www.whyville.net Jun 20, 2004 Weekly Issue

Guest Writer

Who's Scamming Who?

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Dear Whyvillians, I am sorry to complain, but we have a serious issue here. This is 22kool4u, reporting on the Adobe Photo Contest. It's not right to only focus on complaining, but this time talking about the problem is a must.

It appears that some people (I'm not naming any names) take photos of pets off of sites such as FunnyJunk and eBaume's World, then change the name and submit it to Whyville.

This is totally wrong.

When you enter the contest, there is a little box you check off that says something like "By checking this box, you are ensuring that this picture is yours and was not taken by anybody else."

I've seen SO many... well... obviously fake pictures that are just about impossible to have been taken in real life. I've seen SO many pictures that I recognize from different sites taken by other photographers.

This is plagiarism.

Have you heard of it? It is when you steal credit for something someone else has done and call it your own. If you didn't take the pictures, you have no right to enter it in the contest! They have a copyright, they have a right to own what they made and be known for it!

Some companies take this kind of stealing very seriously. For example, if you had copied a CD or a videocassette, you could be fined a lot of money or even sent to jail! You don't want that to happen, do you?

Anyway, for those of you who have taken pictures from other sites and people before, don't worry about it now. Just don't do it in the future. If you didn't know about this, then no one can blame you. However, if you purposely did this, shame shame shame on you!!! But now, you can learn, and you can be a good person from now on.

Everybody else, go check how many pictures look so fake and see how many you might recognize from other sites. If you can find the original photo, email the link to city-management@whyville.net and they'll take care of it.

Plagiarism sucks. Don't be a part of it.

This is 22kool4u, letting off a little steam...

Editor's Note: If you lie to the Times and tell us that an article, story or poem created by someone else is really yours, you will never be published in the Times again. That's creative theft, and there's few crimes more offensive to a writer than that. The real question is, why would people want to do that? For the Adobe Contest, it makes some sense -- some people don't mind sacrificing their good word and stealing other people's ideas in order to get *stuff*. They'll learn and grow up from that someday. In the Times, though, there's no money or prizes. Why do I still get poems by Shel Silverstein that some folks want to claim is theirs? Even if it's once in a blue moon, it's still a mystery, and I'm honestly curious. Other than the nasty thoughts we might think about such folks, what do you think motivates them?

On a similar tangent, why is it important to you to only get credit for your own work? Or do you not mind getting credit for the bad? ;-)

Talk amongst yourselves....


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