Geez, I ignore a feed for a couple days and all hell breaks loose. This is what happens, gentle readers, when you do not pay attention to things.
The Smart Bitches, they are smart you know, have uncovered a huge plagiarism scandal by bestselling romance author Cassie Edwards. If you go to their website, you can view the serious of posts, all collated at the top of th home page, or use the handy PDF Cassie has created.
What amazes me about the entire thing is the backlash they are receiving, as if plagiarism is not a big deal. People are telling the Bitches they are “mean” for exposing Cassie Edwards. Plagiarism is stealing. Taking someone else’s words or ideas and passing them off as your own is stealing. Wikipedia has a very nice article on plagiarism.
As an educator, I spend a lot of time explaining plagiarism to students because they have often never been taught the fine line of stealing when creating academic work. That lack of knowledge has bled into all aspects of our life. As information creators, we are responsible for the words we say are our own. In an age when it is very easy to check your words against the largest database in the world, the Internet, people should never be surprised when they get caught.
I have some advice for Ms. Edwards and Signet: just admit you screwed up and make amends. Legal spin and rhetoric are not going to release you from looking like idiots, but you can avoid looking like douche bags and assholes. If you fess up and are honest, you may at least gain some respect back for being adults about your mistakes. If you choose not to, well, you may find you loose all credibility and many of your customers.
–Jane, plagiarism is no joke