Copy CAT

38 Comments

I have often wondered as to what compels the likes of Baapi-da, Anu-sahab and their ilk to blatantly pilfer tunes from other sources.

Well I think I know. They were all “compelled to STEAL”, presumably by voices in their heads.

A few days ago, Sugata sent me a mail about a certain blogger who had copy-pasted the Desicritics crosspost of this article of mine in toto (of course claiming to have written it himself). When Sugata pointed it out to the blogger, this is what he wrote in reply. [all capitalizations are of the letter-writer]

Respected Sugata Sir,
First of all, I am extremely SORRY for stealing the article (Mohammad Afzal) out of the one posted on DESICRITICS.ORG .

Let me explain it to you why I did so. I am appearing for CAT this year and felt that writing on the latest political and social topics will help me in my prep for GD/PI. Hence I created this blog in the first place. I had never the faintest of idea that people apart from the one’s I know will be reading my blog.When I came across this article on DC, it really inspired me. It was written in such a mesmerizing fashion that I was compelled to STEAL. I know that I have done a very bad thing, I am truly ashamed it and such a wrong-doing will never happen from me again.

Please don’t judge me by that single post. I have removed that post from my blog and now I am writing one of my own. Do keep visiting my blog Sir and keep your HONEST comments coming.

I apologise for my misdeed.

What a lovely way to prepare for your GD/PI….by copy-pasting other people’s content.

This is not the first time I have been copied. I have had my Mithunism article come back to me, forwarded, with my name not there or seen places with parts of the Mithunism post and a few of my “Mithun reviews” being passed off as ‘original’. There is this guy called ‘Cut N Paste’ who posted my “A Brief History of the Vulgar Song” as his own here. (Thanks to Avantika for pointing it out). And as he gains ‘applause’ for his ‘original bit of research’ (according to the comments), he is also careful to remove a comment I had posted asking for credit for the piece. I also wrote a mail to copyright@mouthshut.com (August 16) but that remained unanswered and the offending article has been allowed to stay on.

In contrast, this cool CAT above is contrite, has removed the offending post and come on, he just wanted to impress the people “he knew”…..that blogpost was not meant for us ! And that is why, mesmerized by the spirit of “Gandhigiri”, I embrace my plagiarizer virtually, decline to identify him by name, and wish him the best for a bright career as a management person.

He has certainly made the right start.

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38 thoughts on “Copy CAT

  1. Awwww c’mon! That only means that guy’s a much bigger fan of your writing than any of us. We, the regular readers of your blog, haven’t yet been “compelled to steal”. And it’s partly your fault: who told you to write in such mesmerizing fashion?
    I remember you once pointed out that parts of your article on “Greatest moments of India Pakistan Cricket” was copied by somebody. That Vulgar song thing I have seen.

    A few days ago, while browsing through Orkut, I came across a certain photo in a person’s album which had been shot by me and is there in my own Orkut album. It is a fireworks photo and does not contain any person. On all my photos I write the date and ©Sugata Banerji at the bottom. That portion was missing from the photo in his album.
    When I pointed this out to him, he gave a very similar reply to this Copy CAT above, “sorry for that …but really appreciate the pic of the city..but if it is acopy right will immediatly delete from the album.” I told him perhaps he would like it equally well with my name at the bottom. He promptly replaced the image in his album with my full image, with the name at the bottom.
    The only thing we can do is to appreciate their courage and mete out Gandhigiri. As for our friend’s CAT preparation, why, he might be trying to get into the good books of one Professor Laloo Prasad Yadav from now.

  2. put it down to the price of fame and the stupidity of some people who don’t realise that putting something on the internet is potentially reaching everyone on the planet.

  3. Arnab, you can call yourself truly famous after being thoroughly “internalized” 🙂 Now I get it where you drew inspiration when you wrote the post Zinda hain buddha beta.I fully agree with you about the right start.He’s definitely going to make a fine manager just like the PHB in Dilbert-world.

  4. YOURFAN writes
    @GB – Have been away on vacation. The recent article of Copy Cat proves that you are famous as we all know that copying is the greatest form of flattery. Lesser mortals don’t copy form another lesser mortal but from a famous person – right?

    I appreciate your gandhigiri and pardoning him by not mentioning his name and wishing him well in his career.It not only takes gandhigiri attitude but also a big heart to forgive and let go. But I must add that the plagiarizer’s CAT made your article’s name so catchy. If he sat for IAS then think you wouldn’t been able to use that.

    So now we know that it is a he as you wrote ‘I embrace my plagiarizer virtually, decline to identify him by name,..” But my question is if it was a she would you still go for “embrace my plagiarizer virtually” or you would prefer a real time/real thing (it’s a joke – if your wife is reading this)?

