As writers you regard plagiarism as a matter of honor. At least I suppose so, associating feelings with my writer’s essence. The beauty is in the process of turning your thoughts into the coherent sentences that either trigger emotions or serve as guidelines for your readers. This is not all, of course, and you definitely know it.
Copying somebody’s opinion creates the feeling of some defectiveness and inability to produce an original idea or judgment. Consequently, every self-respecting writer stays away from plagiarism to feel self-confident and secure. But how many times you said the phrase: “You read my mind” or “That’s what I said”? How often do you come across texts on the Internet that seem similar, familiar or the same? Have you ever found phrases that you felt you would say exactly the same way?
Recently I’ve bumped into an interesting talk by Kirby Ferguson called “Embrace the Remix”. He told about Bob Dylan and people’s claims about him stealing songs, mentioned Apple patent of Multi-Touch in 2007 and records of its development way before Steve Jobs even dropped out of college. As a result he made a conclusion: “Everything is a remix”. And then it hit me. Everyday people produce tons of Internet content expressing different or similar thoughts sometimes in the same words. From time to time it seems to me that I have a genius and original idea but when I start surfing the Internet it appears that someone has already got the point. So, most of the time I attempt not to produce unique writing but to avoid plagiarizing and it feels not very good.
Well, the point is that I really have a fear that plagiarism is our inevitable future, that everything possible will be said in any possible way. But I do hope that the constant evolving of society and language will not let that happen.
And are you afraid of plagiarism?