Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?|Fun Questions

May 3, 2014 Fun Questions 30

Fun Questions LogoJoin 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?

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Berls

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About Berls
Berls has been a book lover her whole life. She reads pretty much every genre and is currently working hard at making her childhood dream of becoming an author come true. She loves sharing her thoughts about books, blogging, and just random fun stuff. She's a challenge and read-a-thon junkie, so it's no wonder that she loves co-hosting the COYER reading challenge. Leave a comment, Berls is always happy to chat!

30 Responses to “Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?|Fun Questions”

  1. Jodie
    Twitter:

    They would be silly to plagerise mine, I not only add my thoughts, but I add my reasons why a boook connects to my personal life. I don’t know if anyone has ripped off a review or not but I can’t understand why someone would do that. I am sorry this happened to you.
    Jodie @ Aussie Bookworm

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Jodie – it really bummed me out. It was of a book that I totally loved and was really proud of the review, so that sort of added insult to injury. But seriously, I think when people plagiarize reviews, something has to be going on, because it doesn’t make sense to copy anyone’s reviews – I think reviews are inherently personal, so why take someone else’s? Don’t we all have our OWN ideas? Oh well, I’m over it, I just don’t get it!
      Berls recently posted…Bloodfire by Helen Harper | Book ReviewMy Profile

  2. A Voracious Reader

    I have no idea if any of my reviews have been reguritated. I tend to think not since I don’t write very in-depth reviews. lol I did know this has happened, but I wasn’t aware it was still going on.

    The whole purpose to having a book blog is to share your views on books with others. Not share other bloggers’ views and pretend they are your own. People who do that are fake in everything they do in life and they are pathetic.

    I don’t copy something and claim it for my own, I don’t buy pirated copies of music, movies or books and I try to live my life the way I would like to be treated. I’m by no means perfect, but then I don’t expect others to be either. But plagarizing? No. No, no, no.

    Someone did a blog post once about how to find out if your review has been lifted. I cannot remember who posted that! Grrr! I’m lucky if I remember to eat in the morning though. LOL
    A Voracious Reader recently posted…Showcase SaturdayMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL I forget lots of things, but not eating! 😉 That would be a cool post if you happen to stumble across it again, I’d love to read it. I agree, though. I try really hard to respect people and treat them the way I’d like to be treated. I can’t understand why people would want to do something like steal someone’s review, it just seems so pointless. 🙁
      Berls recently posted…Life of a Blogger | 101 Things I LoveMy Profile

  3. Angie

    Seriously .. I worry about plagiarism. Luckily… I don’t think I write these amazing reviews so I don’t think anyone will plagiarize me. Discovering you have been plagiarized must be hard to discover too. For me what I don’t understand is that why blog if you aren’t going to blog in your own voice?? I like to talk about and say what I want to say not what someone else wants to say. I don’t know… but like I said I am always hoping no one does this to me.
    Angie recently posted…Clean Sweep ARC Challenge Kick OffMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I’m right there with you Angie – both in not expecting my review to be plagiarized and not getting why a person would even want to do it in the first place. It’s amazing how much it sucks to discover that someone plagiarized you, so I hope it never happens to you either!
      Berls recently posted…COYER Summer Vacation | I’m Ready!!My Profile

  4. Julie S.
    Twitter:

    Gah just gah! It sickens me that this happens. I’ve never had a review copied to my knowledge but someone did use one of my author interviews!! Now I can’t tell if the blogger “re-purposed” the interview, or if the author did. But it was obvious because one of the questions specifically mentioned something about myself and how I can relate to that author’s experience. So.. awkward.
    Julie S. recently posted…Chat Between Chapters: Close the bedroom door?My Profile

  5. Bookworm Brandee

    Oh my goodness, Berls! I can’t believe someone would plagiarize a review!! How did you find out?!? I haven’t had it happen to me (that I know of) but I agree with you that it’s completely ridiculous! I did get a good giggle over your reasons why someone would stoop to do something like this though. 🙂
    Bookworm Brandee recently posted…**Release Day Blitz & Giveaways ~ Bend**My Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL I had to make myself giggle a bit, since I was so upset. It’s just so ridiculous I can’t see how someone can justify doing it! The crazy thing is the haphazard way I found out – I was posting my review to Amazon and you know how amazon does little clips from reviews? Well one of the clips were my words! I was like, “wait a minute, that’s mine!” So I clicked to read the whole review – I thought it’s possible that it’s just the 1 sentence, right? NO! So I contacted Amazon to notify them and then tracked the person’s profile to their blog, etc. My review was on their blog, goodreads, amazon and barnes and noble!! Made me sick and I just couldn’t get why they’d go to all that trouble to steal someone’s words. I mean, I suck at crosslisting my own reviews….someone elses certainly wouldn’t get that kind of effort out of me!
      Berls recently posted…COYER Summer Vacation | I’m Ready!!My Profile

  6. Lexxie
    Twitter:

    I have been lucky enough to not (at least as far as I know) have any of my reviews plagiarized, but I have seen reviews before that felt familiar, and guess what? It’s because they really were.

