Why Plagiarism is Cheating
I think it’s easy for people to draw inspiration from other people’s work, but I think some people take it too far and steal word-for-word (or pixel-for-pixel) from another person’s or persons’ work. There is a gray area in plagiarism. For example, as a Web coder, I use scripts that have been contributed to the open source community, BUT, I leave the notes that the author placed in the code. I may also use Creative Commons use graphics from Mediawiki or Flickr, but I will link the image to it’s source. ALWAYS give the original author credit.
In school, we are being graded for our ORIGINAL work, and plagiarism is a fraud against the institution and it’s accreditation. It’s easy to borrow work from online because it’s sourced by billions of contributors. In a traditional class, the act of cheating is really no different than cheating online. It is still wrong. On the internet, there are tools for school to validate original work. So, it may be easier to get caught if you plagiarize online. One thing I have found, is that you CAN cite an author and link them in your post. This can be GOOD for the person who has published their work online. Link-backs actually improve your search ranking.
I actually got (sort of) plagiarized once. Not in school, but online. I used someone’s original image and hot-linked it to my blog. The author was mad. They changed the image on their sever to say some really inappropriate words, and the changes were reflected on my Blog. The author had also posted a Blog about my hot-linking their work. I wrote the author and apologized, and she sent me the layered Photoshop version of the graphic. Had I asked in the first place, she would have just given it to me.
If you plagiarize, you run the risk of literally RUINING your career. To this day, my name is still associated with “Why you shouldn’t hotlink”.