Sunday, May 29, 2011

Cheater, Cheater Pumpkin Eater

          So, I was reading up on my fashion (which I do on when I'm bored out of my ever lovin' mind, which happened yesterday while the kidlet was napping) and read an interesting article about Urban Outfitter stealing one independent designers' idea, read more about it here. Long story short, for those of you who don't want to click or clicked realized the story was too long and came back hoping I'd recap, a designer made a necklace, she says that Urban copied it and tells the whole Twitter world, immediately gets a lot of anti-Urban responses, including some from Miley Cyrus, so much so that Urban has to respond some how, check it out here. Recap: Urban says that they didn't do it, but if they did than she did too (although they didn't come out and say that instead they said the opposite and let the evidence speak for itself), since that particular necklace design was used before her original Etsy post and after her original post, if you read the whole article at Regretsy you'll even see where someone has shown how the necklace designer plagarized one of her own designs from someone in Germany.
         And, all I could and still think, as I surf the Net for more and more information on the subject, is: "No wonder why there is a prevalence of students who copy essays off the internet or magazines and have no problem letting their parents/siblings/significant others write their papers...there is no longer a fine line of what constitutes the word cheating and there is no longer a 'true' definition of plagarism in the media, why should there be for 16 year olds?"
         The definitions for both plagiarism and cheat are really quite simple, and yet, it seems the whole world has a problem with both. If you use somebody's product without giving credit to that somebody you are, in fact, plagarizing. If you use dishonesty to get answers for a test or homework assignment (examples include: copying answers from someone with or without their knowledge or willing let someone copy answers, as you are then culpable to the crime), if you use fraud to gain something valuable (ie. using someone else's necklace design to boost sells or letting someone else write your paper or do your homework) you are, in fact, cheating. And, although you may not be caught by the law or your teacher, that doesn't mean that either doesn't know...just because it can't be 'proven' that doesn't make what you are doing any less wrong in the eyes of  your teacher, the police or God.
          Hmmm...since it is Sunday let's look at that for a minute, shall we? Again, the answer is simple...The Bible says that stealing is wrong (Lev. 6:1-2, 6-7; however here's a whole article on the matter) it also says that lying is wrong (here's a pretty clear cut one Proverbs 12:22, but for a whole slew of scripture, check here and here) you are doing both when you plagiarize and cheat.
Now, to make sure that we each go away with ways to not plagiarize and cheat, here are some simple rules to follow:

1] If you are using an item for your blog cite your source, if you are trying to make money off the item, though, you must get permission or don't use it at all. Find more on fair use here.
2] If you are using the internet (which by the way I did in its infancy) to get ideas, but not to copy and paste ideas as your own that's OK, however, if you use anything from the website you get ideas from you must cite your source properly. As a teacher, it's really easy for me to Google a phrase from your paper and find the original source...I'm just saying.
3] If you are letting someone else do your homework that's a bad idea, if you are letting someone else use your homework that's a bad idea, however, working together to attain answers and than putting those answers into your own words is a good idea...I like to call that learning and there are some of us out there who learn better in groups.
4] Most importantly, however, if it feels wrong in your heart of hearts it is wrong...don't do it!

And, finally, gee-wiz if you are going to post your ideas for all to see people are going to pilfer your ideas, it cannot be helped, I would say that some even do it unintentionally. Watch what you personally put out on the interwebs, people...pretty please, especially if you are going to yell "Foul!" everytime you see what might be something similar to an idea you once had or something...


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