Plagiarism Friday

December 16, 2006 life 2 min read

Plagiarism isn’t a topic that comes up very often (or ever), but yesterday I ran across it several times in unrelated circumstances.

#1: Local businesses

As Aaron Schaap and Daniel Morrison have described, we found out that Macatawa Driving School pretty much copied Century Driving School’s website. Both of these are local companies and are direct competitors to each other.

What makes this even more interesting is that Century Driving School discovered it when working with the people from Yellow Book to place ad. Yellow Book showed them a few examples of other local businesses, one being Macatawa Driving’s ad. Century noticed that Macatawa’s layout and copy from their add was very similar to what is on Century’s website. And it doesn’t stop there, even their printed applications are almost identical.

#2: Google and Yahoo

Google launched a customized version of Internet Explorer 7 this week, which adds the Google toolbar and makes Google the default search engine, instead of Yahoo. The only problem is that they ripped off Yahoo’s IE7 website.

#3: The Decemberists and Stephen Colbert

This one is less like plagiarism and more like using a good idea, but interesting none-the-less. As Ze Frank points out in yesterday’s episode of The Show (along with the Google/Yahoo incident), The Decemberists are hosting a competition for fans to make their next video using snippets green-screen video, mimicking Stephen Colbert’s “green-screen challange”. Ironically, Stephen Colbert took the idea from someone else.

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avatar of Brandon Keepers I am Brandon Keepers, and I work at GitHub on making Open Source more approachable, effective, and ubiquitous. I tend to think like an engineer, work like an artist, dream like an astronaut, love like a human, and sleep like a baby.