Plagiarism

Discussion in 'Relationships, Discrimination, and Jealousy' started by lopo2000, Sep 27, 2010.

  1. lopo2000

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    Hey, thanks for reading, and I guess this is not exactly a relationship issue. It's a friendship issue.

    Me and this one good friend are recipients of a scholarships. I was unemployed so this scholarship's contract for us to work for this company is good for me. But my friend quit his journalist work and joined this scholarship, what a brave and risky thing to do.

    Then, now it's several months after our postgraduate now and today, we have to submit one mini thesis that comprises half of the grade's marks. Two days ago, he asked for my thesis to see as a guideline and I was wondering why he hadn't done it yet.

    Then, today, when we were about to submit it, I found out he copied my entire mini thesis (our thesis can be of the same topic, only how we presented the topic that matters), only he translated to another language (our supervisor allowed us to do in either English or Malay). I was very shocked and I prevented him from submitting yet, thinking what we could do.

    Now, he's my good friend, and no matter how much he's screwed up, I still kinda feel sorry for him. I have to either report it, and have him dismissed from this scholarship, leaving him in the miserable state of unemployment, or I just let him submit it, which of course might risk my future too (if the lecturer is smart enough to realize that these two theses were the same except for the language).

    I don't want to be dismissed, but I don't want my friend to be dismissed too. I want him to learn his lesson, but not the hard way. But then, I guess it's all come down to either/or situation. He's a good person, he just needs to hold up his responsibility.

    Anybody in the academic world, or just anybody, has been in the similar situation?
     
  2. Bbucko

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    I'm an author. If someone quoted me with credit, I'd be beyond pissed.

    Your lecturer will notice (if s/he's any good). Intellectual copyright is theft: your ideas are yours; your words are even more so yours. If your grade hinges on who was first, I'd send all appropriate documents forward.

    Seriously.
     
  3. lopo2000

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    I guess that's what's appropriate. But the, I'm just a little hesitant to do that because he's one of my good friends. Screwing him over might make it all feel very bad. Well, I'll feel very bad. Since this scholarship has a strict policy on plagiarism, he'll surely get dismissed if he's caught with that.
     
  4. maxcok

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    You're not screwing him over, he screwed himself. Based on what you've described, he doesn't deserve to be in the program anyway. Better he learn his lesson now, rather than a much worse one later. Maybe it will be a wake-up call for him, and he'll come out of it learning to take responsibility for himself and his actions. If not, he's destined to be an irresponsible lazy cheat and a fuck-up, and there's nothing you can do about that.

    You have a kind and generous heart little Lopo, but you need to learn to stand up for yourself, or people will take advantage of that and walk all over you. There's no reason for you to feel bad. He's the one who should feel bad, if he has a conscience. He's not your friend. He stole from you and may have put you in jeopardy. First and foremost, you need to protect yourself in the situation. Make sure the instructor knows there is no question about your work and that you had no hand in helping him cheat. Good luck.
     
  5. lopo2000

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    Yeah, he stole from me! And if he's such a good friend, he wouldn't such thing to destroy all this, to destroy me! Wow, I've never thought of it that way, and now frankly I'm a little angry.

    I think I have to see the instructor tomorrow before anything that messes me up happens.

    Thanks!
     
  6. Viking_UK

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    This person is not your friend. A friend wouldn't take advantage of you in the way he has. Not only is he too lazy to do his own work, he's willing to jeopardise your degree, status and employment prospects. Turn him in, because if you don't, you risk being in a position where he says you copied and translated his work.
     
  7. FuzzyKen

    FuzzyKen New Member

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    I am also a published author in several different types of media. Music composition and arranging is also covered under the same principles.

    If he copied a few of the basic concepts of your thesis without transfer of wording or details, then I would be a little unhappy with him stating to him personally that what he has done is not ethical, could create major jeopardy for both of you, and he needs to absolutely think for himself. If he did more than that, you have zero choice but to go to the instructors and report the incident accordingly. Being a nice guy and a caring friend is one thing, but remember that your instructors have zero choice if they discover the "resemblance" between the two papers, or make an accusation on this subject. They then have to pick who they "like" and they throw the other one into educational oblivion. All they can do is to make an educated guess at best.

