Chat With Cass: Plagiarism vs. Inspiration

Posted on Feb 3, 2014 in Bloggers, Chat With Cass, Discussion | 14 comments

Chat With CassWell hello there! Its been a while!  Now as many of you know, this is TYPICALLY an interview feature, but THIS time around it is going to be a talk show style discussion.  And without further ado…

WELCOME ONE AND ALL, I’m Cass your witty, intelligent, WONDERFUL host! 

WE ALL KNOW HOW MUCH WORK BLOGGING INVOLVES.. how many hours go into it, for NO compensation.


How many of you have RACKED YOUR BRAINS trying to find a new/fresh idea for a post?

::I see you raising your hands!::


WOW, that’s a lot of you!

hands up


 HOW does it feel when someone posts something SUPER SIMILAR on their blog after you posted YOURS??



clip art crying baby

RIGHT!?  It is the WORST!

THAT is what we are here to discuss today people!  When can we call something plagiarism,

and when is it just YOUR WONDERFUL POST sparking an idea for someone else!?

We’re gonna run through the differences, and you are ALL *YES* ALL:: going to tell me how YOU feel about this!

CUZ GOODNESS GRACIOUS, if this happens to me, I’m just letting you ALL know, I may have a few people I can call to take, care of business, YA KNOW WHAT IM SAYIN??? #OKKIDDING, but still! Our work goes unappreciated, and to have it practically stolen? IT IS NOT OKAY GUYS!


The Differences:

Inspired By Another Post-

Adds to the original post

Has DIFFERENT graphics

[Can!] Respond to points made in original post

Use your own [and unique!] voice!

GIVES CREDIT to original post!


Uses similar graphics

No credit given

Essentially just rephrases the original

Lacks any differences [or next to none] from original

Can result in email from angry post initiator.


So we have a NEW MOTTO HERE:  If it looks the same, and sounds the same.. it what????it is the same


Some last tips…

Next time you come up with what you believe to be an astonishingly brialliant idea, give it a quick search on Google.  Is there anything like it?  If so, and you choose to proceed, make sure you ask yourself: is what you’re writing different? Do you offer anything new?  Ask yourself these questions.  Be CAREFUL. . it is BEST to email the post creator, and ask if it is alright.  HOWEVER, a post if s post  TRULY  IS just inspired by, and not plagiarism, it may not be necessary. 

For example MANY people have done inspired by posts based on my Thursday Thoughts, and I love that!  That’s fine!  But! It becomes blurry when the post doesn’t offer a unique voice or anything new to say.  If that is the case, its best to be safe, and not sorry!

One last thing.. JUST giving credit – and still copying, does not make it okay.  That is just as bad, if not worse!  It means you read the original and decided to go ahead with it anyway!

THANKS guys! I’ll be here again next week! AND, there’s gonna be a PART TWO! Next time we have a WHOLE POST on Plagiarism in relation to DESIGN.  WOOO, that REALLLLLY grinds my gears!

Nice having ya here! And remember!  YOUR WORK IS APPRECIATED!


  1. YES YES YES TO THIS! Simply agreed. And I love you. <3 And we all know that you would take care of business for us too Cass doll!!
    Lauren @ Lose Time Reading recently posted…Review: Uninvited by Sophie JordanMy Profile

  2. It is simply not that hard to credit the people/post who inspires your own post on your blog (since all you really have to do is link). It always makes me sad to learn of cases where people don’t do that! Occasionally, especially if they’re new, it makes sense that they did it unawares. But if you’re more established and you actually interact with the person in question? That’s just disrespectful and unfair.

    Sorry, end of rant. I just really don’t like it when people deliberately do someone else’s post and try to pass it off as their own, you know?
    Alexa S. recently posted…The Monday Mix || February 3, 2014My Profile

    • EXACTLY! How hard is it to say, “oh by the way, I read a great post the other day by so-and-so that got me thinking” It’s difficult these days to be *so* original, but at least make an effort, the effort someone else did

  3. I think the line between inspiration/plagiarism is a thin one. What if you make a blog post because you think it’s unique and you find out that there is someone else who had the same idea. Some could say it’s inspired or perhaps even stolen, while you weren’t aware there is someone else.. It’s a difficult matter, but if you intently steal someone’s idea with the purpose of posting it as your own, you’re definitely wrong. And giving credits when someone inspired you is easy enough.
    Mel@thedailyprophecy recently posted…My blogging methods.My Profile

  4. Great point! Definitely shows what plagiarism really is. There is definitely a difference between it and inspiration. Can’t wait to read part two!
    Kelsey recently posted…White Space by Ilsa J Bick ReviewMy Profile

