Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Calling for Ethics

This country is having an ethics crisis. You see it in politics daily. The latest, the modern day Elliott Ness, crime fighting governor of New York, has been accused of transporting a prostitute over state lines. It is not as if he is some Joe Blow who can claim ignorance of the fact that this is a felony offense, not to mention the moral aspects of the incident. This is someone helping run our country. Tune in any talk show and you can find more examples.

What does this have to do with writing. The lack of ethics has sneaked into writing with multiple incidents of writers claiming work is original when it is not. Outright plagiarism, lifting paragraphs from one document to another. Well published writers have been accused, not just desperate beginners, hungry to be published and too greedy to put in their time.

Are people getting lazy?
Do computers make it too easy to go online, search, cut and paste?
Are we greedy?
Are we too impatient to create our own words?
Is it the fault of e-book access?
Did no one teach this generation of writers right from wrong?

I don't have answers except it's up to each of us to pay attention to fair use and read other's works for information and inspiration only, so we can then create our own original work, preserving the integrity of our profession.

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