Copy Paste

There are no penalties for plagiarists, no crimes for lifting written words from the Internet. Yes, you are right with that.

We only had opinions, commentaries that put you into the bad light. You said everything is a demolition job, a gimmick to sway the issue you fight. You said we overlooked your points, and focused on something that is, what’s the right word, uhm, petty.

But don’t be sad, and don’t whine. We got your message. It wasn’t hard to miss. With all the emotions surrounding it, the teleserye like happening, the drama, and everything else in between, truly, your speech is something we’ll never ever forget. Trust me.

And of course, you gave us something else to ponder—that is, honesty. This isn’t all about you copying from “mere” bloggers, Sir, but this issue is for everyone who write, whether it may be bills, speeches, articles, copies, and yes, even blog entries, FB wall posts, and Twitter updates. This is all about those who shop others’ ideas, and if not enough, even copy word for word, and then put it under their name. 

The subject here is not all about how we make a big issue on you plagiarizing, nor is it about all the so-called plagiarized materials ranging from laws, codes, and even our images (which is not plagiarism Villacorta, you even attributed that we were “copied” from God.  There’s the magic word, attribution. Nuff said) but it is about you, and others, being true, being honest to people, to yourself.

Even if there are no laws penalizing plagiarism, I believe that writers should have the decency to not copy one’s work. Yes, go on and read other’s compositions, we all need to research, to fill our minds with the pros and cons on the subject, to pack our thoughts with the opinions of others. But it is a no-no to click CTRL + C and CTRL + V to that sheet of paper. Please, when we were young, we were taught that copying from our seatmate is bad. Why can’t you follow that simple rule, even when no one’s watching around or punishing you for that?

This is not about you, being incompetent as a public official, nor is it about you, having fun as you help others on your noontime show. This is all about copying and pasting. This is about stealing the works of others. This is about dishonesty.

If you make a living out of words, maybe you’ll understand more. Writing is not easy. It doesn’t take talent, superb skills to string words and thoughts together. Writers, and yes, even bloggers, shed blood and tears just to have that catchy first one hundred words to hook their readers; they interview, investigate, immerse. It’s not as if ideas magically pop into their heads, then words playfully fill the pages. It is hard to write. It is hard to string words together. It is hard to get your ideas into paper.

There may be no laws against plagiarism. Copyright Infringement doesn’t cover the new media—which I believe, is the go-to source nowadays when it comes to researching. It is indeed, difficult to track down those who steal your words. But hey, laws will not be needed; this clamor, not pampered if all those who write will start disciplining their selves.

You can always paraphrase, attribute, and probably the easiest, use quotation marks. Do not be lazy, do not be pretentious. Admit to yourself that you’ve fallen so in love with that line that you can’t help but share it to the whole world. There are so many ways, inject your style, do not borrow others’ works. It defeats the purpose of writing. You write, you are not a photocopy machine.

Employed as a writer or not, I believe everyone should start being original and stop being copycats. That FB status will gain more likes if it’s written by you, that Twitter update will have more favorites if it’s your rant and ramblings. Your papers, speeches, notes, and all the other written words, perfect because it came from you. Wrong grammar and all, you should still be proud.

You know what, we have to thank you, Sir, for this issue. You opened our eyes into a taboo that’s been lingering for years. You gave a popular human face to a problem that Copyscape cannot solve. Suddenly, writers speak out, bloggers come out. We hate being copied, we hate not being credited.

Be polite. Respect other’s works. Be honest. Eyes may not be on you, the law may not be there, but it is your conscience that you’re fighting with. Go and abuse those quotation marks, it easier to click than the tired CTRL + C and CTRL + V.

PS: Please acknowledge me in case you share this. Lol.