Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Plagiarism - Views on it.

This post is regarding the blogathon against plagiarism which I had promised Shrinidhi to post today. defines it as "The act of appropriating the literary composition of another author, or excerpts, ideas, or passages therefrom, and passing the material off as one's own creation."

In simple English, it means flicking someone else's idea, propertie, [usually which is creative] and giving it their name without mentioning the original author.

I've seen many such cases. Will mention my own case, which is not that big or critical enough though... Here is how Nidhi's picture got flicked by The Times of India.

Simple plagiarism examples you can see is local showrooms, photoshops where they have photos of many celebrities like film stars, cricketers, other less popular sports players like tennis etc to attract people. Such cases cant be reprimanded as the profit they make from such things is pretty meagre. They dont know what is plagiarism, thats one thing, also, if they are aware of it, they dont know how to give credit to the propreitery owner. We can ignore such cases.

Another form of plagiarism is what i'm gonna explain with an example in this paragraph. Can you call this plagiarism, i cant say but its kinda plagiarism for me. If you can recollect, We had a detergent Nirma (Think it still does exist... dunno), which was quite popular till 90s. While a competitor called Nima comes in with almost same logo, same kinda size... almost identical to Nirma with some variants but with a lower price, people tend to take such things. Another example would be Nokla 95 available in National Market [ Bangalore ], compared to Nokia N95. Its features are almost same, some cases, better than Nokia N95 they say, but available at a price of Rs. 5000 when compared to 20 odd grands for N95. I think it as plagiarism coz they are using the brandname of Nokia to some extent.

I'll explain my experience with plagiarism. I upload some funny pics on and I do have many of my friends following it. Some of my friends, friends, flicked my pics and didnt even mention my name. One of my friend, noticed this and informed me, on asking that person, you know what he did? He made the photos private. Bugger! I dunno how many have done sucha thing but its common.

This is to a lower scale, I dont mind people flicking my pics and posting it in their profile, but this can cause harm. If they use it to some criminal purpose? what can we do? What if they use our pic in some terrorists websites? Forget that, don't you think that it is robbery? In this internet world, its not that only tangible things can come under robbery. What if giants like TOI flick?

Few of the remedies i can think of are :

1. Develop a mechanism through which you can't save a picture. [ I've seen many sites that do not allow right click, dunno about the mechanism, but its easy].

2. Clever people would take a snapshot using ksnapshot [linux] or Shift+Print Screen on Windows or through some software which allows you to take snapshots of the screen. Some sites even disable this. Mechanism they follow is unknown to me. Will search on it and let you know.

3. Place an ugly mark, or a watermark on pictures [if it is a photograph], this somehow would make the pic ugly and some of the readers might object.

If you can think of anything else? do comment.

Any technical mechanism can be for and against it. There are softwares which can do wonder and do whatever you want with pics. If you comeup with a mechanism against plagiarism, the plagiars would come up with another mechanism to overcome it.

Finally, Its upto the flicker to mention the original author from the moral point of view, that would make both sides happy.


Shrinidhi Hande said...

Its a simple java script in website design that disables right clicking on an image. But this can be overcome by disabling java script in your browser... not fool proof.

Sandesh said...

Yeah! I knew it is simple. I dont think most of the people turn off the javascript option coz they don't want to miss youtube. May be for a short interval they might! BTW, how many of them (common man) are aware of it?

i 7 said...

report to google(orkut) regarding the same ley. it has some option like report abuse. if he has flicked ur pics then report asap.

i 7 said...

ninna nobel prize level pics na kadiyodhu andre en tamashe naa!!! hidkondu baarsbeku avangey. avana link post maadu, naanu report abuse maadtini avana profile naa.

Sandesh said...

Adella maadiddino! innu kelav friendsu report maadiddare! link huduki kalstheeni! neenu abuse report maadu! =)

Vishwas Prasanna said...

People have many ways to duplicate content lets say one can use high speed camera to shoot the image on the screen (monitor) and then digitize it. No software in the world can put restriction on this operation.

But if we digitally sign the content using a Digital Certificate it proves the owner’s identity. So in legal cases this may help a bit.

See also the best practices followed for e-commerce applications...

The Self-Proclaimed Wordsmith said...

One idea is to extend the watermark idea and put your name on it. Then, regardless of whether they take your photo or not, it'll have your name on it. Also make the image protected, and final, so that they can't edit it.

Sandesh said...

@ Vishwas & TSPW

Thanks for your suggestions...