I originally wrote this article some time ago, and then shelved it because I found that Jason Massie had already used the title, though his message was entirely different from mine. Since this is an article about plagiarism, I thought it ironic to plagiarize his title. However, with the recent uproar about plagiarism on SQL blogs, I am going ahead anyway.
If you, dear reader, are not aware of the problem, I’ll bring you up to speed with some links to the blog articles. The posts which originally caused me to write this were from Brent Ozar and Lee Everest, which lamented the problems of content theft and condemned those who engage in it. Brent’s article is excellent in that it informs the reader how to fight content theft.
Yesterday there was a flurry of Twitter and blog activity from the SQL Community regarding blog plagiarism. Todd McDermid, Denny Cherry, Jorge Segarra, and again Brent Ozar discussed blog plagiarism problems. Brent is even offering a bounty on people who report plagiarism of his work.
All of these guys are respected bloggers and DBA’s and I’m not going to argue with, nor attempt to disparage any of them. We all agree that content theft is theft and should be dealt with. However, my perspective is a little different.
If you will, picture me as a waiter in some swanky Hollywood restaurant. I’m going to acting classes and auditions at night (analogous to the Saturday SQL classes I’m regularly taking), trying to get my big break. When these three guys walk in there’s a flurry of activity and are of course given a VIP table. They’re talking about their films, trysts with their buxom costars, and Academy Awards they’ve won. As I listen to this while serving them, I am filled with envy and a renewed commitment to better myself.
During the main course they start complaining because the paparazzi are constantly following them around, stealing information and images from them, and lamenting all the work they have to do to keep this from happening. They complain about taxes on the millions they are making in film. Perhaps they’ve hired bodyguards, agents, accountants, etc all to protect their property both real and intellectual. All of this is such a hassle.
I am that waiter. I hope someday to be that well read. I hope to produce a blog worthy of content theft.
I guess my message is that you should be happy that you have to worry about it. You’ve made it. You’ve earned the right to chase these guys down who are stealing your content, because it’s worth stealing. I envy you, and you guys inspire me to study, blog, and raise my game in general. I only wish to give you some perspective.
Now, dear reader, please forgive me as I go back to waiting on this table. “Can I get you another bottle of Zima, Mr. Ozar?”