Posted by: Diabolic Preacher | June 5, 2006

copyscape: useless plagiarism protection

copying of any form will be punished…you got that!! even if you’re copying from the question paper or the instructions on the answer sheet.

Welcome to another stupid site that makes claim of a very noble nature but executes it’s promise in the worst way. I am talking about Copyscape a website that does full text searching of your site’s page and locates copies of it….so u know who to sue….It’s termed as the “Website Plagiarism Search” tool….but that’s where the loophole starts as below :-

 

  1. It doesn’t verify whether you’re the original creator of the content.
  2. It does not care to notice that you’re attributing the author and providing a link back to the main story.
  3. It literally searches the entire site….even the links like Login, Search, Update Journal, Reply to Comments.
  4. It doesn’t avoid insulting the Creative Commons license by allowng some jerks to have a CC license on their page…plagiarized content on their own page and the bowels to put up a “don’t copy…this site is being watched by copyscape” banner.
  5. The basic version shows just 3 results….i know one who can’t afford such a stupid service won’t have much moolah to sue more than 3 webmasters. However what is worse is that out of the 3…atleast 1 is often likely to have your content already removed but copyscape will still complain coz it sees the ‘plagiarised’ content in it’s cache.
  6. So you see even if you’re a valid original author n stuff…Copyscape doesn’t help much….it’s a lame excuse of a full-text search engine.

If you have used Copyscape on your website….do tell if it has helped you in any substantial way other than amazing you at how it finds all the sites that have the exact same words as you do…and tell only if you’ve got original stuff…. Me for one copy a whole lot of content….maximum from my own mind….but a little from other sites just to blabber about what they’re about n all…so it’s a useless exercise. People are most welcome to link to my articles and quote them….if they don’t…well i’ll still be happy that people are trying to get a larger audience to read my stuff. πŸ™‚

If someone has a Copysentry account (Premium version of Copyscape), please cite your experiences….Maybe some perfect hits that you had or something. I feel pity for the website and I feel sorry for misuse of the Creative Commons License… Apply with caution.

On a related note I found some good firing from a teacher at her students for plagiarizing content off the internet on the Blabberwocky. Check out the article Big Bad Rant posted on May 29, 2006… zabardast jhaar!! court cases are passΓ© erokom dose tao abar blog e….tooo good!! πŸ™‚

UPDATE: Check out the article “Is Copyscape Relevant to Bloggers?” We need some candidates from the other side…for a nice debate. i’m clear about my side. πŸ™‚

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Responses

  1. The Copyscape Problem

    I’ve written about Copyscape may times on my site and raised many of the same issues. I also did a check to see if Copyscape, which relies on the Google Database, gets updates often enough to be useful for bloggers. I found out that it only spiders pages about every three days, max, so it’s usefulness for bloggers is minimal.

    If the service was more smart about detecting plagiarism or allowed more than ten results (so a human can determine what is and is not plagiarism), then it might be of more use.

    As far as the Copysentry service, I’ve never used it myself. It’s too expensive to be of much use to me. Five dollars per month for ten pages. I would need to protect at least 125 to be of any use.

    Still, others who do use it seem to enjoy it. However, I don’t see anything in there that can’t be accomplished, for free, by using Google Alerts (http://www.google.com/alerts). Smart users can take advantage of the service to automatically check for plagiarism and be emailed the results, much like Copysentry.

    Fortunately, there is another, smarter service coming out that uses RSS feeds to detect plagiarism and is targeted at bloggers. It’s smarter, able to detect text manipulations, and more immediate since it uses feeds.

    I’ll be doing a write up about it on my site sometime next week (don’t know when yet still working out the details) but I am very excited about it.

    Still, thanks for the counter opinion on Copyscape. I’ve felt alone preaching the downside of the service. Glad to see I’m not the only one.

    Jonathan Bailey – http://www.plagiarismtoday.com

  2. jhaar

    there is more jhaar! check out latest post on blab
    couldn’t make out quite what your beef was about copyscape. yes its an idiot machine-read-based engine, but since almost every word on my site is mine it might perhaps work for me (but am not impressed so far). The first search i ran it discovered other sites quoting pico della mirandola, but strangely enough did not detect the Bullah Shah. will run checks periodically and tell you.
    erythrocyte

    • Re: jhaar

      thanks for replying and yeah i did read the post newer to that….i do agree with “having a dialogue in your head…recording your own unique reactions” only that i’ve to improve my stuff myself.

      beef? hmm i just hold out the beef for others to react… πŸ™‚ j/k
      primarily it’s a ridiculous solution. my points do make that clear. it’s funny that i quote an article from rediff give the link back to the article and am told someone is plagiarising my work….sounds funny…

      periodical checks…you seem to be hellbent on expecting copyscape to improve…. πŸ™‚

      btw i read some related posts and came across a site http://turnitin.com/
      it claims to do a better job than copyscape….but i guess it’s not free but handy for you academicians (ah wait! is an academician, a teacher or a student??)


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