[LINK] Plagiarism in the digital age

thoughtmaybe.com community at thoughtmaybe.com
Tue Aug 3 01:41:01 AEST 2010

The New York Times ponders plagiarism in the digital age 
<http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/02/education/02cheat.html>, where films like 
Rip:A Remix Manifesto <http://thoughtmaybe.com/video/rip-a-remix-manifesto> 
question traditional notions of copyright and fair use:

"At Rhode Island College, a freshman copied and pasted from a Web site's 
frequently asked questions page about homelessness - and did not think he 
needed to credit a source in his assignment because the page did not include 
author information.

At DePaul University, the tip-off to one student's copying was the purple 
shade of several paragraphs he had lifted from the Web; when confronted by a 
writing tutor his professor had sent him to, he was not defensive - he just 
wanted to know how to change purple text to black.

And at the University of Maryland, a student reprimanded for copying from 
Wikipedia in a paper on the Great Depression said he thought its entries - 
unsigned and collectively written - did not need to be credited since they 
counted, essentially, as common knowledge.

Professors used to deal with plagiarism by admonishing students to give 
credit to others and to follow the style guide for citations, and pretty 
much left it at that.

But these cases - typical ones, according to writing tutors and officials 
responsible for discipline at the three schools who described the 
plagiarism - suggest that many students simply do not grasp that using words 
they did not write is a serious misdeed.

It is a disconnect that is growing in the Internet age as concepts of 
intellectual property, copyright and originality are under assault in the 
unbridled exchange of online information, say educators who study 

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