FreeSticky Logo
           Free content for your website
Available FREE Content
Cartoons & Jokes
Guides & Directories
Horoscopes & Astrology
Kids and Teenagers
Lottery Results
Message Boards
News Headlines
Syndicated Articles
Syndicated Articles (Manual)
Tips and Advice

FreeSticky Main
Advertise with us
Link to us
About FreeSticky

Selected free content
Interesting Facts
On This Day in History
Ultimate Questions
The Daily Phrazzle®
Hollywood Lessons
Random Joke
Lottery Picker
Sticky Tetris
Wine Content
The CodeProject Latest
Top Software Downloads
Site Features
SEARCH Freesticky
Latest Additions
Article Index (Content Syndication)
This Weeks featured article
Recommended Books
Submission Guidelines
Made with FreeSticky
Webmaster Links
Create your own FreeSticky

Knowledge is Power

- Syndicated Columns - 
Just for Webmasters
Sticky Marketing
Sticky Business
Web Clues
WMP Weekly Webmaster Tip
Articles on FreeSticky
- Article Index -
Content Hunting
Syndicate your content with ASP
Use Perl to harness XML data sources
Online Taxonomy
Free Scientific Content ?
Finding Content Through Networking
Creating Targeted Content
Viral Marketing Tips
Copyright Your Content
Rolling out the free content is Closing its Doors: Another Door Will Open
Developing Free Content
Ezine Publishing Primer
Content Writing Quickstart
Free Content Generator
Free Reprint Rights
Using the F - word in sales
Amazon Micro-payments
How to build an online community
Add thousands of Free News Headlines using Servlets and JSP
Content Writing Editing Tips
Free Content as a linking strategy
Plagiarism on the internet
Should you really give away your content ?
Writing free articles to promote your website
Where To Get Great Ideas For Writing Your Next Article
Use free sticky content to keep your web site visitors returning
Practical content creation
Professional Website Marketing Strategies
Syndicate your content using PHP and MySQL
How to generate referral content
Why good copywriting (and editing) matters
Writing Original Topics
Syndicate your own content
Ezine Promotion
EBook Publishing
Desktop Syndicator Released
Self Publish your own articles
This Day in History - on your website
Self Publishing for profit AND pleasure
Recycle Your Old Ezine Articles!
Community Tips
Usability Issues
Creating Quality Web Site Content
I Have Nothing to Say!
How to write an article and generate a revenue

Premium Sites

Article List

Plagiarism on the internet
Is Someone Plagiarizing Your Work?

7th December 2001

An essential overview of a topic that every creator of content should familiarize themselves with.

About two weeks ago I received an article submission that immediately attracted my attention. The title was identical to the title of an article I wrote and which was published in 'WebProNews' in May 1999.

"Probably just a coincidence", I thought to myself, and kept reading. But the first paragraph stopped me in my tracks. It was quite clearly plagiarized from my article. As I kept reading I recognized sentence after sentence that had been lifted from my article and then modified slightly.

The whole article was plagiarized. I could hardly believe it. As the English say, I was 'gob-smacked'.

What Is Plagiarism?

'Plagiarism' comes from the Latin word 'plagiarius', a kidnapper. Here are two dictionary definitions of plagiarism:

'[to] take (the work or idea of someone else) and pass it off as one's own'
(Concise Oxford Dictionary, Third Edition, 1999).

'to appropriate ideas, passages etc. from another work or author'
(Collins Dictionary of the English Language, ed. P. Hanks 1979).

Plagiarism can be done in many ways, but the most common technique is to paraphrase someone else's words.

Here's an example:


"And if you've matched the ezine to the product you're selling, you've reached your target audience."

Plagiarized version:

"If you have correctly matched the ezine or newsletter to the product you're selling, then you will have reached your target audience."

As you can see, the plagiarist has simply taken the original and then replaced the phrase 'you've matched' with the phrase 'you have correctly matched', inserted the words 'or newsletter', and replaced the word 'you've' with the words 'then you will have'.

Part of the reason that plagiarism is so rampant on the Internet is that many people genuinely believe that it's okay to take someone else's writing, make a few changes, and then present it as their own.

Is Plagiarism a Crime?

As far as I know plagiarism is not a crime in most countries, and this is probably because plagiarism is so difficult to define. How many words does a plagiarist have to substitute and rearrange before the copied version ceases to be a copy of the original?

This is why plagiarism is much more difficult to deal with than copyright theft. A copyright thief simply steals your work, lock-stock-and-barrel. A plagiarist steals your work and disguises it as their own.

But while plagiarism may not be a crime, it is heavily sanctioned in professions that are based on the written word. I know of one professor of sociology who lost his job almost overnight because he plagiarized someone else's work. And in journalism the consequences of being exposed as a plagiarist would be the same.

Unfortunately, internet plagiarism is flourishing. There's now a whole industry that supplies college students with 'model' term papers for the purpose of plagiarism.

But the plagiarism industry has spawned another industry: websites and software designed to detect plagiarism. One such software was developed by ( and (

This is how it works: the software makes a 'digital fingerprint' of a submitted document using an elaborate set of algorithms. That fingerprint is then checked against a database that contains over 1 billion publicly-available web pages. then produces an 'originality report' that gives the user an index of how original the submitted paper was, and whether it falls above or below the 'plagiarism threshold'.

This software, however - while an excellent tool for college professors - probably wouldn't help writers find out if their work has been plagiarized.

What Can You Do About It?

The Internet is so vast, chances are you wouldn't know if someone had plagiarized your work. I only discovered that my work had been plagiarized because the 'author' sent his plagiarized article to me for publication in my own newsletter.

But if you do discover that someone has plagiarized one of your articles, you could do what I did.

I immediately contacted the author of the 'article' and requested that he email everyone to whom he had sent the article, explaining that it was plagiarized, and that they should on no account publish it. I added that if he did not withdraw the article from circulation I would contact his web host and the moderators of any lists that distributed the article.

The author replied within a few hours and admitted that the similarity between the 2 articles was "VERY uncanny". He said he had no idea "how they could be so similar". But after a few emails, he did withdraw the article.

In a way, it's a compliment when someone plagiarizes your work: it means you're writing good stuff. But that's little consolation. If you make your living from writing on the Internet, plagiarism could be the greatest threat to your livelihood.  

Copyright © 2000 Michael Southon, All Rights Reserved.

Author Information:
Michael Southon

Michael Southon shows webmasters how to Tap into the Power of Ezines. Discover the #1 secret of web marketing. Download his free report now:

FreeSticky recommends
Apollo Hosting
Want Fast, Reliable Web Hosting? Click Here!
Web Hosting Made Easy-2500 MB, 75 GB Transfer -$7.95


#1 Web Hosting Pick!!- Only $7.77/mo!

Dot5 Hosting
ONLY $5 Web Hosting!!!

Top 50 Online Syndication Company
Freesticky makes it into the top 50 online syndication companies

CompTIA ActualTests HP ISTQB Braindumps Microsoft PMI PRINCE2 Certkiller Symantec Vmware

Copyright ©, 2000 - 2014. All Rights Reserved.
The products and external links referenced in this website are provided by parties other than makes no representations regarding either the products or external links.