  5. isn’t it a cheap shyster or the manager in the making…..you write ” and wish him the best for a bright career as a management person….He has certainly made the right start”.

  6. Yeah.. pretty dumb of him to do that. But look at the brighter side.. He praises your piece with such glowing words, “It was written in such a mesmerizing fashion that I was compelled to STEAL.”
    You should really be flattered. 🙂

  7. ahhh ?? How does WRITING a blog article help with CAT GD/Interview ?

    pffff………such ppl, bring bad name even to prestigious instituions attached to CAT.

  8. CAT GD/PI or not I loved the disarming way in which the guy owned up to his fault. Hey even I come across LOTS of stuff that I want to steal and parade as my own – its only educational rigor and awareness that prevents me from doing so. The guy has been totally upfront about it and has apologised – he belongs to a rare breed of people. Just to appreciate that you must post his link here.

  9. That’s a rather nice way of admitting one’s mistake and you were generous in accepting the apology gracefully.

    What he did maybe wrong but he certainly chose the right person to copy. This way or that, you get the bouqets. I wonder sometimes whether there are any brickbats.

    I would feel flattered if somebody decide to copy me. Maybe someday we will have somethng like a stock market regulator to prevent all this.

  10. This may seem a little off-topic, but this is exactly why I think Google is setting a dangerous precedent by its google book scan project. Ultimately in the next few years, anyone will be able to copy anyone on the internet, and mortals like us will have to dig those “copy-cats” and then “opt-out” of their “right to copy”.

    I’ve had my articles copied over the web, and it cheesed me off completely – the fact that he apologized or said sorry is completely useless. If you are smart enough to appear for GD/PI exam, you should be smart enough to understand copyright issues in the first place.

    Regarding mouthshut.com – I suggest you spam its CEO at faisal@mouthshut-inc.com or its idiotic head of support at tania@mouthshut-inc.com – I’ve had a history with that site 🙂 and it was not pleasant.

    Suyog

  11. The post on Vulgar songs is definitely the funniest and the best ever………feeling so nostalgic about those days……..

  12. yup. doubtless, he will do good in mba.

    how many of you guys – in the usa – have heard the slogan “what can brown do for you?”? (ups slogan)

    soon, you will hear the new slogan i heard today too – “what can blue do for you?” (blue cross and blue shield slogan)

    – s.b.

  13. GB – nice of you to have not mentioned his name, guys who admit mistakes and apologize are good.

    I have heard copyscape.com can help you find more copy-cats. Try and let us know how many more you uncover.

    And as another comment-er says here (Vivek) – be happy GB that guys find you so good they copy you! I am new to the blogging-world, and I confess it did feel good when I was copied for the first time (to my knowledge that is)

  14. Hey…

    Y’know, I used to do immature stuff lie that before… not blogs, I used to do ‘immature stuff’… heh heh… and when you do realize you screwed up, it’s a sick feeling.

    I think it was awesome that the guy owned up and apologised.

    LOL, I’m thinking, bu his letter he seems really piss scared, did Sugata scare him or what?!

    haha!

    But whatever, cool, I still think it’s awesome he’s apologetic about it. Cheers!

  15. where you see a problem, i see an opportunity.
    There are thousands of blog search engines… one of them needs to be tweaked so that it compares articles and inform reputed bloggers if a similiar article is posted elsewhere.

  16. i am sure u have heard of creative commons license

    http://creativecommons.org/

    hopefully (even if u know), other people reading ur blog get to hear about this and have a sufficient level of protection from people who try to “internalise” their stuff.

    to be brutally honest, I felt like “why didnt i write this?” after reading ur desibaba post. felt like i wanted to say some more things than what you had written in there. started writing my own (ok, copied ur idea – not your writing). Guess what – It turned out sooooo bad that i just chucked it to the recycle bin. I am a little wiser now and prefer to leave comments on your blog.

  17. ‘I am extremely SORRY for stealing the article (Mohammad Afzal) out of the one posted on DESICRITICS.ORG .’

    I think you should be extremely flattered that out of all the Desicritics articles he chose to steal this one. What trauma, having to select one when so many were on offer. Also, what reticence.

  18. bong great bong.

    dear mr bong, you are my hero, i love the way you write and i aspire to be like you when i grow up except with a real job and everything.
    but you’re really cool.
    and i cant even explain how exceptional your writing is.

    from your number 1, 17 year old fan!

    or probably only 17 year old fan.
    i dont know.
    have a good day.

  19. This just says how popular you are!!! I liked the photo that you have selected :P. But dont you think that the boundary where inspiration ends and copy begins is really undefined. Certainly not in this case (this is a 100% copy), but what would you call where your ideas are picked up, may be the sentence construction is altered a little bit, and presented. Even if the guy references your name, people really never go through all the references, to figure that out if its a copy or not.
    Why only in composition, I keep copying small codes from internet all the time, without even remembering which site I had picked it, unless it is complete algorithm. I have never felt guilty untill today.

