Saturday, May 20, 2006

Rule No.1: Don’t Copy

Well, I just did, from Time magazine.  But it was only the title anyway 


I just read about a situation which seemed to have happened before, albeit in different context.  It’s a case of something which you do that may be classified as unethical, bordering on the grey area of honesty or the wrong side of morality which you think nothing of again until, one day, when you’ve got your name cozily embedded in Who’s Who, when suddenly out of the blue it came back and punch you in the solar plexus.  I remember a case of a beauty queen who became Miss USA.  Then someone dug up some published nude photos of her taken when she was still an unknown.  That screwed her newly won crown.  But lucky for her, she was still young and she turned that infamy around and made use of that to jumpstart a different career.  That was Vanessa Williams.


There’s an article in the Time Magazine of May 15 that says, “Rule No. 1: Don’t copy” It highlights the case of William Swanson, CEO of Raytheon, a defense contractor, who made the mistake of assuming nobody would know he copied some 16 of his 33 rules in his booklet, “Swanson’s Unwritten Rules of Management” from a book written in 1944 by W J King, entitled: “The Unwritten Laws of Engineering”.   That indiscretion caused him his job.


The lesson here is that if you put up something for distribution to the public (wherever it is) make sure it’s your original work.  If not, then at least quote the source of the information.  That means, give the credit to the original owners of the work.  That makes sure it won’t come back and bite you in the rear end.  Who knows, you might be basking in the limelight then.  That would be like having the red carpet pulled from under your feet.


Further reading:

1 comment:

  1. Agree, plagiarism is a huge thing here, but even if want to copy, be smart change the wording or sentence, don't copy word by word :D