  5. I think this happens to a fair amount of people in the community and it hurts. We put so much time into our blog and when someone ‘borrows’ it doesn’t feel good in the slightest. I imagine a lot of it comes from an innocent place–like they didn’t know, regardless it hurts the original creator especially if no acknowledgment is given. I think everyone makes mistakes (especially new bloggers that might not know) but hopefully this one day will be less a thing. Great post Cass!
    Kristen@My Friends Are Fiction recently posted…Interview with Michael O-Artist Behind the Lunar Chronicles Covers+International GiveawayMy Profile

  6. It would be so nice if plagiarism weren’t an issue but unfortunately that’s not the case. These are all valid points and I hope people stopped by and took note and it prevents it even a little. It sucks to find out you’ve been plagiarized and come on, is it really so difficult to link back or acknowledge the owner or to make it your own?!
    Rebecca recently posted…Debut Delirium: Christina Farley, author of Gilded (& giveaway!)My Profile

  7. I think this is tough…. on one hand, yes it is super annoying when one person posts something and then a week or two later someone else posts something extremely similar. On the other, there are soooo many bloggers out there and many bloggers that have been around a long time. When it comes down to it… there aren’t THAT many discussions that can be had over books. Topics are bound to be repeated and overlapped. I personally do not do a google search before posting. However, I am also not the type of blogger that reads someones post and then decides to branch off of it. If something pops into my head I just go with it. If I haven’t seen it before with my own eyes I don’t consider it copying.
    In some cases though it is just plain obvious and sad. Whether intentional or not, especially when it ends up being someone that YOU KNOW reads your blog… it becomes a major WTF.
    And really… if you KNOW someone posted something similar GIVE THEM SOME CREDIT. If they inspired your post– great– just say a few words. It makes a BIG difference in how the post will be viewed!
    Betty recently posted…TTT- Top Ten Books That Made Me CryMy Profile

  8. UGH, as you already know, plagiarism makes me ANGRYYY. It doesn’t matter if it’s words or layouts, stealing is stealing! There’s really no good excuse to offer in this case. I constantly have to drill this into my students’ heads because they try to get away with NOT putting citations in papers even if they originally got the idea from a book/article/website etc. etc. They don’t see it as plagiarism because they “didn’t copy it word for word.” Sigh.

    Great post. Too bad it’s even an issue :((

  9. This is a very witty post that rings true.
    – Krys
    Krys recently posted…Review: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini TaylorMy Profile

  10. Ugh, yes!! It’s okay to be inspired by something. I don’t know how many times I’ve been inspired by a post to branch off and do a similar discussion, and I love when people are inspired by my own things.
    But – BUT – there’s a limit. Sometimes it’s just annoying! Like, if you take someone’s feature that’s not really original, at least change the name. I had this happen with my old Blogger Spotlight posts – yeah, the idea itself isn’t that original because others have done it, but can you at least choose a different name if you’re going to be inspired by that?! I ended up having to change the name of mine to something that was purely unique to my blog.
    Recently, someone tried to take my Life of a Blogger. They used the same name, the same tagline on their own graphic, and said “inspired by” me…but they did their own thing with it. Not cool man.
    Jessi @ Novel Heartbeat recently posted…Review: Fire & Flood by Victoria ScottMy Profile

  11. I already told you how much I love this pos but I REALLY DO. Plagiarism is no joke, and people should take it more seriously. When it comes to content, I definitely understand that it’s easy to get inspired by other people’s posts, because like Betty said above, there’s only so much that can be said about books. What bothers me more is when people copy graphics. It happened to me once with a TTT post, where someone basically copied my entire list and reasons. And what for? To tell me that we have the same list? Yeah, I can see that. But if she’d also stolen my graphics, I would have been pissed off, because I put so much time and effort in creating those. Inspiration is a tricky thing, but there’s still a difference between inspiration and copying.

  12. Very valid points. I always leave a ‘so and so wrote this post’ but here are my thoughts. A.) It covers my butt and B.) Its great networking. You know?
    Johannah recently posted…Water color ArtMy Profile


    As we’ve discussed before, I think it’s great to be inspired by someone else. Some really cool things have been made/written/created in response to other things. But make them your own! When it’s almost identical to the “inspiration” – even if it credits them – that’s rude, lazy and ridiculous.

    I think in book blogging no idea/post is ever entirely new. There’s likely someone out there who has possibly done something similar. But there are so many ways to make something your own.

    It’s almost more frustrating to see someone credit their inspiration and then STILL write a post that basically copies it. You obviously knew enough to know that the idea didn’t start out as your own – so why didn’t you notice that your post isn’t really anything different from what was already written? Add in similar graphics and it just makes me rage. As you know.
    Hannah @ So Obsessed With recently posted…The Price of WinningMy Profile


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