Plagiarism and Posting

I received an interesting question as a comment on another post (which I’ll approve as soon as I post this one) and I thought it was interesting enough to add a completely separate post on my thoughts. In essence, the comment was along the lines of this:

“With so much content and articles do you ever run into any problems of plagiarism or copyright violation? My blog has a lot of exclusive content I’ve either written myself or outsourced but it appears a lot of it is popping it up all over the internet without my permission. Do you know any methods to help stop content from being stolen? I’d truly appreciate it.”

I look at this from a number of different perspectives.

Firstly, very little of what I have published or will publish is solely mine. That doesn’t mean I’ve plagiarised material left, right and centre, but rather that I stand on the shoulders of all the giants who have taken the time over the many years I’ve worked at Oracle (getting close to 20 years now) to teach me what they already know, in whatever area of Oracle that might have been. So yes, the words generally are mine, but the concepts, knowledge, and understanding has always, and will always, largely come from others.

Secondly, in many ways the fact that people take what I write and publish it elsewhere is an indication that people have found what I’ve had to say is valuable, and I appreciate that. Yes, it would be nice to have some form of acknowledgement that the original wording is mine, but I’m really not that concerned with people thinking I’m some magical form of guru. In fact, I hate that damn term “guru” (rates right up there with <awful term alert>”Best Practices”</awful term alert> to me), because there will ALWAYS be others that are more deserving of that term than I am.

Thirdly, I want people to share my material, be that on social media in all its varying forms, distribution lists, email threads, websites, whatever (again, acknowledgement is always appreciated though). The reason for that is purely and simply that I hope it expands the overall knowledge level of this technical world we live in, and that can only ever be a Good Thing (TM).

Finally, let’s be pragmatic about this. In this day and age, with the internet being what it is, there is no way that I will ever know where my material has been copied to. There’s not enough time in the day to do all I have to do already, both from a work perspective and a personal one, so I’m not going to waste my time trying to chase down every piece of plagiarism of the material I’ve written.

So there you go. Not the answer the original poster was after, but just my personal thoughts on the whole area. I hope it’s of value to you, but if not, that’s OK too. 🙂


After 22 years of working at Oracle in just about every role except Marketing and Support, I am now working as a Senior Managed Services Consultant with Data Intensity, specializing in Oracle Database technology, High Availability and Disaster Recovery solutions. I am also a member of the OakTable Network, and have presented at RMOUG Training Days, Hotsos Symposia, Oracle OpenWorld conferences, and other user group events. I have co-authored the Expert Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c and Practical Oracle Database Appliance books published by Apress, and am one of the authors of the Building Database Clouds in Oracle Database 12c book published by Addison Wesley.


  1. +1 to all what you said Pete. I believe what drives people to do all these stealing stuff is to be “known” or “famous” . As you rightly have used the word “Guru” , that’s all what most want to be known as. I see it happening almost every day where people would quote directly from MOS or officials docs and portray that it’s their original work(around) or fix/solution. Yes it’s not easy to chase who is doing all these things and where but once in a while, when you actually see that it has happened, it doesn’t feel so good.

    Just my 2 cents

  2. I generally agree. Occasionally I have added “feel free to copy this and give appropriate attribution” to my posts.

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