What to do If You Have Been Plagiarized

Imagine working really hard on a paper, article or even a blog post only to find out your work was stolen, word for word. It doesn’t even have to be an article, paper or blog post. It can even be your ideas or expressions. This is what plagiarism is. Plagiarism is the act of stealing another persons ideas, expressions and words. Many people do this and it is most often done online. It is easy for someone to steal another persons work or ideas but it is also easy for that person whose work or ideas were stolen to do something about it.

Celebrities Accused of Plagiarism

Although plagiarism is very wrong to do, it has been done and done by celebrities at that. Who would have thought anyone would do such a terrible thing such as plagiarism let alone a celebrity, right? A few examples of some celebrities who have been accused of plagiarism include singer Lady Gaga, rapper Jay-Z and even Vice President Joe Biden. How crazy is that? Of all people to be accused of plagiarism, these celebrities, and more, have been accused of it. Lady Gaga has been accused of stealing Madonna’s music. The song, “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga and the song, “Express Yourself” by Madonna are very similar to each other. Lady Gaga said she got Madonna’s permission to use similar music to the single. However, when the accusations of plagiarism did not go away, Lady Gaga defended herself by saying the only similarities of the two songs were the chords of the music.

Another example of celebrity plagiarism is rapper Jay-Z. Jay-Z has written his own memoir. Or so he thinks of it as his own. However, in 2009, a man by the name of Patrick White claims his computer was hacked into and since then, parts of his work has showed up in the memoir, “Decoded” by rapper Jay-Z. He has since filed a lawsuit for copyright infringement.

Even Vice President of the United States of America, Joe Biden has been accused of plagiarism. Back in 1988 when he ran for President, he was forced to quit his presidential campaign because of accusations of plagiarism through law school. It was said that he copied sections of a law review article in his paper. He has also been accused of plagiarizing other peoples speeches. When accused he just said he had done it without intending to do so.

Steps to Take If You Have Been Plagiarized

1. Google Alerts

If you are concerned about your work being stolen, you can set up Google alerts. Google alerts will alert you by email if any of your work has been used. Just create alerts using some or all of the words of the title of your article or blog post. Make sure to use quotations to be provided with exact matches. If you get an alert and you find out your work has been stolen, you can contact the hosting of the website the article or blog post is on to have it taken down. You can also contact Google and report it.

You also have to be sure first that they are using it without your permission on purpose. Some people just don’t know how to cite sources and give credit where credit is due. Either they don’t know how to do this or they don’t know they are supposed to. So before you accuse anyone of plagiarism, make sure it is truly plagiarism because it is a serious matter and they can get into a lot of trouble for it.

2. Copyscape

Another way to find out if your work has been stolen is to do a Copyscape check. You can use the free version which will only allow you to check a website address or you can do something better and pay to use Copyscape Premium. Copyscape Premium only costs 5 cents for each check you do. Once you check it on Copyscape and the results come back word for word, you then need to report it to Google and the hosting provider.

You can also use a free website called http://www.plagtracker.com to check your work to ensure no one has copied from you. This website is also a good way to make sure your work is unique as well.

Remember, make sure the plagiarism is intended before reporting it. Try to contact the person who has used your work before reporting it to find out whether or not they meant to use your work without your permission or without giving you credit.

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