As I worked my way through RTK, I very rarely glanced at the posted stories, believing my own would be more vivid and hence, useful. However, now as I'm well into the process of replacing the English keywords with their on and kun yomis, curiosity led me to check what others have posted. There are certainly some vivid imaginations out there, and some highly amusing stories. But I did notice that the exact same story is often posted on more than one occasion by different users, with often no acknowlegement by the later poster that they have copied it directly from someone else. Perhaps I sound a little dramatic, but to me this is tantamount to plagiarism, or at the very least, extremely poor etiquette. I think that as a rule, if you do use someone else's story, and you write an exact or near copy of it, if you then want to make it public, please acknowledge your source material.
*shrug*. I've never thought of that as an issue. The main benefit of sharing stories is that it may give someone a great image that they might not have thought of themselves. If someone copied mine and shared it, it would be a sign thay they got something out of it.
Aircawn, you do indeed have a most generous spirit. But just as farting in a crowded elevator is not considered top form, so too is copying someone's story and posting it as your own. To me, a simple acknowlegement such as, "with thanks to so and so", or "adapted from so and so" would be a simple courtesy. Besides, we don't really need the story boards clogged up with the same story, surely.
It doesn't matter if you get credit for your story. You get nothing of it. Posting stories isn't a tit-for-tat thing, it's a favor to future users. And if I'm trying to select the best story for me, I don't want to have to delete a "with credit to ______" at the end of half the stories I use.
And frequently the minor alterations are just as helpful as the original story.
One could argue that you don't need the story boards clogged up with attributions, either. Are you really that concerned about being rightly attributed for a few mnemonics? I know if I contributed any stories, I wouldn't care what people did with them.
Resolve, I'm not personally concerned with having my stories acknowledged, as I didn't post all that many anyway! I just wondered why some people were posting exact copies, which to me seemed both pointless and a little discorteous to the progenators of the stories. As I said in my opening post, I may be overdramatising things by using the word "plagiarism", but I must say I still stand by the thrust of what I said, even though you think I'm making a mountain out of a mole hill.
As part of the new upgrades there is now a "Use this story" icon on each story that copies that story directly into your own box. So it's not just a common practice. It's a supported feature! The feature could be tweaked to pass credit from person to person, but that would require a bunch more work on Mr. Fabrice's part.
Anyway, I've had too much arguing for one day so I'm going to stay out of this.
JimmySeal, I'm not sure if that "supported feature" is there to facilitate endless repetition of the same story. After all, by default stories are private, aren't they? Therefore someone would have to copy a story into their box, and then click on another box to share it. Whether this is plagiarism, discourtesy or unnecessary duplication is a moot point, but whatever the reason, it seems to happen a lot.
Actually, after considering what has been written over on the "Anyone know Esperanto" thread, I've changed my mind on this issue. I no longer consider this mere discourtesy or simple plagiarism, rather it is something that would be endorsed by none other than Hitler himself. In fact, I'm pretty sure there was something in Mein Kampf about unacknowledged duplications of mnemonics on web-based flashcard applications.
- you can star a story that helped you, if you don't want to clutter the story with acknowledgements, starring the original author is a good alternative, actually you should always star the original story if it worked well for you
- yes, stories are "private" by default, and furthermore copying someone's story will un-check the "share" button, so a user must consciously re-check that share button after they copied something, thus the "Copy story" feature does not encourage duplicating unedited stories
- stories often get improved upon over time, in that sense, it's very healthy and of benefit to everyone that modified stories get re-published
(...) I just wondered why some people were posting exact copies
This shouldn't happen though. Do you have an example?
I think sometimes this happens by accident. I think there were a few times where I copied someone's story for my own use, and accidentally clicked the "Share" checkbox. Usually found them later, though.
I do give credit, though. Not really for the originator's ego (I agree with resolve), but because I will often see a story, then wildly expound upon it to make it stick better for me. I leave an attribution so that if someone likes my story but finds it a little...odd, then they can find the original story, which may be more to their liking.
My solution is pretty simple. It's in the following format: [+username] Story story story.
So for example, if I used a story by naniwa for "emulate":
"[+naniwa] Mr T can't wait to go play with his emulator. He excitedly downloads Pokemon and starts to play. Unlike most people, though, the kind-hearted Mr T can't stand to see them pitiful little foos trapped up in Pokeballs - Mr T plays for hours on end so he can set them free."
Then somebody can be like "okay, that sounds like it'd be useful for a pokemon nerd, but that's not me. Says here that he got the idea from naniwa, so we'll see what the originator had to say...maybe that's a bit more useful/less-off-the-wall.
Sometimes I'll mash up two people's stories, resulting in the following:
and if there's a username that is just too long or annoying to type out, I'll shorten it:
fuaburisu => [+fua]
especially if it's a name that is well known. If you look through the first 1100 (I'm only halfway through now) you'll see a lot of [+dingo] (for dingomick), [+fua], and so on.
This takes up a minimum of space, and lets the reader know right off the bat that there is further imagery in the same thread if they simply do a search on the page. Works for me, anyhow.
Hey ファブリス, Well on frame number 2025 there is a pretty clear duplication of a long story - I don't want to give too many examples as I don't want to directly accuse anyone of plagiarism! After all no one is submitting a PhD thesis here, and perhaps people really don't mind others copying their stories. As aircawn suggested, some might even be flattered.
I think the bigger issue is duplication. If the story is identical it is a waste to see it twice. If it only happened once, it wouldn't be a big deal. With frequency, it bogs down reading, like a highway during rush hour.
I completely understand naniwa's point and feel that it is a very valid one. Somehow the relative anonymity and lack of face-to-face accountability on the Interntet give some people all the license they need to present the work of others as their own. Even in a tiny corner of the internet such as this, where intellectual content is freely exchanged with no concerns of compensation, it is only decent to acknowledge where you have gotten an idea from, much less an entire story verbatim. It isn't too strong to call it plagiarism, as that is exactly what it is. Rather sad if not completely pathetic, I might add.
I have many times posted an edited version of someone else's story - correcting grammar, tightening up the prose, adding some minor change that makes it more mnemonic for me, rearranging to make the primitive order more obvious, etc.
I do this in the spirit of paying back the community for all the great stories I've used. Of course I share my original stories, but I also see value in helping established stories evolve to an even better version. I often pick unstarred, obviously derivative stories from down the story list where someone has done some little tweak that makes it work better for me, and figure others coming after me might benefit if I also post such minor tweaks, if I truly think I've made at least a minor improvement.
When I post a derivative story, I always try to put a line at the end like "(tweaked version of xxxx's story)" or "(xxxx's story plus yyy to make the image stronger)", etc, to give proper credit where credit is due.
But I'm sure I've accidentally posted such an edit without attribution more than once, with no intention of plagiarism. The dates on the stories make it very obvious which one came first, so an intentional plagiarist couldn't get much ill-gotten glory.
Speaking as someone who makes a living teaching about writing and plagiarism, I hardly think this qualifies. If the source is a few inches down the page, you can't say someone's passing off another's work as their own. Bad form is one thing, laziness another, but these stories are not a policy debate or even monetized.
Heisig's stories repeated would qualify, as they're copyrighted. Other stuff, no.
Last edited by billyclyde (2007 November 05, 1:39 pm)