July 23, 2006

Internet plagiarism

If you publish a website you may want to know if someone copied its content without your permission and is taking your work as their own. There is a nice free online tool that can help you combat Internet plagiarism: www.copyscape.com. You can enter your URL in their search box and they'll list sites that have sentences and phrases identical to yours. You'll even see the duplicated text highlighted.

When I run their search for my site among the results was a British company named Powerstax. Their Power Glossary page contained a number of definitions (such as Isolating power supply, Linear power supply, Off-line power supply, SMPS) from my copyrighted page http://www.smps.us/smps-glossary.html.

I sent a complaint to their webmaster and to other individuals whose email addresses were listed, but no one responded.

Note that definition of power electronics term on my page generally differ from those you may find elsewhere. I put up this web page because I felt the definitions given in textbooks and other sites are often inaccurate or even misleading. For example, the term Isolation is often defined as absence of current path between two circuits. In reality, it is only absence of DC current pass- as we know many isolated circuits still allow some capacitive AC current.

I was curious if the rest of the terms on Powerstax glossary page are unique. So, I run Copyscape search for their page. Guess what- the search returned glossaries of several other power supply sites. Of course, when it comes to these sites I can't know for sure who copied whom. I do know this when it comes to my site though.

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