#MAKEITSAFEPH "A plagiarism victim experience"

Plagiarism- the means of taking work, idea etc and passing it off as his original work or without consent of the source or crediting the source.

There was this one blog I made about the fabled beaches and islands of a certain town in Mindanao. It became a well-read blog article.

Then one day while reading an online newspaper article I chanced upon a news feature about a certain town in Mindanao, I noticed something familiar about the article, the words, the syntax of the paragraphs was like something I wrote a year ago.

I immediately accessed by blog and discovered that the author copied a portion of my article and just rearranged the sentences.

It was my first experience with plagiarism and it was in digital form. I felt disrespected because a great deal of work to travel and write a blog story only to have some armchair journalists lift your article and use it, claim it as theirs.

In another experience I was invited as an entertainment columnist of a local daily to witness the shoot of a Korean movie in Davao City which featured some popular KPop stars. I wrote about the news and had it posted on our website. Then I discovered parts of my article including soundbytes of my interviews in another online article written by another reporter.

The digital age has opened opportunities for plagiarists to steal someone's work like blogs and use it for their own motives. It maybe economic as blog or social media content can attract traffic which could produce its own revenues or benefits. A regular update of blogs or social media contents will need a great deal of creative juice, hence the urge to plagiarize.

Plagiarism can be prosecuted under copyright infringement under Republic Act 8923 or the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines. Under the code intellectual creations such as writings are copyrightable at the moment of creation and there is no need for copyright registration.

To stop plagiarism one has to inculcate a culture of originality. A plagiarist's mentality would do harm to an individual producing negative values like indolence, lack of critical thinking and could impact his or her creativity. Instead of thinking something new or original we would just take the short-cut of plagiarizing.

Schools and the homes should nurture the value of originality. Cases of plagiarism should be dealt with a firm resolve. For example in school , a book report the student just lifted in toto the book review he found in the internet. The teacher could explain to the pupil what he did and maybe place a penalty like minus points. Sometimes students have no grasp of the offense he did.

Globe Telecoms #makeITsafePH is massive campaign to its consumers that educates online concerns, one of these is the issue of Plagiarism. The information drive teaches proper internet etiquette and protocols which would convince the netizens to shy away from wrong values.


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