How Technology Advances Plagiarism

No matter how advanced literary publishing becomes, there will always be piracy. Does the advancement of technology have a correlation with piracy? Looking back at the articles From Gutenberg to the Internet, and Nineteenth Century America: Publishing in a Developing Country, there are instances in which it is proven that technology can in fact cause an increase in piracy.


Since the invention of the Gutenberg press in the 15th century, technology has played a crucial role in the production of literature. Before the press all literature was written by hand and took hours to create. Only the privileged elite had copies of literature because of the high cost of these rare unique and handmade literature. Each copy included text and illustrations that were hand written onto parchment, and then all of the parchments were hand bound into a book. The invention of the printing press made printing copies of literature more accessible and cheaper, in the long run, for readers to purchase.

Today, with the advancement of technology, anyone can simply buy a copy of literature on the web, whether they purchase a print or digital copy. As technology has advanced it becomes simpler for anyone to access these books.

Piracy, which occurs when reprints of books are made, occurred more often as technology made printing literature simpler. When printing became popular and made publishing faster, there was a lot of piracy occurring in America with British literature. This was because it was simpler and used less time to copy books, instead of publishing their own.

Today, it is common for all different types of artists to plagiarize other artist’s work. In the visual art world, it is very easy to get caught plagiarizing. My own personal experience can prove as evidence. As a new artist in the industry, it is hard to create a name for yourself. Other artists often influence us, whether we are aware of it or not. The Internet has given us access to look at work all around the world and expand our knowledge. As I look around me when I create work, it is always difficult to create your own work, especially with the resources I have around me.

In today’s century, technology has a huge impact on our lives, even in literary publishing. Nowadays literary publishing does not just occur in print, it has now become more popular on the Internet as well. As publishing becomes digital, is there a chance that piracy, or plagiarism may become even more common and accessible?



6 thoughts on “How Technology Advances Plagiarism

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  1. I really liked your post! I think preventing piracy is important in any form of the arts. I really appreciated the background knowledge you used to support your argument. I think it gives the post a lot of depth behind the reasoning of piracy and how it came to be an issue. I only have two suggestions. My first one would be the title. I think it should be just a tad bit clearer on your focus of the article. Or maybe even give a little more of a glimpse as to what the article is providing. I agree it can cause plagiarism but you were also making a strong argument about plagiarism in the past. Which leads me to my next suggestion. I think just a little bit of clarification would be good on why you think technology causes plagiarism. I know you mentioned it’s easier but why? And you also mentioned it has been an experience of yours. I would love to know what happened! Not because I’m a snoop but, I’m curious as to what your situation was and how you handled it. Great job! – Lilly 🙂


  2. This post was thought provoking in the sense that it is so easy now a days to copy other people’s work. So many websites offer places for authors to self-publish their work for free, but nothing protects the intellectual integrity of these individuals nor does it provide any compensation in these scenarios.
    It’s interesting how there is a great pressure placed to try and avoid piracy. Yet, I’ve seen college professors illegally copy pages from text books and compile them for their students. I can’t complain, considering it does save the students the ridiculous costs of many of these books, but I also feel that there is a duty to the publisher to receive credit for the work they have created.


  3. Hi!

    I really like how you talk about the increase in technology increasing the amount of plagiarism. I like how you brought in other art forms, especially visual art, considering I feel like that is often overlooked. Your personal anecdote was very insightful and gave us a glimpse at what it is like to be an artist in today’s day and age.

    To make this stronger, you could possibly add more quotes to back up everything you wrote more, it just adds another perspective to an already nice piece. You could also talk more about literature piracy in our current century. What you have is a nice skeleton for something you could totally bring to life later on.

    I really loved reading your post though! Very conversational and your personal anecdote really made it!



  4. I think you make a very good point to say that technology advances plagiarism. Technological advancements are (usually) perceived as good things because they improve the efficiency of operations and cut costs, thus making itself more attainable. Technology making itself more attainable is important because it’s very relatable to the everyday person when we consider things such as smartphones and computers. We’re all glad to be able to afford a computer that we probably couldn’t have a dozen years ago. However, we rarely see the side of it that you mentioned and was discussed in Nineteenth Century America: Publishing in a Developing Country: Where technological advancements hurt the creators of art, whether it is literature, music, movies, etc. You made some good arguments but I would have been interested to see some expansion, particularly in the music industry, a highly plagiarized field. You also mentioned that you are a new artist, and while you implied it was in the visual industry, you did not specify that, and certainly not where within the visual industry. I would have been especially interested to hear some specifics about your struggles as an aspiring artist.


  5. I enjoyed your post and agree that piracy is, and always has been, a prevalent issue in the literary community and other art cultures. In terms of copyright law, I know that there are stricter policies in place now than existed in the tumultuous literary communities of the nineteenth century. I like that you mention that almost accidental plagiarism can occur due to the influence of other artists. It is hard to tell sometimes whether you’re being original or just unconsciously copying.

    It might be useful to incorporate direct citation from the two articles and, as it seems that you’re taking the route of comparing present and past publishing issues, draw from other outside sources aside from your personal experience. I thought the inclusion of your personal story is effective in showing the connection that these issues have on the art community. I would very much like it if you went a little further in depth about your personal experience rather than artists as a whole.


  6. As a teacher, I’ll add that the role of technology in plagiarism cases is staggering. And because so much “sampling” occurs in the digital world, I think some of this plagiarism is not meant maliciously, but rather a case of not understanding the importance of intellectual property. Still, it’s serious business, and it can be scary to navigate this terrain as a student or a writer or an artist. I agree with the comments above… if you return to this post later in the semester I encourage you to further flesh out your personal experience with intellectual property in the art world.

    (Small note: your visual is nice, but you could do more to relate the visual/link requirement to the argument of your post!)


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