The World Wide Web of plagiarism!
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Last Updated: Thursday, June 14, 2012, 16:16
Every waking moment, every single time you log on to the internet and get down to ‘googling’ something, you are assaulted by an unending barrage of information. You spare a careless glance through the first page, and settle down on the first or the second choice that you are offered by Google. And meanwhile, the other hidden-from-view options snigger shamelessly.

Once on the world wide web, every original piece of writing, photography and the like are exposed to innumerable copy-pasting machines (read: people) who put in nauseous amounts of alacrity and make sure that they meticulously craft to perfection, somebody else’s creativity. Copyright violation clauses are hardly ever evoked, and even if they are – the pursuers of the crime called ‘plagiarism’ are well aware that seeing something as ‘petty’ as intellectual work through the entire process of laws and courts are a thing of the imaginary world. In the day and during the night, people brazenly show their middle fingers to the laws of copyright violation and get away scot free. Not only are the victims not heard to, most of the times, chances are that they don’t even know what has happened with their pieces of creativity.

Leading dailies, unheard-of websites, and personal blogs – everybody appears on the radar of the thieves and the victims. The ubiquitous mantra of
‘Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V’ has turned life, in a flick of a magic wand into a dark, shoddy place where stolen material is passed off as somebody’s ‘authentic’ creation. Nobody cares, and nobody bothers to listen. As long as an article invokes some sort of feelings in the mind, why should a reader dig deep into the recesses of the creator’s background? They read something and get over it. Nothing else matters.

With the ‘blessing’ called the World Wide Web, life has undoubtedly become a lot easier. But the implications ring loudly and clearly, a death-knell for creativity. What Microsoft Word alone couldn’t have done, the World Wide Web made possible. Plagiarism is something as acceptable as an act of breathing, as important as it, and as necessary. Millions of companies would go bankrupt without the ‘boon’ called Copy-Paste, and a handful would, perhaps, dwindle to the realm of the originally original. After the advent of the web-based companies, the designation of ‘Copy Writers’ has overshadowed possibly every other designation. I wonder if the first word was created with its many meanings in mind: I wonder if ‘Copy’ Writers were created to ‘copy’!

In the pandemonium called plagiarism, if one comes across an original piece of work, one should consider themselves extremely fortunate. In the time and age that we are contemporaneous to, the phrase ‘original writing’ hardly ever justifies the dictionary meaning of the same. We no longer have the likes of William Shakespeare and Christopher Marlowe in the midst of us, and the most original piece of writing, perhaps, is an amalgam of 70% Wikipedia ‘truths’ (read: the Gospel Truth) and 30% of ‘research’. Add a dash of actually – in the real sense of the term – authentic writing and the work of art is in front of you – neat, bona fide. When people have such an unfathomable array of information – for free – on the world wide web, why go through the pains of writing something original! Writing and photography was never easier, and all of a sudden, the world is being treated to a meteor shower of ‘talent’.

The process of ‘Copy-Paste’ is the newest – and the direst – example of a slave turning into a master. And then spiralling out of control. The fearsome echoes of the method of copying and pasting has now ransacked creativity and left it in tatters. The problem is grave, and the solution/s nowhere in sight.

Writers fight futile fights in the hope of being able to render to shreds the scaffolding on which the plagiarists thrive, and then lose steam and get back to other relevant realities. Only to come across another of their pieces of writing nestled comfortably in some corner of the World Wide Web, credited or not credited for. The process snowballs into an avalanche, and then vanishes into nothingness. The battle is lost. For all I know, I might encounter this same write-up somewhere else. Welcome to the newest genre of writing. Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V.

First Published: Thursday, June 14, 2012, 16:16

(The views expressed by the author are personal)
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