Plagiarism and Giving Adequate Credits

Hey Hops!

I would just like to bring up a concern that I think is necessary right now. I believe that each and everyone needs to be educated with credit-giving and plagiarism so I’m going to share some important details and information about the aforementioned topics. I have made this topic not to emphasize the minimal error of a Scratcher, but to remind all of us about the importance of giving enough credit.

Introduction

Giving adequate credits is very important in the real world. This will help prevent copyright infringement and copyright issues. When we don’t give credit, it is considered plagiarism because without credits people will assume that what you create is originally yours. Sometimes we do give credits, but inadequately. When giving credits, we need to be as specific as possible and we need to give credit to all of those who inspire our work.

A relevant recent example (important)

In Scratch I noticed that there is a scratcher who published a project which is almost exactly the same as Interactive Bear by -Madi-. It is featured in the main page. The differences are quite minor but overall both projects look extremely similar. Also take note that this is his first project.

Here is the link…

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/463347380

And here is the original

Interactive Bear! 🐻 by -Madi-

If you look at the notes and credits section, you can see that it says “Hopscotch for inspiring me to do this.i changed it because people were getting mad at me because it was the ‘exact same as hopscotch’ “

This Scratcher, gave credit which is the right thing to do. However, he did not specifically give credit to the original creator, which is -Madi-. He could also have added a link to the original Hopscotch project. Therefore, the credits he gave are inadequate or not enough.

Scratch users who view his project inspired by interactive bear will not know who is the original creator and the original project itself. They will only know from what platform (Hopscotch) the project that inspired his project is. They will only know that the creator is from Hopscotch.

This is quite unfair because the original creator will not get the attention she deserves. She deserves to be acknowledged for being the original creator of interactive bear.

The Scratch Team also featured this project in the main page. If proper and adequate credits were initially given, the Scratch Team would have probably not featured this project. If a link was provided and the name of the original creator was mentioned, then the Scratch team would have probably realized that the project made is practically a copy of another project in another platform.

Observable Effects

As I have read the comments under his projects, many scratchers are praising him and complimenting him. There is nothing wrong with this, but because inadequate credit was given, some scratchers compliment him as if he is the original creator and there is no acknowledgment of the real original creator.

Aside from that, people in his profile comments are praising him for being one of the fastest Scratchers to reach 1000 followers in just a day or two. He got followers for a featured project that is only inspired by (or practically a copy of) an existing project in Hopscotch. And again, this is his first project.

Some scratchers in his profile comments are somehow complaining how they still have a few followers while he already has 1300+.

Conclusion

  • give adequate credits
  • mention the names or accounts of everyone who inspired your creation and also those who contributed to your creation so viewers will know who were the original creators who contributed
  • as much as possible, add a link to the original creation or project so that people will know what the original one is like

Let this be a reminder to each and everyone of us. :slight_smile:

29 Likes

First!

Amazing portrayal of what plagiarism is and how to solve it! Please do be sure to give proper credit hops!

9 Likes

Also I noticed that the user’s profile picture is the bear in his project inspired by Interactive Bear by
-Madi-.

I don’t know if credits also apply to pfps so I myself is asking does it? (Because basically his pfp is Madi’s Bear which he did not originally create)

7 Likes

I would say that it wouldn’t matter for pfp. Did you make your pfp? Did I make my pfp? Most people didn’t, and they change it often, which I think would also have it fall under fair use. Unless it is made by someone who specifically asks for credit, then I don’t think that it is necessary (but of course you always can).


Anyways, thank you for sharing to hops how critical of an issue plagiarism is and how to give proper credit for someone else’s hard work/contributions.

8 Likes

It does apply to pictures of the project

It doesn’t give proper attribution to the original author(s), so it’s plagiarism

6 Likes

This is a great example ! Yes like @Rod said this is An amazing way to Show What plagrisim is and How we can solve it - great job showing that !

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Ohh I just noticed something interesting.

The username of that Scratcher has “- -“ (two hyphens) as well like in “-Madi-“.

But that is probably a coincidence.

Anyways thanks @Rod and @ExplodingDucks for your responses.

7 Likes

Nice topic! I would also like to note that you could be sent to jail for plagiarism (if you are 18 or older), so this is really important practice for the real world :slightly_smiling_face:.

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Precisely. It is an important practice for young people indeed so that they’ll have considerable knowledge already as they become adults.

One more thing I would like to point out is why mentioning the platform isn’t enough. This is how the scratcher did the credits…

As you can see, it’s quite ambiguous. How will you know which hopscotch the scratcher is talking about. People probably only know the street game hopscotch and not the programming language Hopscotch. Plus, there are more businesses and organizations that are probably named Hopscotch.The phrase ‘the exact same as hopscotch’ is confusing and I don’t think most scratchers will think of the platform Hopscotch when they see that.

That is why a link to the original project is important. It is also important to make your credits specific and not ambiguous. For example

“This was inspired by a project from the coding platform Hopscotch. The project is Interactive Bear by -Madi-.”

Instead of “This was inspired by Hopscotch”, or whatever ambiguous phrase.

This lesson will really help us deal with more serious credit-giving cases when we are adults already because lawsuits and copyright infringement do exist.

7 Likes

This applies in all coding platforms. If we make Hopscotch projects that are based on Scratch projects, Tynker projects, or whatever coding platform, we should give proper credit.

If we are remaking app store games or google play tho, then we don’t need to be very specific with our credits because app store games and google play games are mostly made by professionals and they are mostly well-known and popular (ex. Agar.îo).

The reason why remaking a project in another coding platform (especially block-based) requires specific credits is because most of us the creators are still young and their projects are still relatively obscure on a worldwide scale.

Imagine someone recreating Agar.ïo on Hopscotch. Most or all people will know that it’s based on Agar.ïo even without credits due to the popularity of Agar.ïo and its presence in professional level app sharing platforms like google play and App Store.

If someone recreates a project from Hopscotch in Scratch without credit, then people might think that certain someone is the original creator because honestly, projects in such platforms are not as well-known as app store games and google play apps. This also applies vice-versa even tho Scratch is more popular than Hopscotch.

Even tho we are recreating App Store games, I guess we can still do our best to give enough credit especially to the ones which are not as popular as Fortnite, Candy Crush, Among Us and other Mainstream App Store and Google Play games.

7 Likes

Thank you for informing - I used to never give credit on old accounts, I would copy projects without saying anything. I’ve gotten much better, I to give credit as best as I can, but I haven’t been including links to specific examples, just the creators names and what they helped with. I’ll do more in the future :))

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And this comment right here really shows how inadequate credits make people think that a person is the original creator when in reality he/she is not.

https://scratch.mit.edu/projects/463347380

This is a perfect example of what I am trying to convey. In reality, -Madi- is the one that deserves the credit.

6 Likes

Woah - well written and very helpful! Giving adequate credit is an important skill to learn as you’re going to have to apply it to a lot of stuff in real life.

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Great topic! I think it’s important to be educated on plagiarism/giving credit. Thanks for caring about what happened with my bear project - he did not give proper credit, although he probably wasn’t educated on the proper way to give credit.

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Btw… I think in hs, there’s also an imposter of coan. Nice topic. Happened to me so many times…

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Ohhh.

Though this is a case of accidental plagiarism (and not giving enough credit) not impersonation or imposter related.

However, impersonation is also an unacceptable behavior.

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You should inform them of that. They may just not know how to give adequate credit, and may do so if they knew.

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They have thousands of comments. What are the chances they see that?

Edit: I calculated it, 0.231 percent!

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Edit, that is completely wrong

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Well, I don’t know if it necessarily needs to be via the comment section on that project.

1 Like