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The Scourge of Plagiarism to Authors, Content Creators, and Makers

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Offline kat

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Facebook plagiarism

Every now and then one of these pops up in the Blender community, an individual or entity that wholesale copy/pastes others work, making it look like their own, in the hope it garners them a following as some fountain of knowledge, in a manner of speaking they are, not of the own words and efforts, but those of others.

The technical word for this is "plagiarism", the individual doing that a "plagiarist". Others might think of more colourful terms and definitions.

Typically the errant plagiarist carries out their performative acts without any reference to the original authors, their materials, websites, socials or other sources though which people can view the content in its original setting, and/or completely strip any and all identifying marks (copyright or otherwise), which again feeds into the false impression the work is from the plagiarists efforts.

Unfortunately, there is such a dearth of singular sources where ever eager Blender users can find curated information the plagiarists efforts do not go unrewarded, quite the opposite, and often beyond the scope of the original authors reach - ordinarily creators don't mind people reposting content so long as they are acknowledged as being the authors of such duplicated work, the more people helped the better.

These duplicitous clowns however, don't care about 'helping' others, for sure they care about the perception they accrue off others backs. They will defend their actions in various ways, deleting objecting comments or those pointing out the fraud, the fans and followers gathered under false pretence, then going to bat on behalf of the plagiarist, not realising, understanding, or caring about the damage this type of misappropriation does to the broader communities level of trust.

So why do this? What's the point?

These days it's social cache, creating the appearance of being the aforementioned fountain of knowledge that, once a community develops around this type of activity gets large enough, can be monetised in some form, adverts being the simplest, or slightly more complicated, perhaps selling the plagiarised content in repackaged form (still) stripped of identifying marks.

What to do?

The Blender community is generally quite diligent about keeping an eye out this sort of theft, and it is 'theft' regardless as to what one might think of it, but the influx of new users looks to outweighing those able to keep up that diligent eye, those who know the history, and the more established but-not-Andrew-Price authors that hold the community together with (often freely) available resources, so plagiarism periodically flairs up like a bad case of medieval boils.

If you see this kind of plagiarism going on somewhere let the community know - exercise due-diligence just in case they do have permission. And while you can report it, it's best to notify the original author of the misappropriated material so they can respond one way or the other as they have firmer standing to do so [1].

[1] although the original content author has greater Standing to issue a copyright claim, the process of doing, at least on Facebook where the above described misappropriation occurred, requires they potentially expose Personally Identifying Information to the individual or entity infringing their copyright. Given the nature of this type of theft it obviously goes without saying this can expose the Rights holder to bigger problems.