Article Marketers - Would You Consider This Plagiarizing?

21 replies
Reading an article or quality source online and then using a digital recorder to capture thoughts, reword their work, then submit it to an article directory after I'm done recording and typing.

Here's the dictionary definition of plagiarizing:
"to take and use ideas, passages, etc., from (another's work) by plagiarism."

I know some people do this in article marketing, because it's hyped a lot. My English teacher once said if it's not your idea and you are copying someone else's thoughts, you must ask them for permission first or paraphrase and cite them to give them credit. If you don't, then you are plagiarizing - you are doing something that is illegal. But I'm assuming many people do this with DNS (Dragon Natural Speaking).

What are your thoughts, am I allowed to do this?
#plagiarizing
  • Profile picture of the author travlinguy
    Whether is is or not, it's close enough to the line to smell really bad.
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  • It's better to use your own idea, something fresh. Because sooner or later, someone will find out you copied someone's idea and it will get back to them.
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  • Profile picture of the author cloudchaser22
    I see. But I'm assuming 90% of article marketers of article marketers, especially people who write in bulk are taking someone else's ideas but just changing the words of the original source? Then would it be safe to say that they are not using something "fresh"?
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  • Yes, this is plagiarism.

    There are many definitions of plagiarism, but, loosely speaking, it means 'using the words or ideas of another without acknowledgement'. Within the IM world I'd also like to add the qualifier 'without permission'.

    So if you take an article and reword it (whether by hand, dictation or whatever) you are using the same ideas as someone else and in the same order. In an education sense that would be blatant plagiarism and it is equally unacceptable on the web.

    You can write articles as an original synthesis of other people's ideas. Alternatively, you can debate the work of another writer, perhaps by picking up or expanding on some of the points they have made. In that case it's polite to acknowledge the original source of the points that you are discussing; this can be done without devaluing your own articles.

    PLR articles are an acceptance. With PLR you have the rights to use the same ideas, order, often even wording, although then the benefit is in revising the content to make it appear original.
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    • Profile picture of the author cloudchaser22
      Originally Posted by impact-productions View Post

      Yes, this is plagiarism.

      There are many definitions of plagiarism, but, loosely speaking, it means 'using the words or ideas of another without acknowledgement'. Within the IM world I'd also like to add the qualifier 'without permission'.

      So if you take an article and reword it (whether by hand, dictation or whatever) you are using the same ideas as someone else and in the same order. In an education sense that would be blatant plagiarism and it is equally unacceptable on the web.

      You can write articles as an original synthesis of other people's ideas. Alternatively, you can debate the work of another writer, perhaps by picking up or expanding on some of the points they have made. In that case it's polite to acknowledge the original source of the points that you are discussing; this can be done without devaluing your own articles.

      PLR articles are an acceptance. With PLR you have the rights to use the same ideas, order, often even wording, although then the benefit is in revising the content to make it appear original.
      Hi, sorry I wanted to change the title because I didn't want to come off screaming to other WFers.

      So basically your saying this if someone went to Ezine Article Submission - Submit Your Best Quality Original Articles For Massive Exposure, Ezine Publishers Get 25 Free Article Reprints and searched for let's say... dog training. There are many articles that show up and if they wanted to pick a random article and take ideas from that author, this would be plagiarism and not allowed, correct?
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  • Profile picture of the author Don Schenk
    My favorite attorney (I'm married to her) has told me many times one can not copyright an idea. However copying an article by rewording each sentence just doesn't seem kosher.

    Taking the concepts, rewording them, rearranging them, using concepts from several sources - including books from the library - then putting it all in your own style of writing (your own words) is called research.

    :-Don
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  • Profile picture of the author BrianMcLeod
    Why go to all the trouble to obscure the source instead of USING that source as social proof that you:

    A) Know what you're talking about because you're knowledgeable enough to be aware of this expert source of information

    B) Demonstrate your mastery of the concepts revealed by the source

    C) Have the integrity to give credit where due

    Best,

    Brian
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  • Profile picture of the author lexilexi
    Let's clarify this. Ideas themselves are not copyright per se - although patented systems are. You can take an idea that is common knowledge and write about it in your own words.
    It's often a good idea to give credit and a tip of the hat to the person who came up with an idea - or from whom you heard it. Plus you can weave this into your tale, and tell the story of how you were inspired by their idea and how you built upon it.

    At the end of the day, I think there's a lot of people just "recycling" content and spitting it back out with the words rearranged, so as to earn a bit of cash.
    We all need cash, but ultimately pretty soon the cash is gone and you need to do something else. What I am trying to say is that if you are going to build an EMPIRE of any kind, you will need to invest in all sorts of assets first - not just financial - but inner assets of your own knowledge and skills - and reputation. Put simply, if you do some deeper research and study, and also learn to weave your own life experience into your writing, you will achieve greater success as a writer, but it will take a little longer. Like all the best things.

    I leave you with a couple of quotes:

    "Art is either plagiarism or revolution." Paul Gauguin
    "When you take stuff from one writer it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research." - anon
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  • Profile picture of the author jazzyjeff
    I agree that most of the content online is not fresh anymore. They are just recycled articles that are taken from the net and re-arranged. The problem is actually going to get worse (if it isn't there already) since there are now automatic article content "spinners" out there. These kinds of software takes a written article and in a matter of seconds, spits out 5 to 10 different versions of it.

