Plagiarism Week – why?

A corrugated metal wall, with a yellow tint, which has a sign that says "Karma is real so don't steal" on it.

Plagiarism Week – why?





Plagiarism Week – why?


Tony Hallett
Managing director

Tony set up Collective Content in 2011 so brands can more easily become publishers and tell stories. This built on 15 years in media, from reporter to publishing director at Silicon Media Group, CNET Networks and CBS Interactive.

I’ve seen people lose their careers because of plagiarism. And I’ve seen companies lose reputation and revenue. That’s why we care at this agency.

Stepping back a bit, I understand that the word ‘plagiarism’ (Greek and Latin origins, relating to kidnapping 😐) sounds old, like it’s from the twentieth or even nineteenth century. Google it, and you’d be forgiven for assuming it’s something only schools and universities care about.

But in journalism, it’s a bête noire. Verboten. Bad juju. This is where I’ve seen careers go down the toilet after one major infraction. (Although there are plenty more stories of those who get away with it, as one of our upcoming posts makes clear.)

Now that companies have spent the past decade or so being publishers, in a similar way to media brands (this is our world, at Collective Content, if that isn’t clear), the risks to them are the same as the risks to individual journalists and the publications that pay them.

As another horror story we’ll recount again shows, it’s known for companies to lift whole chunks of IP from competitors. Often this isn’t some grand conspiracy but someone in the ranks going rogue. Increasingly, tools have been highlighting these instances. Then we’ll find out who cares and who’s shameless.

And talk of tech brings me on to AI. (How could I not mention AI?) This week we’ll re-up the risks of basic AI engines that learn from any work you feed into them. Note: this isn’t true of all, especially paid, versions with privacy settings that you can change.

In a world of plagiarists and unoriginal thinkers, a world where AI shortcuts mean everything is starting to sound the same, those who do things the right way and present original thinking to the world will stand out and win.

That’s what we think at Collective Content, and that’s a big reason to care.