    I will never understand the reasons behind plagiarizing book reviews – the whole point is, as you said, to share our own views, feelings and thoughts about stories we read. What we enjoyed, what we hated and what we felt meh about. And especially the complete copying and pasting of reviews make no sense to me at all!

    Every time something like this happens, I get a little paranoid, too, and I tend to actually not read reviews of books I know I’m going to review myself – I’m afraid a cool phrase will stay stuck in my brain and I won’t even realize it’s not mine if I end up using it…

    Great topic, Berls 🙂
    Lexxie recently posted…LGBT April Wrap-up PostMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Thanks Lexxie! And I know what you mean- I try to avoid reading reviews for books I’m reading or getting ready to read because I don’t want to accidentally steal their thoughts. Not just because I don’t want to copy their review, which I really don’t want to, but also because I want to have my own opinion of the book. If their review is fresh in my mind, I think there’s a good chance it will color my own opinions, whether I want it to or not.
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 39th EditionMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL love it, Stupid Steve! I would have been pissed at him too. IMO cheating in one form means you’d be willing to do it in any form – since the principals are the same. Lying, stealing, disrespect for yourself and those involved, etc. What gets me the most is with book reviews, no one requires you to do it. This isn’t your income or something you have to do for a grade. It’s 100% voluntary. So why? I don’t get it!
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 39th EditionMy Profile

  7. kimbacaffeinate

    It is a sad affair and one I will never understand. Word for word too? Doesn’t that beat all. How could they not expect to get caught. It is like people who post naked pics and don’t think others will see it. I am sorry this happen to you. I hope the other person removed the content.
    kimbacaffeinate recently posted…Keeper of the Bride by Tess GerristenMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      They did once I contacted them – they didn’t reply to my email or acknowledge what they’d done, but at least they removed it. I just don’t get it – and it had been there for weeks, so I feel like I could have easily never seen it! But I feel like with how close knit the book blog world is, someone would have seen it and told me. Sad business that I will never understand 🙁
      Berls recently posted…Sunday Post | 39th EditionMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      I can’t believe I didn’t tell you! This happened to me a while ago and I was so upset. It was for one of the reviews that I was really proud of too. I’ll tell you more next time we chat. I’m over it now, but I still don’t get why someone would do it!
      Berls recently posted…Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?|Fun QuestionsMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      You’re telling me! I was uploading reviews to Amazon and paused for a second because in one of the quotes that were pulled out from someone else’s review was an exact quote from my review. I clicked on it and my whole review was there! Needless to say, I was shocked and not at all happy.
      Berls recently posted…Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?|Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  8. Stormi
    Twitter:

    I don’t think this has ever happened to me but then I guess I don’t really pay that much attention to what others put in there reviews compared to mine to know for sure. I have heard of it happening but just don’t think it’s ever happened to me. (Maybe my reviews are not written well enough to steal..lol)
    Stormi recently posted…Book Review: The Professional by Kresley ColeMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      LOL I doubt that’s it. The thing is, I just stumbled upon this and wouldn’t have had a clue my review was plagiarized- so who knows? It had been sitting there for weeks without my knowing. I wonder how many reviews out there are plagiarized?
      Berls recently posted…Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?|Fun QuestionsMy Profile

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      It’s so annoying and makes no sense to me. I don’t see any point in having a blog or posting reviews if they aren’t your own thoughts. It kind of defeats the point of having a blog, doesn’t it?!? They took down my review when I asked, but it was just super frustrating.
      Berls recently posted…Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?|Fun QuestionsMy Profile

  9. Jonetta (Ejaygirl)

    Well, that beats all! I had no idea this was an issue. The whole point of a blog is personal expression. Why even do this if you have nothing to say that’s your own point of view.

    Really surprised and disappointed to learn this happened to you.

    • Berls
      Twitter:

      Me either Jonetta! When I stumbled across my review I was really shocked – I had never dreamed something like this could happen. Since then, I’ve seen several people talking about it, though, so I guess it’s not as unusual as I originally thought. It just doesn’t make any sense to me!!
      Berls recently posted…Why Plagiarize Book Reviews?|Fun QuestionsMy Profile

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