Of Creativity and Plagiarism- Reflections on #TheBookBlogTrain

Of Creativity and Plagiarism

Recently, I participated in the #TheBookBlogTrain hosted by Vidhya Thakkar and Siddhi Palande, sponsored by Penguin India and RedWolf. My posts are:

  1. Haiku on the poetry prompt “Books, Read, Love, Coffee”
  2. 5 Things to Keep in Mind When You Unhaul Books

Writing a reflections post was optional for the participants. I had no plan to write one but recent events have made me want to pen my thoughts.

BLOG TRAINS:

Let me tell you a little about blog trains, in case the concept is new to you. Essentially, it’s a blogging competition, where participants write on topics provided by the hosts. Each participant dons their creative cap and produces innovative content in order to stand out.

My blogging journey began in 2017, but I awoke to the rich Indian blogging community late last year. Since then I have participated in a few Blog Trains and Challenges and have walked away with some prizes, a lot of fresh insight and many friends.

#TheBookBlogTrain was no different in that aspect, despite being my first foray into the world of “Book Blogging”. I have always loved reading books and have even reviewed many books, but my blog has never focused solely on books.

CREATIVITY:

My biggest takeaway from this Blog Train was discovering a wealth of good writers that share my passion for books. I was amazed to see the sheer talent in the Indian book blogosphere. Where the topics were somewhat limited in scope, each writer managed to give their own unique spin to them. I am now aware of multiple different ways to combat reader’s block, have learnt a plethora of methods to induce a love of reading in children, have gained knowledge of the best way to unhaul/donate books, and walked away with a long TBR list based on the suggestions of the participants!

I really pushed my own creative boundaries by trying my hand at Haiku– an ancient form of Japanese poetry. The result may not have been the best example of Haiku, but I’m thrilled that it has been received so well! I’d like to give a special shoutout to Dixita of HillStationReader and Deepika of MyAspiringHope, for their special mentions of my Haiku.

My second post about unhauling/donating books stemmed from the recent experience of decluttering my personal library. It is hard to part with loved books, and I learnt some unique organisational tips that may help others in a similar boat.

PLAGIARISM:

As fulfilling as the creative aspect of writing and reading was, there was also a nasty aspect that reared its head in the end. A couple of participants were caught plagiarising entire chunks of articles from other publications on the web, and in one case, even from a fellow participant.

For those unaware, I am a Copyright Lawyer and I know that plagiarism is rampant on the internet. I have dealt with similar cases in a professional capacity but as a writer, I was very upset. Plagiarism is a serious crime, which unfortunately, people don’t take seriously. Merely inscribing “inspired by so-in-so” at the end of the article, does not entitle you to copy paste someone else’s work. If you must use their language, then it has to be used with quotation marks and given due credit. If, however, you are very keen to use an idea expressed elsewhere, you must change the language to your own. The person who was caught attempted to defend herself by saying she had given credit, which made me realise that people don’t realise they are committing a cyber-crime by copying.

Plagiarism can just as easily happen to you and I. Hence, I urge you to share this post to make people aware of the rights in their own work, as well as the remedies to deal with the theft of their work.

The wrongdoers were fortunately disqualified from the blog train; and this is where the hosts deserve an extra round of applause. It is not easy to keep track of a large number of entries, and even harder to play the tough cop and remove plagiarists. Hats off to you Vidhya and Siddhi- I hope you continue to spread the love of writing and of books!

That’s all from me folks. Do follow my blog for regular updates. Every once in a while, you’ll find an opinion/ awareness piece like this one crop up.

READ ALL THE ENTRIES FROM THE BOOK BLOG TRAIN HERE AND HERE (Linkies provided at the end of the post)

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*If you enjoyed reading this post, you will enjoy reading my ebook “Tales From My Travel Treasury: An Alliterative Anthology”, which is available for download here.

**This is not a sponsored post.

***Copyright belongs to nooranandchawla.

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61 Thoughts

  1. You summed up everything here, nice reflections post. I like the heading of creativity and plagiarism… these two words cleared the whole session. This is your unique talent , with less words you tell everything

  2. I have this same conversation with my children about plagiarism every year when we approach the school year. I am adamant about being creative and not using others’ words as their own; it makes me so mad. I have been copied, and the person did not care at all. They took credit for my work and I still, to this day, have not been acknowledged for it.