    If what you contend is absolutely true, this fellow is anything but your friend, and he has not hesitated to risk your educational standing to better himself. This is cheating, and in all reality I would never again share your work with any fellow student under any circumstances.

    Maxcock is absolutely correct on this one. Your education and your honesty in your education is a hallmark for your future. Even if you were to escape this without losing anything significant, notes can be placed in your educational record placing you under suspicion and creating doubt if a similar situation were to happen on some future assignment that was truly by coincidence, legitimate and accidental.
     
    #7 FuzzyKen, Sep 27, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  8. maxcok

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    You're welcome, Lopo. Feeling that anger is a lesson too. Use it to focus and motivate you in a positive way.

    Again, good luck.
     
    #8 maxcok, Sep 27, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  9. MarkLondon

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    Something similar happened to me in school. The "friend" sitting next to me copied one of my answers in an end-of-term exam. It was me that was accused of cheating.

    Plagiarism is theft. Nowadays surely he could have stolen stuff of the internet for his thesis, instead of jeapardising your future too.
     
  10. lopo2000

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    Thanks Viking, Mark, and Maxcock, now I feel even more reassured that I should go steps ahead of him, now I believe if he could put my educational life at risk, he wouldn't hesitate to do something far more dangerous.

    Fuzzy, he did not just copy a few concepts, he translated the whole paper and made it seem like it was his own. He did not edit a single thing, thinking that our instructor might not notice. And you're right, the more I feel he is not my friend. I have always stood up for him, and now I think I should do for myself.
     
  11. yhtang

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    Not quite in a similar situation, but I have marked academic papers, and I have spotted plagiarism before.

    I know you consider this person your good friend, and you do not wish him ill. Having said that, by reproducing your work (albeit in a different language), he has knowingly endangered your position. I wonder if he has ever really considered you his friend - good friends would not endanger each others' position - they protect each other.

    My two cents.
     
  12. B_subgirrl

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    He is not your friend if he plagiarised you, it's as simple as that. I'm glad you seem to have realised that already.

    Your lecturer will be able to see that it is plagiarised, but I think you should say something straight away, rather than just letting him/her find out by themselves. You don't want to risk him/her thinking that YOU were the one who plagiarised.
     
  13. cece

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    Hi lopo2000 - The right thing would be to report him, if you haven't done so already!

    A scholarship should be awarded to someone who has been disadvantaged financially in life, but who deserves every opportunity to have a good education. Your friend does not deserve this at all-he is taking advantage of you, and he is abusing the scholarship when it could have been given to another more deserving but less fortunate person. I don't see how you could continue being friends with someone who is piggy-back riding on someone else's talents and money. If he cares about you as a friend, he wouldn't put you at risk for being dismissed either.

    I hear about this abuse of scholarships all the time in Malaysia (I'm assuming you're studying there) , and it sickens me when there are so many genuinely deserving students who are denied scholarships simply based on their ethnicity. Please do the right thing and report him. You should be the one taking credit for all your hard work. Not him. I am sure your professor will understand. And if your friend cares about you or has any moral principles at all, he would understand why you did what you had to do. I hope it all works out for you man!
     
  14. AlteredEgo

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    Loopo, this is the second time you've started a topic wherein you feel badly for people who are mistreating you. These people are NOT friends. You are NOT a doormat! You must protect yourself first. Was this person thinking of your best interests when he stole from you? No way. He was thinking only of himself. He has earned everything he has coming: his lost reputation, his lost scholarship, and his lost employment. Fuck that guy. You do what you need to do to secure your own future. Sometimes self-interest is more important than anyone else's needs. This is one of those times.
     
