Reflections and stories on six months of life, culture, food and friendship in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Blog Plagiarism

It is a great irony that after six months of teaching information literacy in Vietnam I become the victim of information piracy. Thanks to Technorati's link tracing feature I discovered my blog postings are being reproduced hollus bollus without attribution at this and this blog. And an even greater irony - one of the addresses is "vietnamofmine.blogspot...". Just who's experience is this?

To be fair, at least the first of Mr. Trang's blogs is called "Learning English By Other's Blog Posts". I'm very happy to let my writing be used for teaching purposes, but what about asking permission or setting up some context at the very least? And why not just use my original blog for this purpose rather than filching it?

I will admit to some ambivalence about all the flagrant intellectual property abuses that are rife in Vietnam and other Asian countries. When it comes to CDs and DVDs, the letter of the law would probably mean that the vast majority of people in Vietnam would have virtually no access to recorded music and film. It's not like Disney and Sony are yet being cheated of vast reserves of Vietnamese disposable income. But this strain of piracy carries over into so many cultural enterprises. It hardly seems necessary to pilfer content in a blog. My blog is already free. Just use it where you find it. And isn't it teacher's responsibility also to teach respect for other's work?

I have left comments on Mr. Trang's blog in the hopes that he will respond out of conscience (or write me at sixmonthshn AT gmail DOT com). At least he seems to have brought me out blog retirement.

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