INTELLECTUAL STEALING IS A CRIME
For the past few years, I have noticed with utter dismay that I have been the victim of intellectual theft. I don’t know why people love plagiarism!
Maybe the intellectual thieves don’t know what plagiarism means and it implications.
According to Merriam Webster Dictionary, ‘Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s words or ideas without giving credit to that person.’ It can be categorized into two: Deliberate plagiarism and Accidental plagiarism.
Deliberate plagiarism involves rewriting from books or articles, supplying and passing from web pages and online sources to create patchwork writing.
Accidental plagiarism includes: not knowing when and how to cite, not knowing how to paraphrase or summarize and not knowing what common knowledge is.
Some of my articles and write-ups had not only been shared by Nigerians, but also by Ghanaians, Kenyans, South Africans, Americans and so on without acknowledging the original writer!
You spend weeks, months or even years thinking of a writeup, researching on it, fine-tuning it and causing yourself backache and even pain from sitting long and working long on the computer and phones. Then you eventually publish it on your wall, newspapers or magazines. Or share it on social media platforms. Immediately, some intellectual thieves fall in love with it. But they hate to see your name on it! They yank off your name and publish it on their walls or blogs, or share it on WhatsApp or BlackBerry Messenger. When they are praised for the writeup, they keep quiet or even accept that they wrote it. Sometimes I even receive my writeups on WhatsApp, BBM etc without my name on it.
Yet, everyday we shout about which politician should be jailed for stealing our common wealth while engaging in barefaced stealing in our little corners.
Recently, one of such thieves stole a writeup of my close friend and sent it to Vanguard with his name as the writer. Vanguard published it as his article until some weeks later when it found out that the fine article was written by my friend. Vanguard removed the name of the thief and added my friend’s name on the online version. But the hardcopy that bore the name of the thief would probably remain in the archives and libraries, etc.
Sometimes one feels demoralized to write because of the many thieves that operate online these days. But a writer must write, while a thief must steal until the day he/she is caught and punished or he/she decides to repent.
If you truly are going to be a great writer, there must be somewhere within you the drive, the desire, to put pen to paper, fingers to keyboard and ACTUALLY write.
Write because you want to inspire or have a message to convey not because you want to become famous.
If you are writing without zest, without gusto, without love, without fun, you are only half a writer.
Ellie Wiesel said: “Write only if you cannot live without writing. Write only what you alone can write.”
Writing is a combination of intangible creative fantasy and appalling hard work. It is taxing, intellectually challenging and time-consuming if one intends to come up with a well researched and stimulating articles or write-ups.
Stephen King posited: “If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot.”
You learn to write better by reading. You learn to read better by writing. Reading and writing work together to improve ones ability to think. If you have a freedom moment today, use it to write.
You see, anytime you share a beautiful writeup that has no writer’s name on WhatsApp, BBM or Facebook, etc, know that you are making yourself an accomplice in the act of intellectual property theft. Facebook, WhatsApp, or BBM does not write articles.
If you love a writeup so much that you want to share it, respect the writer by letting his/her name be on the article. Just like you don’t want anybody to take your house or phone and remove your name from the documents. But if you so much hate to see a writer’s name on an article, then also hate to share the article. Why not ‘kuku’ write your own and share. It is that simple!
Repeat after me: “I can do this.”
You can be a great writer if you are determine and focus!
(c) ADEOGUN KAYODE 2016
Feel free to drop your comments.