  15. FuzzyKen

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    Lopo, right now I am watching an absolutely incredible situation also resulting from dishonesty. A completely self-serving and idiotic relative was able to obtain access codes for her Mom's bank accounts. She then proceeded because her Mom's paycheck was done via direct deposit to withdraw the entire balance of that account, in addition she did a cash advance against two future paychecks leaving this account with a heavily negative balance and the way she did this was blatantly illegal and constituted a felony. What she did not know was that her Father was at the time in the process of re-financing the home to clear high-interest credit card debt. Her self-serving act is just as much theft as what you have experienced. Because her Mom has failed to prosecute, the first thing that happened was that the bank in question has closed out the account blaming her Mom and accusing the Mom of "bank fraud". This resulted in the loan applications to clear the debt being denied. The act reflected on the credit cards causing the credit card companies to raise the interest rates to as much as 31%. The credit card companies have started to place leins against the home which will make the financial restructure that the family needs impossible and even could result in a foreclosure on the home in which her family lives. Under Bank Insurance Laws, if the Mom had filed a police report regarding the theft and had her daughter arrested, this would have all been stopped cold. In fact, all of the lost funds would have been replaced along with any interest owed under the bank's insurance. Instead the Mom in question has allowed herself to become a "doormat" with all of the "my poor baby" sentiments and will allow the destruction of the entire family rather than take the chance on the already bad relationship with what is obviously a mentally ill kid.

    Get your butt into the authorities on this one right now! Under no circumstances do you let this one go simply because YOU will be the one who gets the blame if he gets there first!

    It is a sad fact that he may have already made that accusation towards you to cover his own rear end.

    My friend, in the world of education and college you are getting the most horrific lesson of all. If you can't create it yourself steal it! It is a very competitive world out there and this fellow has no morals as to whom he will injure or destroy to get what HE wants!

    I had this happen with an orchestral arrangement I did when I was working as a musician back in the early years of the 1980's. The thief went on to publish a completely stolen arrangement and because I had not copyrighted that arrangement I was "screwed". I never made that error again!

    Go fight for yourself dude! If you don't, you could find yourself out of school on your ear. Better that he ends up out on his, than you on yours! Once he's called in, watch how much of a friend he is then as he tries to lie his way out!
     
  16. vince

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    I'd give him the chance to not hand in the paper and write his own, even if it means he is late. If he won't do that, then you must report what you know. In either case, I would not consider him to be worthy of your trust anymore.
     
    #16 vince, Sep 27, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2010
  17. im8cut

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    Plagiarism is wrong, obviously. Why risk losing your scholarship/education? There is a zero tolerance policy at universities for a reason. If he is willing to steal your thoughts, what else has/will steal from you? What kind of a "friend" is that?
     
  18. helgaleena

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    Lopo, he's obviously dishonest and also stupid for thinking the instructor wouldn't notice! Do not keep him as one of your 'good friends' unless there is some way to keep away from him professionally.

    An author whose book I edited once approached my new boss with the same book to re-publish once our old press closed. All was fine until we discovered he had also sent the very same book, with only a different title, to another publisher, and it was already being sold under that title! We would have been in terrible trouble if we released the same book after that, and had to send him packing. The reading public and reviewers are NOT THAT DUMB.

    Oddly, that author was also a freelance journalist. I wonder if news-writers routinely plagiarize each other or something. It makes me doubt much of the news out there.
     
  19. minimag

    minimag Active Member

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    If this had happened where I went to college, you both would have been expelled.
     
  20. lopo2000

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    You guys really make me feel scared with all the I-might-get-screwed-too thing! And sadly you guys are right! Today I went to see him and he was negotiating that he begged me not to report and that he'd really want to reedit the whole thing. I agreed, maybe he'd learn his lessons after all. Then, when I met another friend, B, I was informed that jackass had a plan to delete what he reproduced of mine and instead of wanting to do the whole thing again, he now planned to plagiarize B. I guess now B and I need to really report him then.

    I consulted one of my other friends who had the same situation, and he said that once a thief, always a thief. Once a liar, always a liar. I guess he's right.
     
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