and cultures where the idea of private property is simply not there. In a classic communist country, even the pigs and sheep you raise are owned in common, its not yours. So there is no private property, let alone private ownership of invisible things.

So, with a slightly broader restatement of the OP question: Is the value of intellectual property dying?

I say yes. And I'm not happy about it.
Saurabh Pillai
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Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 498
As the context of question is already broaden , on the same note, Cloud environment will give some relief from piracy IMO.
Ulf Dittmer
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  27
Saurabh Pillai wrote:As the context of question is already broaden , on the same note, Cloud environment will give some relief from piracy IMO.

Care to explain why you think that? One might expect things to get worse, the easier it is to distribute digital content.
Saurabh Pillai
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Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 498
Ulf Dittmer wrote:Care to explain why you think that? One might expect things to get worse, the easier it is to distribute digital content.


Thank you for asking. This is how I see it. I am working on a SaaS project. If my client had decided to make a software instead then it is highly possible , it would be pirated. but as it is SaaS , we have a control over it and no software distribution is needed.
Ulf Dittmer
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Joined: Mar 22, 2005
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  27
OK, but that has nothing in particular to do with clouds - it's just a general feature of web sites and hosted services: that their code is not accessible to the people using it. (SaaS, of course, is just a different name for ASP, and has been around for almost as long as the web.)
Henry Wong
author
Sheriff

Joined: Sep 28, 2004
Posts: 18101
    
  39


This topic seems to have blurred a bit. There is a difference between plagiarism and piracy. The first is theft of intellectual property, while the second is theft of goods (which may include intellectual property).

For the record, they are both bad -- with arguably some of the same reasons (along with different reasons) why.

Henry


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Saurabh Pillai
Ranch Hand

Joined: Sep 12, 2008
Posts: 498
Ulf Dittmer wrote:OK, but that has nothing in particular to do with clouds


SaaS is subset of cloud, right?
Mohamed Sanaulla
Saloon Keeper

Joined: Sep 08, 2007
Posts: 3054
    
  33

Something similar happening with Stackoverflow: http://erikengbrecht.blogspot.com/2011/01/stackoverflow-and-scraper-sites.html
Deepak Bala
Bartender

Joined: Feb 24, 2006
Posts: 6657
    
    5

Saurabh Pillai wrote:
Ulf Dittmer wrote:OK, but that has nothing in particular to do with clouds


SaaS is subset of cloud, right?


Saas need not be on a cloud, if that is what you meant


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Ulf Dittmer
Marshal

Joined: Mar 22, 2005
Posts: 39529
    
  27

Stackoverflow's content license allows re-publishing under the terms of the CC license.
Jamie Richards
Greenhorn

Joined: Jan 11, 2011
Posts: 5
I dont think plagarism is dead. Not at all, in fact there is more copying of articles and websites and all that stuff than ever before. Because people want more content and and are always trying to post new stuff on their blogs, etc.

The programs have become more smart though at finding copied images and things. So I guess no it's not dead, but people have become smarter about it.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://aspose.com/file-tools
 
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