    As far as having an article being plagirized. I believe if the person adds their own "personal" touch to it (such as their own opinions and commentary on top of the rearranged article), then that is fine. As a member said, "ideas" are not copyright-able.
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  • Profile picture of the author UcheO
    No its not plagiarism.

    Just make sure you are taking notes from more than one sorce and you are not just rephrasing their words sentence for sentence. If you are just researching and getting ideas then writting your own original content, then you should be fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author cloudchaser22
    Okay, I've gotten yes this is plagiarism and no it's not plagiarism. I'm a little confused. But my OP was is this form of using a digital recorder a form of it, and if I am allowed to use this method when writing articles?
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  • Profile picture of the author lexilexi
    To get this straight in legal terms and not just opinion I think this book is great:

    The Copyright Handbook - What Every Writer Needs to Know
    by (Attorney) Stephen Fishman (Nolo Publishing)
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  • Profile picture of the author KevL
    Imho what makes it plagiarizing or not, is nothing to do with the method you use, no one will know what method you use, I don't think even Google have got so clever yet that they can see you through your monitor (won't be long though! ) but what makes it plagiarizing in the true sense of the word really is how much of the content is unique.

    So what method you use, really is beside the point - it's the end result that matters, if you end up with a unique article then that's all that matters. If you write your own articles after reading up & getting idea's for topics etc - you're still going to end up with your own unique articles.

    In terms of some of the comments in replies, about just changing articles slightly, all I would say is watch this space. This kind of stuff is devaluing articles, the big directories especially EZA will surely be working on ways to weed out these kinds of articles. It wouldn't be that hard to work out using sophisticated programs, any articles that are likely to be spun from existing articles. I'm not saying now - but it really wouldn't surprise me if we see something like this at some point, if not we'll probably get to a stage where there's no point in submitting articles at all.

    I'm not talking about articles here that have been written based on ideas people have had from reading various sources - I'm talking about the people who just copy & paste other peoples articles & then spin 30% of the content.

    Thanks

    Kev
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  • Profile picture of the author cloudchaser22
    Thanks Kev, lexilexi, and others for your answers.

    Random quotes from you:

    "When you take stuff from one writer it's plagiarism; but when you take it from many writers, it's research." - anon

    Taking stuff from many writers equals taking stuff from one writer but at different times, no?
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  • Profile picture of the author lexilexi
    Plagiarism is taking someone else's idea and passing it off as your own.

    You could try something like this...

    I first came across this idea when I read a brilliant article by xxxxx called yyyyyy. In this article, they said that zzzzzzzzz. xxxxxx claims to have had 100% success with this, however when I looked at it I felt that it could be improved still further by adding a pinch of aaaaaaaa and a dash of bbbbbbbb. If you try this, make sure that you didn't forget your safety goggles blah blah blah

    I think you get the picture.

    The main thing is to give credit where credit is due. This separates the plagiarist from the researcher. And it's perfectly ok to write an article consisting of your commentary on other articles. Some of the best works of knowledge are made by taking the best of what's out there and presenting an overview.
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  • Profile picture of the author lexilexi
    An afterthought... it's really good as a writer to start incorporating your own personal experience and your story into the picture. This doesn't necessarily mean you have to tell all your secrets, I just mean that everyone's life is a wealth of experience and knowledge... and you can add to the tree of knowledge - just by writing about how the article you just read affected you.
    When this becomes a habit, it becomes spontaneous after a while. I guarantee it. And you will speed up your article creation time soo much further than if you are just trying to rehash existing content for maximum profitability.
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  • Profile picture of the author lacraiger
    its not plagiarism. all news stations get their news from the same source - they just rewrite and interpret on their own.
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    • Originally Posted by lacraiger View Post

      its not plagiarism. all news stations get their news from the same source - they just rewrite and interpret on their own.
      The difference there is the permission factor.

      Most news services (and by this I include newspapers as well as TV channels etc) subscribe to news agencies (e.g. Reuters), which provide the story to them. Hence that's why a lot of the shorter news items in different newspaper look very similar to one another. But this is all done with permission (it's paid for!). Another example of a source is a Press Release, again that's giving permission to use the materials.

      For a more important story, of course, news services will add to the story (e.g. with their own first-hand interviews of witnesses).

      If newspaper 2 was to copy from newspaper 1 that would be plagiarism - and there are many examples of this, particularly with columnists.
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  • Profile picture of the author cloudchaser22
    That's a good point lexilexi. It's just sometimes when I'm writing articles to Ezine Articles, I don't know if I should cite the author's work. For example, if I wanted to paraphrase that guy above me, should I something like:

    What does rewriting material really mean? Well, according to lacraiger, a Warrior Forum messenger, rewriting is "not plagiarism. all news stations get their news from the same source - they just rewrite and interpret on their own." Well, doesn't this mean that the news IS plagiarizing by definition of plagiarism: "to take and use ideas, passages, etc., from (another's work) by plagiarism" (dictionary.com).

    But I understand how putting your own perspective into things may help make your article more unique.
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  • Profile picture of the author jayden.fellze
    Yes, even though people do copy others' ideas and write their articles, it does amount to plagiarism. Any thought has to be done in your own words and as the law says, if it has to be in others' words only, then put them in quotes and give references. That will solve your problems. But never make attempt to use their words, passages, etc without quoting the source. That would land you in deep trouble.
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