Join me every Saturday as I ask a Fun Question that’s been on my mind. I’ll give you my take, but I really hope you’ll jump in with your answers too, since I’m really curious to know what my fellow readers and bloggers think! So today’s question is…
Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?
I will apologize first if this seems to be a bit of a rant. That would be because it kind of is. But I’m not calling anyone out and I really just want to understand and express how much I don’t think this is okay. So…
Okay so I just don’t get it. I’ve seen more and more posts about people plagiarizing book reviews lately. It happened to me, and I have to say it just really sucks to find out that someone is using the words that you took the time to write and the emotions that you felt and claiming them as their own. Word for word. And the worst part is, I just don’t get why they would do it. Isn’t the whole point of writing a book review to share what YOU think about it? It makes me wonder why a person is blogging/writing reviews if they don’t have an opinion of their own to share. So I got to thinking, why might a person feel the need to plagiarize a book review?
Here’s what I came up with, along with my response to each:
Plagiarizer: I’m not a very good writer but I want to share my thoughts.
Me: Great! Start a VLOG! At least then you’ll be using your own ideas!
Plagiarizer: It’s too much pressure to write X number of reviews a week – I can’t keep up!
Me: Write what you feel comfortable writing at the pace you feel comfortable with. No one will judge you for writing 1 review a month. But we DO have a problem with you stealing our reviews!
Plagiarizer: But I want lots of page views and I won’t get them without lots of reviews.
Me:You’re missing the point of having a book blog. It’s about connecting with other bloggers and authors and sharing YOUR love of books (aka not MY love of books). It’s not about page views.
Plagiarizer: I agreed to read this book for review but now I don’t want to read it. This way I still gave the author a review.
Me: You gave them MY review a second time. That’s not what you agreed to. If you no longer want to read the book, there’s polite ways to tell them so.
Plagiarizer: I want it to look like I’ve read this book and have great thoughts about it.
Me: You care way too much about what people think. Read what you like and who cares if you’ve read a book that everyone else likes?
All my reasons sound pretty ridiculous, but it was all I could come up with for trying to understand why someone would do this. It’s not like writing reviews earns you money or anything. I feel like most of us who spend our time writing reviews do it because we are passionate about books and it’s what we want to do. If you feel so much pressure to write a review that you have to copy someone else’s words, something’s off. Maybe you don’t love reading and writing reviews as much as you thought you did? I don’t feel like maintaining a blog should ever put someone under so much pressure that they feel stealing someone else’s words is the only option. This is meant to be fun, so let’s keep it that way. And that means respecting other people’s work and not claiming it as your own.
Okay. Rant over.
Have you ever had a review plagiarized? Why do you think people plagiarize reviews?