Ctrl C + Ctrl V

By the time i finish writing this, 2,487 students across premier institutes of India have prepared a report/assignment by merely copying information off the net. I can’t vouch for the authenticity of the statistics, but i can certainly vouch for the phenomenon. And so can thousands of students worldwide. This has become a serious issue. Colleges and now even companies have started giving it a serious thought. But then why do students, or for that matter anyone else, do so? Well I’m no expert on this topic, but going by my experience I believe its due to the pressure to perform and also due to the “i don’t wanna do hardwork” attitude. Many term it smart work -do what you can’t find on the net.

Recently Yahoo came into news, because a third party content provider for its Malayalam website had simply copy pasted information (a recipe to be precise) from a malyali blog without even giving any credit to the author. Yahoo had to withdraw the article, but only after causing enough public outrage (only in blogosphere).

Writing afresh is not that difficult a task. Its just that some thinking and hard work goes into it. Lets not indulge into adamant copy paste, lets go for Ctrl+N instead.



  1. blue_feather · May 9, 2007

    I agree that sometimes Ctrl C + Ctrl V is the best way to collate tonnes of data scatered over thousands of web pages.. and the same tools are being used mindlessely for completing assignments,etc. rendering the entire purpose of learning defeated.

    However, the internet is just a SOURCE of information – how you put that to use is what matters : whether its for a college assignment or straight plagiarism.

    In fact, isn’t that what the Internet is meant for in the first place??? “connecting people” ??

    here i would like to highlight 2 angles to look at this baffling,disturbing & seemingly unethical ‘phenomenon’ :

    1. If its used for preparing reports / assignments / etc.:

    if the same assignment is part of a course curriculum year after year, why should our students go for collecting primary information or combing through libraries when the SAME job has already been done by a student/senior in any part of the world?? Shouldn’t this student pick up from where the last worker left? Isn’t that called “civilization”? “progress”? why should we learn to make fire again ? why should we try re-inventing the wheel? shouldnt we work on taking the existing knowledge & developing it further & taking its applications ahead?

    2. If its plain plagiarism or stealing someone else’s intellectual work :
    is Internet the right place to publish information that you dont want to be copied/stolen? If its on the net, its meant for EVERYONE. And If its not meant for everyone, there are copyrights, IPR laws & plenty of technology tools available to protect your data/multimedia content/etc. online. Use them. Like Suryagayatri did to protect her food recipes published on Yahoo Malayalam.

    Ultimately, technology is a tool, it cannot be blamed for how the user puts them to use. Therefore, i believe Ctrl C + Ctrl V are mere scapegoats being made to bear the blame of sins made by dormant lawmakers, IT watchdogs & cyber criminals.

    Thus, lets not blame my best friends Ctrl C + Ctrl V for some scrupulous idiots misusing them.

  2. maheep · May 9, 2007

    very well said blue_feather…

    internet is indeed a very good source of information, but then one should use them in a proper way….

    i’m not against picking up data off the net, or seniors…. but then that student should not leave it there itself… if he/she builds upon it.. then copying that information is justified… dont’ reinvent the wheel, but if you a get a wheel, make use of it, and dont just say that u invented it.

    agreed information on the net is meant for EVERYONE.. but if anyone copies it.. then due credit should be given to the original author…

    I’m not against Ctrl C+ Ctrl V… i am against people who mindlessly use them.. without giving any credit to the author nd claiming it to be their creation…..
    wht i want them is to start using Ctrl N… create a NEW document/article… which is your own creation. You might pick up data from the net.. but then list out the source.. and also build upon it.. to give your point of view on that piece of information

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