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Gille  (Level: 72.0 - Posts: 28)
Thu, 22nd Mar '07 12:54 AM


I submitted a quiz several days ago. I was going through a trivia book I got for my grandson, and realized I could get a ton of info for quizzes. Most of the trivia was in the form of an informational statement with a silly picture. I formed some of them into questions, gave the answer and really worked at coming up with four incorrect answers that would be appropo.
Today I received an editors letter stating we were not allowed to plagerize, to modify it and re-send the quiz. Don't many quizzes taken from wikopedia and other sources show up? Any info taken from any source and used as a question could be said to be plagerized.I'm not an expert at doing quizzes-do about three a year. I'm disappointed that I can't use info taken from a kid's fun book. It's all stuff that's written many other places. I don't really know how to "modify" it, so you'll probably never see it. would have written directly to an editor, but don't know how.. Thanks for letting me vent. gille

Baggiob  (Level: 143.2 - Posts: 888)
Thu, 22nd Mar '07 4:35 AM

What I would suggest is tyring to re-write the questions you have, basically putting them into your own words.

What you might find is that the editor who looked at your quiz took one of the questions and put it into google and the exact words (or a good majority of them) came up as being part of a quiz elsewhere. The way round it is to re-word them.

There is nothing wrong with taking sources from elsewhere but it all comes down to 'making it your own'.

Sploofus Editor
Sploofizz (Editor)  
Thu, 22nd Mar '07 9:47 AM

Baggiob is exactly right. I was not your editor, but I assure you that none of us would use the word "plagiarized" unless we had found the exact wording of a rather long and intricate phrase somewhere else on the internet. Or your exact ten question topics in another quiz somewhere.

If by some coincidence you did indeed just happen to match someone eles's wording exactly, a simple turn of phrase will once again make it your own. You quiz was not sent back to you to punish you but to keep Sploofus from ever being sued. Please don't feel like it was personal, or that your efforts are not appreciated!

Just rewrite and resubmit!

Thu, 22nd Mar '07 5:46 PM

Since facts can not be copyrighted (see below), you just need to be sure to either give credit where credit is due in the quiz description, or spend a few minutes putting the questions into your own words.

In October 1984, Fred L. Worth, author of The Trivia Encyclopedia, Super Trivia, and Super Trivia II, filed a $300 million lawsuit against the distributors of Trivial Pursuit. He claimed that more a quarter of the questions in the game's Genus Edition had been taken from his books, even to the point of reproducing typographical errors and deliberately placed misinformation. One of the questions in Trivial Pursuit was "What was Columbo's first name?" with the answer "Philip." That information had been fabricated by Worth and placed in his book to catch anyone who might try to violate his copyright.

The inventors of Trivial Pursuit acknowledged that Worth's books were among their sources, but argued that this was not improper and that facts are not protected by copyright. The district court judge agreed, ruling in favor of Trivial Pursuit. The decision was appealed, and in September 1987 the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California upheld the ruling. The issue was taken to the Supreme Court of the United States, which rejected Worth's arguments in March 1988.

Case closed. No one can copyright facts.

However, our editors are vigilant in preventing generalized plagiarism due to the fact that we want the content here on Sploofus to be as original and unique as possible. Many quiz writers spend days, even weeks, carefully crafting these tremendous quizzes. That kind of activity is to be encouraged, while the blatant copy and pasting of material from around the net is highly discouraged... prohibited, in fact.

Thank you,

Zeedee  (Level: 235.6 - Posts: 1088)
Fri, 23rd Mar '07 9:01 AM

I agree that you should make a serious attempt to make the wording your own if you can. But I wonder if you gave credit to your source in the quiz description. That is only fair to the writer and publisher of the book you obviously enjoyed very much.

Sun, 25th Mar '07 7:05 PM


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