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Re: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?

by Marza (Vicar)
on Oct 08, 2006 at 00:35 UTC ( #576928=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?

All I can say after reading all this is "wow."

Maybe I am missing a point because I don't make a living off writing Perl. Maybe I just don't care. Maybe I might be even flattered if somebody was "stealing" my code. I don't know because I don't think it has ever happened to me.

Can you prove they intentionally did it? It's one thing to declare it's your code and it's another to say "this might help you" It could be some people just don't get html and linking ;)

Are we to scream at them and label them with the scarlet letter "P"

Why not simply inform them about the proper use of references? Even in the professional world, people don't get that.

In the greater scheme of things; who cares if a node was assumed to be plagiarized? What is lost? Reputation? XP?

Reputation is not lost because somebody plagiarized your node. Your reputation comes from giving good answers.

The very fact you post here opens the door to you being plagiarized. How many people come to this site and take coding examples and use it at work or school as their own? Face it people you are probably plagiarized all the time.

For those of you wagging your fingers. Have you ever used code from the many Perl books to solve a problem at work? Did you give credit to the author?

I thought we were supposed to be about helping the world of Perl? I think this site would loose something if we set up "node police" to make sure all nodes are honest.

This whole concern seems (to me) to revolve around XP again. In the greater scheme of things, XP on the Perl Monks means NOTHING. I can't buy coffee with it. The girls don't find me hotter because I am a Vicar and I know there are people levels below me that are superior coders.

Ok, you can -- away now!

  • Comment on Re: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?

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Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by Joost (Canon) on Oct 08, 2006 at 00:45 UTC
    My position is that I don't really care about people copying code and answers from wherever. I'd like to see them provide a reference to the originator, but I don't mind if they forget or don't think it's worth it.

    What I do mind is people copying questions that they don't understand at all (and I don't mean they don't understand what the answer is, I mean they don't even know what the question is and they wouldn't know what to do with the answer) and then pretend it's their serious question. That pisses me off because it takes time and resources from people who could be helping people with actual questions.

    And in this case, it's pretty obviously intentional. Before this thread was started both guys had been repeatedly repremanded over a couple of months by various posters on their copy & pasting behaviour. They just ignore it or lie about it and hope nobody else notices.

      Ok. If they were approached about it and ignored it. Bounce them! They are obviously not here to learn anything. Labels of plagerism is not going to work. We should have a rule about plagerism and then we have grounds to toss those that offend them.

      I just don't want to see this site turned into "Is that orginal work or did he steal it?"

Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by GrandFather (Saint) on Oct 08, 2006 at 04:54 UTC

    planetscape's reply makes the case very well. There is a crossover between real life™ and life in the Monastery. I was rather surprised, and a little flattered, to receive an email soliciting for a programmer for a significant Perl programing contract which must have come through my association with PerlMonks. It looks like XP can be traded on for the sort of coupons that buy coffee or the right sort of car to attract girls.

    Not that it is the XP in and of itself that is important. Just like money, XP is an indicator. And just like money, what XP indicates may be completely bogus depending on how it was obtained. I guess you might say - we don't want to devalue XP. Although really what we are saying is we don't want to devalue PerlMonks.

    DWIM is Perl's answer to Gödel
Re^2: How should Perlmonks deal with Plagiarism?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Oct 10, 2006 at 15:41 UTC

    Well, I think that saying, in effect, "everyone does it" misses the point. Yes, plagiarism is commonplace. It can even be flattering ("imitation is the sincerest form of flattery", that sort of thing). However, that avoids the question of whether plagiarism is to be tolerated, and if not, what is to be done about it.

    My guess would be that most of the code that someone steals is considered "free" as in speech, available to everyone, much as Perl itself is. In that respect, you do have a valid point - if it's freely given away, why complain when someone takes it?

    In my opinion, the answer is that the taking is done without proper "thanks", so to speak. It's one thing to take examples out of a book or from Perl Monks, without attribution, to use in programs you write. You probably couldn't find the proper attribution if you tried; and who tries? It's another matter entirely to take a whole program published elsewhere, copy it verbatim or with only cosmetic changes, and present it as your own. It's dishonest. I suppose I could take the Perl language source code, remove Larry's name, and replace it with my own. As far as I know that would be legal, maybe even within the license - but would it be right?

    XP on Perl Monks has whatever a person gives it. To you, since it can't buy coffee or impress the ladies, it means nothing. Me, I have the opposite problem - the ladies are only after me because of my XP. It's a curse, I tell you... but I digress. To some people, XP here is really important, worth cheating for.

    I don't see that anyone wants to set up the Node Police. I think that some people were thinking of offering some 'encouragement' to everyone to keep it honest, by providing for sanctions if they did plagiarize.

    Still, maybe the best solution is to point out the instances where posted code or text appears elsewhere, indicating where that material may be found. Let the community decide if it's plagiarism, and if so, whether to downvote or otherwise comment. Perhaps peer pressure alone will be enough to discourage dishonest behavior.

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