  20. GB,
    This must have done you proud. You know what they say, imitation is the best form of flattery. Though, on second thought, I bet it was someone like the CAT you mention who must have come up with that quote to justify his means.

    It is quite sad though that people go to painstaking (well, cut and paste is hardly painstaking) measures to impress their peers and blog visitors. How do such people sleep at night (sleeping pills must help)? When I started on my own blog, the only real objective I had in mind was to impress myself with what I could learn on the way in terms of construction and research, and to be honest I have. I constanty review every book I read in it even if there is no one around to pat my back. Hence, the lengths some people go to showcase alien talents is beside me.

    Anyways, keep up the good work and do not care about such copycats. I’m sure plagarization is a no-no at St. Peter’s.

  21. You must be flattered GB 🙂 I wish I could write things worth plagiarizing. One day, ‘My post was plagiarized’ will actually be a compliment 😉

  22. @FootballNath: No indeed you do not.

    @Sam: Perhaps. But really who enforces it?

    @Joy Forever: Well he copied right by taking out the copyright…..thanks again for your vigilance.

    @Mosi: And that Google cache means that the Net has a memory too.

    @Bishu: Amen !

    @Yourfan: IAS as in I Am Stealing? Now if this plagiarizer was female…ahem…I might have told Sugata to step aside and let me try to convince “her” about the errors of her ways. Virtual hugs might have naturally ensued.

    @Mayank: I meant that as a budding manager, he has certainly made a healthy start by showing a disregard for ethics.

    @Ali: Indeed I am flattered. But that Copy N Paste guy…when things like that happen, you kinda feel a little pissed….

    @Aashish: Heavens knows !

    @Raccoon: Naw. Posting his link in this context would be an embarrassment to him. It is because of the tone of his apology, that I do not want to identify him in any way.

    @VivekKumar: No I havent…

    @Hiren: No more regulatory bodies please yikes.

    @Suyog: I went through mouthshut and they had all kinds of legally threatening verbiage about how seriously they take people copying Mouthshut content. Obviously the same high moral standards do not apply when their users steal content from other people….that’s when they do not even reply to a complaint.

    @Arijit: 🙂

    @Somebody: “What can blue do for me?” Well it did a lot for me through my formative years. But seriously, while the line sounds nice for UPS it sounds “out of place” for a medical insurance company.

    Await with fear the day CPM comes knocking with “What can Red do for you?”

    @Silkboard: Yes I have heard of Copyscape—again there is little one can do when plagiarized.

    @Pradeep: Sugata must have made him an offer he could not refuse.

    @Shan: Ah well. Thanks

    @Pegasus: Again once that happens what next?

    @Vivek: Aaah you are right. There is a lot more to say about Desibaba !

    @The Marauder’s Map: 🙂

    @Clairvoyant: 🙂

    @Aravind: Well I think he chose it himself. And showed some honesty.

    @Je Ne C’est Pas: Well you have many many years left…sigh…17 years old…

    @Amit: The issue is the content focus. The picture I have is not the focus of the post….incidentally I usually link to the original image as a way of acknowledgement except when the picture occurs on geocities kinds of sites where I would be stealing the user’s bandwidth if I did that. In a photography blog, if I put in someone else’s picture without due credit, yes I am plagiarizing. But this was not a photoblog…the picture could be removed without any harm to the merit of the piece.

    As a code analogy, if you are given a network simulator to code and you just copy paste the code of a network simulator then yes that is plagiarism. If you have been asked to write down a parser and you copy the AST creation code, then perhaps that is plagiarism. However if you use a linked list manipulation procedure off the Net, then I suppose in both cases it would be fair use.

    Again the line is blurred and subjective but a 100% copy paste job is a plain enough case.

    @BabaBangalee: Ki holo?

    @SirPyscho: Is it now? St.Peters—does he deal with hindus?

    @Anonymous: Well find better topics to comment on…and better blogs to read.

    @Abhijit: 🙂

    @ND: I am sure you will.

  23. hmmm wonder wat he was thinking [:d]

    i have heard of reading articles in order to prepare but copy pasting articles is a new concept and an appreciably unique method… maybe i should try it when i prepare for some competitive exam… hmmm wonder whom i should steal from…. 😉

  24. Well, tell you what, I randomly stumbled upon this article. But a while back, your post on the economic meltdown (gunda istyle) was making the rounds somewhere. To the best of my knowledge, someone had copy pasted your whole article and sent it as a forward

    Think you need to put in a small note, somewhere on your page saying what you would do to copy-cats. I suggest you should put that ‘ Copy cats will be prosecuted and made to watch “Jimmy” in a jail together with Mimoh and Mithun 🙂

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