Re:story on plagarism on NPR
On Tue, 21 Jan 1997, Christopher Gwyn wrote:
> On Tue, 21 Jan 1997, Kim Stahl wrote:
> > Perhaps to most people, it isn't really
> > plaigarism to download, edit, and reprint a file, whereas photocopying a
> > dissertation in a library, retyping it, and then publishing it seems
> > somehow more "wrong."
> i'm inclined to agree. i think there is a fundimental difference
> between information in digital form and paper form - specificly that ease
> of copying. if your having the information in no way, at no time, deprives
> someone else from having that information it doesn't feel quite accurate
> to see the information as "taken" or "stolen". if (if!) there is a rise in
> plagerism part of it might be due to misunderstanding that the relevant
> ownership has nothing to do with possession (or necessarily use).
I have a slightly different take on the theft of academic work.
Christopher is right that the victim is *almost* not diminished in any
way. The degree or the honor won by the original work is not removed when
the thief presents the stolen work as his own. (This presumes that the
copier knows what he has done.) However the thief is no less
despicable, and while an anonymous compliment has been paid by the
plagiarism, an anonymous insult has also been dealt.
On a slightly different tack, are we distinguishing between text
and software? Game software developers assume that their work will be
stolen and take generally effective steps to prevent it. The game users
include some developers who write hacks to get around these steps. For
instance, one can play WarcraftII ($30) without the cd with software
available at this page: http://www.glink.net.hk/~manc/game.html
Blizzard Entertainment, who developed Warcraft2 released another game with
features that made it more difficult to copy and required each player to
buy the cd. Some people were furious that Blizzard would require a
cd($50) for each player (with warcraft2 up to 8 could play on one cd),
while others were contempuous of the people who did not want to pay for
using a fine piece of software. A more extensive discussion with other
links is at: http://www.gamepen.com/therapy/pc.rpg/
All these people are very excited and motivated to create, sell, buy,
steal, and use this "information in digital form" (Gwynn, 1997).
Karl Lietzan (^^;)