Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Plagarism is Not Chic

Much of the time, bloggers write about the same people, magazine articles or events. We often use the same photos and source materials. It's usually no big deal if someone writes a similar post about a similar topic. But when another blogger copies word for word what you have written, that steps over the line into plagiarism. I normally like to stay away from negativity on my blog but I was so shocked at what I found today that I feel I have to address it publicly.

This past March 16th, I spent hours working on a post about the Perfect Paris Penthouse of Giancarlo Giammetti. I looked everywhere for the right photos that would showcase the apartment. I knew I had seen it featured in an old Town & Country magazine and was able to find it on Peter Marino's website. I also pulled out my copy of the Vogue Living book. I knew the late Fernando Bengoechea took the photos so I pulled a few from his website. I spent hours writing the story and making sure that I properly credited Peter Marino for his quotes. And of course, I also added my two cents about how much I loved the apartment and it's design. I actually stayed up late that night to put it all together.

So when I noticed that another interior designer and blogger had also written about Giancarlo's apartment today, I took a look at her post. (She has since taken it down.) I was interested to read her take on it. What I wasn't prepared to find was that she had copied most of my text or changed it very little. At the end, she had credited seven sources, none of which were my blog. I understand the similarities where we have quoted Peter Marino but she has blatantly copied parts that I wrote such as "Giancarlo Giammetti is the business brains counterpart to Valentino's creative genius." Also, where I said that "evidence that no detail was overlooked or no expense was spared!" Those were my words not a phrase that came out of any of the articles or books. And "what I love about the apartment was even though it was completed in 1977, it doesn't look dated at all." She took all of these for her post and more.

I emailed this blogger earlier and copied a few other bloggers on it as witnesses. I told her that she could either change it, remove it or credit me. She took it down finally but I still have received no reply. I decided to post this also as a warning to other bloggers. People will notice if you copy someone else but not only that, it takes all the fun out of blogging. Everyone should have their own voice and opinion. It's part of the reason that I try to post original content or to make sure I credit my source of inspiration. I hope everyone will try to do the same going forward.

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