Condo association denies plagiarism, says MCO history 'not copyrighted' - Loop North News:
Despite word-for-word duplication of two paragraphs from Marina City Online’s comprehensive history of Marina City to a 32-page soft-cover book recently published by Marina Towers Condominium Association, the condo association at Marina City denied wrongdoing late last week, claiming “MCO has not copyrighted” any of its text.
This is an interesting situation. I don't know what happened in Marina City, but as a university professor who reads student work all the time, I have noticed that there is far more plagiarism than there was in the past, and at the same time there is an increasing sense among the people who do it that there is nothing wrong with it. When I point out to a student that they have cut and pasted language directly from a US Supreme Court opinion into their student brief, with no attribution or quotation marks, they seem baffled to hear that this is plagiarism. They think they did nothing wrong and that I am being picky and petty when I call them on it. Why? I blame the ubiquity of the internet and the effortlessness that search engines like Google have introduced into the process of creating documents--which many people think is the same thing as writing. I think it has become so easy to cut and paste text from online sources directly into documents that it seems normal and natural to many people. They think they are writing when all they are doing is cutting and pasting. The definition of "writing" seems to have gone through some Borg-like cultural metamorphosis in which authorship has been assimilated into the internet. But the definition of plagiarism hasn't changed, and in fact it is also easier to catch it now. So far, resistance is not futile.