Monday, October 01, 2007

The Naivety of Plagiarism

Someone recently came to this site after googling:

“i need a narative poem ok to copy as my own.”

Seriously…

10 comments:

RHE said...

Rob, I recently found a poem of mine plagiarized on a particularly noxious porno site. Every attempt to comment or contact the owner produced a hailstorm of pornographic pop-ups, my pop-up blockers notwithstanding, and I finally gave up, still completely baffled by why that guy wanted to steal that poem for that site. The motives of plagiarizers are as mysterious as the ways of the Lord.

Anonymous said...

Visitors have been led to my poems page on the basis of the following searches:

"rough sex poems"

and (alarmingly)

"apish sex".

The most common seems to be:

"poems about wisdom teeth"

or variations on that theme.

ABJ

Anonymous said...

Ah, Andy, I just get 'poems about wisdom'!

I once discovered the title poem of my first book (a tight yet so-so sonnet) rejigged on the internet by a young, female, US poet. It seems she had been pwned on this - all her poems had been removed from the site, but a mirror remained.

She had evidently figured that her teacher / professor would know that the technical stuff in the poem would be beyond her and so she had rewritten it, lightly - removing a few rhymes and setting it out loosely, as an informal narrative piece, thus rendering it of very little interest at all!

Cailleach said...

That is very scary, Rob and the comments show that this is quite common - even scarier!

Rob said...

It's the insolence of that phrase - "ok to copy as my own" - that gets me.

If the writer of that phrase ever reads this: Did you write the poem? No. Therefore it is not OK to copy as your own. Not ever. Got it?

Thanks for the stories, folks. I also had a poem stolen ("Your Eyes" published in The Clown of Natural Sorrow), but rewritten with a massive excess of modifiers and a touch of sentimental tosh thrown in. It just shows how easy it is to destroy a poem by adding a few words here and there.

RHE said...

There's a Bizarro world out there. I'm still waiting to find out, not why my poem was stolen (because it was so good, obviously), but why some thief thought it a good thing to steal for a porno site. I fear that even if I got the explanation, I wouldn't understand it.

Rob said...

Maybe it could be a way of gaining a new audience - a web magazine called "Poems and Porno" - except that poems published wouldn't be the expected pseudo-erotic stuff. The only cost of gaining the huge increase in readership would be pop-ups, trojans, viruses, and compromised bank passwords.

Matt Merritt said...

Who had stolen the one fom the chapbook, Rob? Perhaps you should post both versions on the blog, as a warning, and to make the point that a fine poem can be easily ruined.

Rob said...

I can't remember the name of the person. He stole an early version of that poem from an internet workshop. I should have kept a copy of his poem, but instead I complained to the site administrator and the site suddenly disappeared.

Jane Holland said...

I stole all my poems from some site or other. I would apologise, but can't remember where the hell I found them ...