Some Thoughts on Plagiarism and Steemit's Future
I discovered Steemit a couple of weeks ago, and I really enjoy being part of this community. I have already found many great people posting very interesting articles, fascinating photographs, and the kind of travel reports that do not show the Eiffel tower once again but focus on the places only real insiders know. Also, I've discovered a vibrant IT- and crypto-community so far.
However, I have also seen many posts of people who copy and paste all the time, steal awesome photographs from artists all over the web, and even act like they are the authors. Of course, the motivation for this unacceptable behaviour is the possibility to earn money on Steemit.
I want to ask you, the Steemit community, to activally engange in the prevention of plagiarism.
I want to encourage you to double check whether articles, poems or short-stories are copied, before you upvote a post.
I want to encourage you to double check awesome photographs, before you upvote a post.
Checking for plagiarism has become very easy, due to the rise of powerful search engines like Google.
For example, if you use Google Chrome, you can right click on any image, and search for the image on Google. You will be surprised how many amazing photographs on Steemit turn out to be stolen. Of course, searching for a text is even more straightforward.
There are many websites, offering images for free, even for commercial use. Of course these aren't the best and most professional images available. Plagiarists won't bother using free images.
Also, in many cases, you are allowed to reuse resources, but you have to give credit. This is usually stated in a license. Plagiarists won't bother giving credit. They want all the fame and earn as much Steem as possible.
I guess, right now there is no bullet-proof way on Steemit, to stop people from plagiarizing valuable content, but we should not actively reward them!
I know, that some people believe that publicly available content should be regarded as public domain content anyways. I don't want to dig deep into this discussion. Personally, I believe, that copyrights indeed make sense.
However, I know one thing for sure: Steemit will get into some big trouble eventually, if the community does not fight plagiarism. Stolen content, indelibly anchored in the blockchain, will cause serious legal issues and actions taken against Steemit, once it becomes more popular.
No matter, how you think about copyrights, if you like Steemit, then you should help preserving this awesome community and show the red card to plagiarism!