Thursday 19 March 2020

Copycats And Plagiarism - Real Life Examples

I have experienced people copying my words, thoughts and ideas many times.

I can never comprehend why some people pass off what doesn't belong to them as their own.

I feel the original thinkers/idea-proponents must get their due credit.

In school, I remember two of my classmates surreptitiously copying my Hindi essay. As there was no scope to photocopy the pages in school, they were doing a quick word-for-word copy. Their strategy was- write it, learn it by rote, and reproduce it in the exam. After all, marks matter.

Then, in Class-X, some classmates wanted my Sanskrit to English translations as our Sanskrit teacher praised my answers in class. Ditto for my History answers. Thus, my note-copies became the reference point for model answers with the teachers' recommendations!

Teachers generally praise you in your absence. You can get to learn of their kind words and benevolence when you find your classmates making a beeline to your note-copies! 
You are expected to be responsible to share and contribute positively to uplift the class standards and average score! 
After all, the all-important career-deciding Board Exams are at stake!
My point- how can one hope to be unique and score more, when everyone copies and gets the same score?

This is no one's botheration! They attempt to copy your answers hoping to copy your marks as well.
But, it has been noticed that despite exact or similar answers or points written by two students, one earns higher marks! Many factors come into play viz. handwriting, neatness etc. We really can't copy everything! How unfair it will be if the one who has copied your answer, scores higher than you in the all-important exam!
Are such acts permissible?
Survival of the smartest?

I have seen people copying letters (to the Principal or teachers) too, and writing my name or my parent's name (instead of their's!) after the 'Yours Sincerely' part! Height of reproducing without applying brain!
I cannot understand why people have to copy social media messages too!
  • For retweets?
  • To be considered smart?
  • To showcase a cool, diverse, and intellectual timeline?
  • To attract more followers/friends?
  • To win prizes/awards/mentions?
Earlier when I used to take active part in social media contests, I realized that many participants stole my words!
For example, there was a contest on the film 'Bhaag Milkha Bhaag'. 
Many had copied the same points and exact words written by me in my blog post- Bhaag Milkha Bhaag - 25 Lessons
This is one of the top posts in my blog. I wrote to some contestants of the said contest-
All social media platforms give chance to share.
FaceBook- Share
Instagram- Repost
Twitter- Retweet

Retweet (RT), repost, or share the posts! Please don't copy!

There was a contest on Twitter about the Chennai Express movie.
I had watched the premier show of the movie and had shared my blog post- Chennai Express- Review, which is still the top post of my blog.
It has great content for others to admire copy! That is what happens!
How many times, they have to be reminded that they can simply retweet a tweet instead of copying?
But, they want to gain undue credit!
When there was a car contest, many contestants resorted to the copy business.
But, I gently reminded some of them when I got to know-

But, in many cases, we don't even know who has copied from us!
Some more of my replies to copycats-

I posted d same tweet 29 minutes ago! U copied it character by character!:-)

Proud to be an original thinker with really good tweets that inspire some 2 RT & some 2 copy-paste & claim ownership, forgetting morality!!!

I have seen 'popular' people, who have lots of followers, also resorting to such copycat tactics.

As they have many fans and followers, people credit them with the ideas.

Some 'popular' people, X, Y & Z & some more, translate or rephrase my posts or use the same links (that I have researched and found and shared in my post). They conveniently share the same from their social media handles.
Their readers think they thought of the ideas or cause and praise/award them for their insights and passion! 

One person even created a WhatsApp group and named it the same as my group! This person included the same people as Admins too (whom I had chosen for my group!)

How can one's conscience justify this?
Is the race to appear cool or earn credit or awards so important that people stoop to such levels?

The reason why I proposed this #Copycat prompt for this edition of IndiSpire is-
Last month, I watched a short-film on YouTube that is based on a story very similar to one I had written last year.
You can read my story - The Familiar Face.
You can watch the short-film - Chubhan.

Please do share your views after reading my story and watching the film.
There is no way one can know whether the story-writer of the film got inspired by my story!

To all copycats, I can only say -
"Chaka Akhi Sabu Dekhuchi" (in Odia)
It means-"The round eyes (of Lord Jagannath) see everything."

I know these copycats have to reap the fruits of their karma.
This is my request and advice to writers and film-makers: Please give due credit to the original thinker and writer and quote the source. 
More in my poem - Beware of Copycats! Copycats Beware! 

Have you faced the copycat menace? 
Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


  1. OMG -So many copying incidents. From the tone of your post can feel- how troubling it is to see unknown ppl picking up conent & posting as their own. It has to be a conscious effort on the part of the reader not to reproduce conent without giving the writer his/her credit- regulations/ fines (even if they come into effect) will only do part of the job.

  2. Your anguish clearly visible in the post supported by facts and details...


Your words mean a lot to me.

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