Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Silicone Bitch: An Open Letter to Plagiarists Worldwide

Photo by crazy_foolish4u via Flickr.

Good grief,  Silicone Bitch doesn't actually like to bitch. I like to see social media used for good in the world.

Yours truly really hesitates to dedicate a post to an issue that might ruffle a few feathers, but here's one not-so-little pet peeve to bitch about that simply can't be overlooked.

I recently witnessed one colleague egregiously "steal" another colleague's idea, which was presented shamelessly in flagrante at a public event with no attribution whatsoever.

Usurping someone else's intellectual property as your own undermines community integrity.  Same shit happens when vultures try to "steal" clients or charge less just to get a client, but that's another story.

We need to set a boundary and put a foot down.

Do I need to remind folks that plagiarism is not cool? Don't they teach that to kids in school these days?   And by school, I don't mean elementary level rug rats but folks with undergraduate and graduate degrees who now do business and call themselves professionals.

If you're going to show, quote, present or talk about anyone else's stuff, you'd better give credit where credit is due. It's one of the basic tenets of contemporary digital life and the reality of sharing.

Sharing is caring, right? But also, sharing without caring about the intellectual property rights of others in your field is completely unethical.

What separates us from clownish snake oil vendors is this little thing called attribution in a nice place called creative commons. Anyone who doesn't get this will lose credibility in a social media community. It's about being transparent. People will see through you, so make sure that you is authentic.

Competition is healthy but even classier is the tried and true concept of consideration for the hard work of others.

It's totally groovy and acceptable to be inspired by other people's ideas. Just make sure you don't pass them off as your own.

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