The Video Production Business and Plagiarism
March 18, 2019 | Andy Linda
How creative do you think a video production business that plagiarizes is? We’ve been working on self-promoting our video production business lately and to that end we’re currently recognized as a top Video Production Company on DesignRush. We’re also listed on ProductionHub, Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, Yelp, YouTube and many others. The field is growing, even as some lists drop out, such as the recent demise of Google+.
While searching for erroneous or out-of-date information about us, I scanned for duplicate content, one of the things that’s said to lower the Google ranking score. In that process I ran across blatant plagiarism from another video production business. It was online for seventeen years!
Plagiarism Detective Work
I started with Copyscape where I input our web page https://www.eimage.com/what-we-do/ . The result showed that our text also appeared on the website of a videography agency named Arlington Video Productions, Inc. in Columbus, Ohio. Of course I immediately went to that site… and found nothing. It’s a one-page website, perhaps in a state of transition.
My next stop was the Internet Archive Wayback Machine which shows web pages as they appeared in the past. For the video production business Arlington Video they had entries going back to September 19, 2000. By December 11, 2001 they revamped their site with familiar text. Compare it to what we wrote by December 2, 1998, three years earlier:
You can tell which parts they wrote themselves because those sentences are full of typos which I’ve taken the liberty to highlight in red. Their page stayed that way until at least August 20, 2018. In those seventeen years, they managed to fix the last two typos, but not the first two.
I’m writing them a nastygram today to tell them to write their own copy. I’ll update this blog if I hear back.
They say if you give an infinite number of monkeys an infinite number of typewriters and an infinite amount of time, they will write all the works of Shakespeare. But the operative word is infinite. In the short term, the lesson is the same your high school English teacher probably told you: plagiarism is wrong, don’t do it, you’ll get caught. Even if it’s eighteen years later. For our purposes, technology’s reach and memory is almost infinite.
But besides the Google ranking issues and the shame of getting caught after having done something bad, how does this reflect on a video production business that’s supposed to be, almost by definition, creative? If you can’t write your own copy and can’t describe what it is you do for a living, you’re not much of a video production business!