Originality or Plagiarism?

by NicolaeSirius

Any work published on the Internet could be copied, altered, and used in an inappropriate manner.

Computers could detect...

Protect your copyright

A few decades ago a Romanian writer was accused of plagiarism. Almost every Romanian literary magazine wrote that he "borrowed" something from a novel written by a famous Russian novelist. 

The Romanian, who himself was in vogue, could ultimately prove that those who accused him, were heavily influenced by the Russian novel (they referred to)  which had just been published in Romanian a few months before his novel was released.

Plagiarism is something that no good writer wants to be associated with. One is that any good writer is conscious that by using in the their writing of a few sentences from writers like Kafka, or Faulkner , would in the end do nothing but harm their reputation. 

However, a writer could unconsciously write under the influence of another writer for a good deal of time in spite of the fact that writers, like all the other artists, strive for originality. Keeping this in mind we can say that plagiarism is the last resort a writer would like to explore. However, writers' work could be exploited in many ways. Especially if they have their work published on the Internet.Since the Internet does not protect the copyright of any work published on it.

Much more, a published work on the Internet could be copied, altered and posted on a different site. How could a writer, whose work is inappropriately used, find this out? 
Writers are not specialists in computers. In their majority they use a computer instead of a typewriter. On top of it, no writer has the money to employ detectives to see how their work is used on the Internet. Nevertheless, good computers could detect if a work is a duplicate. I was very surprised when a computer, from a Website I posted one of my works, showed that my work was a "duplicate". Meaning that I was not the only one who claimed the ownership of that work. Is then simple to solve such a matter? Well, it might be if your work was previously published in a book format, a magazine, submitted to an International competition,  and so on. If the work was not previously published then things could turn ugly. As you could not prove that you have copyright to your own work.


Many would not pay much attention to this. Since they know that writers are interested in producing original work. And, as writers struggle to write original work who else would interfere in their business?

The answer is simple. It is not about those who have no talent but wish to have work published. It is about some of the so called "agents", ghost writers, etc., who have the skill to quickly re-write a work in the a that appears to be their own.  
On the other hand there are the lovers of poetry. They have professional blogs on which gather works from poets.

 At first one may think that the blogger intends it to promote the work of the poets. In reality, though, the blogger uses the work of writers in order to increase traffic to his/her blog as to be able to get money from advertising. 

Updated: 10/13/2011, NicolaeSirius
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NicolaeSirius on 10/08/2011

I fully agree with what you said, BarbRad. We all read books and think how to create something even better...
What I wanted to say in my article is that at times people are accused that they plagiarize others, and that might not be the case.
But, yes, if you have some work on the Internet, it might be possible to see it in a slightly different version published by someone else, just before your work was released by a different publisher.

BarbRad on 10/08/2011

Sometimes there is a fine line between these two. Plots have been reused over and over with slight twists. A lot of fiction plots are variations of the old folk and fairy tales. The Cowboy and the Black-eyed Pea Is a good example of a plot variation on The Princess and the Pea. I would think substantial changes would make the work itself original.

NicolaeSirius on 10/05/2011

The examples you gave are good enough to understand what you mean. At the same time, yes, I know that each of us could read an old story for which there is no copyright, and adjust it, tailor it a little, according to our test or needs, and then send it to a publisher. It might be that the publisher doesn't know that story. So, he/she would describe that work as original.
In the history of literature, even we want to accept this or not, there is continuity of thoughts/idea. However, literary work at times makes some new waves, and then we call it "movement" or whatever.
By originality I mean something that belongs to a writer. Marquez is different than Kafka, Camus has a different way of writing than Faulkner, and so on.
Kind regards,

Michey on 10/05/2011

Yes, I stated many times that since the Library of Congress has been on the Internet... the original work doesn't exist anymore.

More... in affiliate marketing, people buy all kind of right, including PLR (Private Label Rights), change, up-to-date them and end up creating "new" digital products, they are "original"?... YES and NO! YES because has been changed and they bought the "right" to do it, NO because the core of information already exists...

More and more... other practice is "public domain" work. Did you know that Disney took his ideas from a German fair tales book, which had no copy right at that time and transform them, enhance them... creating an entire empire. It is Disney work original? YES and NO... I stop here but I can continue forever... so all the fuss about being original has a lot of subjectivity attached to it... it depends how you define "originality", if we say the re-writing an existing story with your own words is not producing and original publication then we have to abandon all articles in all newspaper, close the door on Internet and more

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