    1. That is awful 😞
      You should use social media to your advantage and call this person out publicly for their behaviour.
      I’m not sure of American laws, but in India I have personally sent legal notices to bloggers who were copying the work of other bloggers. It served as a scare tactic and the infringing content was removed.
      Perhaps you could try that?

      1. I will try that, I have been told that would work, but it hasn’t happened again.

        I just tell my kids that it’s a criminal act and you are stealing someone’s hard work. Intellectual Property is something precious.

  3. Thank you for the insightful post. Thank you for this.
    Last year one of my book review was taken by another girl. It was fellow reviewers brought the issue to light. That girl bluntly gave the reason as she was running out of time that’s why she did.
    I was shattered because I had no idea that plagiarism exist in review world. She was shamed for her action but she moved on so easily with another bookstagram name. Irony is that she still gets review books from publishers.

    1. That is terrible. It is so sad what lengths of depravity people can go to. Why are they even in this field, if they can’t write reviews and need to copy others work?! Sad

  4. Yes it is a crime for sure and a person can end up in trouble due to it. But blog trains are fun to get to read about other writers.

  5. Lovely and thought provoking post. Copycats are everywhere and they must remember that it takes them nowhere! If you are calling yourself a blogger, credit others work and must remember that taking inspiration doesn’t mean copy-paste.

  6. Copying content…this is so wrong! Someone puts so much effort and some random person steals it… Ugh.. Sharing this ahead!

  7. I really enjoyed reading your post. I couldn’t agree more with it. Creativity and Plagiarism are like the two sides of the coin when it comes to creating content, writing especially.

  8. I totally agree with you boo, it is so disgusting to see people simply copying other’s content and then calling it creativity. I am glad you wrote about this topic. It’s time everyone took a stand.

  9. I love bl9g trains as they offer great exposure to your writing talent and provides great networking opportunities. I agree about Plagiarism is a serious issue as I too have been a victim of the same.

  10. Indeed plagiarism is rampant in blogging world. Not just words people steal ideas to the core of article and also photographs without any credit. I should read the book if this issue is addressed in it.

      1. Oops apologies, so this mistake gave me another chance of going through your post again. But indeed sad that writers do this kind of non sense stuff degrading the level of blogging. Why are they here in this industry is a thought to ponder.

  11. That was a nasty experience to have. It does make one feel unsafe and unsure about weather to express ourselves online. This is definitely helpful

  12. I am glad you wrote about this. I was a victim of plagiarism twice. Once by a fellow blogger and once by a brand itself. At that time I wasn’t having much knowledge and didn’t know what to do. I now know whom to contact if I ever land up in such a situation. What exactly should be our course of action to deal with this? In my case both the time, the brand /blogger simply apologized and got away with it. The apology was a personal one, not even a public one. They didn’t even take the post down.

    1. That’s awful Charu!
      In the past, for some blogger clients, I have sent legal notices, asking for a public apology and retraction of the article.
      If they fail to do that, then you can pursue legal remedies by taking them to court.
      Usually a legal notice works well as a scare tactic and they immediately comply with your demands.

  13. Plagiarism is one such topic that is not taken seriously here. I am so happy you covers all the points. Loved reading your post.

  14. You said it right, people don’t believe they’re committing a crime even if they pick up paras directly from somewhere without due credit or permission. We must know our rights and point it out when needed.

  15. People who say they are inspired by a particular theme and write exact same words are losing the credentials. Writers are known for their choice of words and one should share their opinions in own way. That’s nice you wrote a post about the plagiarism and its rights.

  16. No matter how hard we try finding it difficult to stop plagiarism dear. You know a couple of years ago I found a girl copying my write up to win a contest, I retaliated her and she apologised. Today she is a well known blogger and a part of all the communities I am a part of. Still find it difficult to forgive

  17. Plagiarism is a serious issue and should be dealt it. when a person puts so much of their effort into their work – it becomes incredibly hard to see it being used by someone else.

  18. I always get disturbed by seeing plagiarised content . it is so shameful to copy someone’s work without giving proper credit. You have mentioned wonderfully noor . loved it .

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