OK, not the plagiarism part, but an effect of it.
Just recently, my husband was asking if I worry about people taking poems I post online and posting them elsewhere or publishing them as their own. The reality of that crosses my mind occasionally, but I try not to focus on that because I don’t want to hoard my poems–I want to have fun with them, and most of the ones I post are just exercises and practice that I haven’t invested much time on.
Then Saturday night, I got the funniest comment on an old blog post.
Way back in February of 2008, I participated in Miss Rumphius’ Monday Poetry Stretch, and posted this poem. It hasn’t crossed my mind nor anyone else’s in ages. So I got a good laugh from this anonymous comment:
I teach English in a high school in New York State. One of my students plagiarized your poem and turned it in as his own. I immediately recognized the quality of the poem and, as this student has never shown this kind of facility for language before, I looked for the original and found it on your page…You have earned the 100 that my student tried to steal from you. The grade will have to be karmic as the number won’t appear on any transcript.
According to statcounter.com, this comment was indeed sent from a New York computer, so I’m taking it at face value. I love that not only did this person say nice things about my poem but he or she took the time to do a quick internet search–something I didn’t do when I taught 8th grade because PCs weren’t really around (though it was after the extinction of the dinosaurs, I swear). AND the teacher took the time to insult the plagiarizer and send me a note! A clever note. How could I not love that?
At one point, I thought about posting my poems as photos to make it a little harder for kids to plagiarize them, but, well, it was just too much of a hassle. And after this comment, I realized that that would also thwart teachers’ searches. Is there some html code I can add to prevent copying text on my blog on those days I post poems? I think there is, but I don’t know what it is. If anyone has that handy, I’d sure appreciate it.
Happy Tuesday! I’m off to present at a Young Author’s Conference today!