Vantage point

Saturday, January 22, 2005

Ignore him? I think not!

I guess by now everyone in Indian blogworld knows about Rohan Pinto(, the weirdo who copy pastes others' blogposts and even comments on his blog. In case you don't, read the following -

Plagiarism in the Indian blogosphere by Amit Varma
Copy Cat by Shanti Mangala
Stealing content for your web site - The Rohan Pinto way by MadMan

Most of these people have already covered the build up of events, and why it is so wrong to plagiarise, so I won't repeat it all.

I however will write a pre-emptive article aimed at people saying "Oh but you have given the jerk just what he wanted, attention. Ignore him yaar."

Why? If this sort of attention is what he wanted, then he has got it. His name has become synonymous with plagiarism, and it serves as a good example to someone might wanting to do it in the future, for any weird reason.

Indians as a society, hold scant respect for intellectual property rights. Whether it is shamelessly cheating in exams, copying project reports, or copying movies frame by frame, plagiarism is not considered to be a big deal. Plagiarism has almost become mainstream in India now, with even a Times of India journalist indulging in the shameful act.

If a hue and cry were created every time something was plagiarised, it will probably help restore the respect that originality should have in the entire scheme of things. Rohan Pinto has done something wrong, and he deserves the ill attention we are giving him.

Are we "playing into his hands" by giving him publicity? I don't think so. If he gets off to negative publicity, well, lucky him. But what we are doing is certainly bound to have some consequences that will deter some other plagiarists. And we should keep doing it, regardless of whether he enjoys it or not. It is not what Rohan Pinto wants that is of our concern. It is what he did. And we need to expose it to everyone.