Wednesday, June 24, 2009

"Steal This Text": Plagiarism in Our Brave New (Digital) World

Oh, that cut-and-paste function is so tempting! Waldo Jaquith (yes, he's my son) was reviewing a book for The Virginia Quarterly Review and noticed jarring variations in the writing style.

Further investigation revealed equally jarring similarities between several Wikipedia entries and the author's text.

The author is Chris Anderson, the editor-in-chief of Wired magazine. The book, in a delicious irony, is entitled Free: The Future of a Radical Price.

The ensuing hoo-ha is available for your perusal at the VQR blog.

As you'll see from the comments posted there, the defense for this behavior is essentially: Hey, this stuff is available for free online, what's the big deal?

It is in that freewheeling spirit that I now present my brand-new novel, Moby Dick.


Deirdra McAfee said...

But without the hyphen, to prove you wrote it yourself, without borrowing or stealing, right?

Janis Jaquith said...

Excellent point, Deirdra! Gotta lose the hyphen.

Janis Jaquith said...

Oh wait - I DID forget the hyphen when I typed it into the blog post. Now I get it. [slaps forehead]