I thought I talked about plagiarism in Japan before somewhere, but I forget where..
Anyways, plagiarism is viewed pretty differently than most Westerners outside of Japan know it. I remember being highly advised to make sure I do not plagiarize anything I write from back in grade school and I think I've heard the same thing every year after that until I graduated from college.
For whatever reasons, this sort of lecturing and strict enforcement does not happen as much in Japan. (Note that this claim is only from personal experience and asking friends so I would love to hear if someone says otherwise!)
One thing that supports my claim though is that there is not even a word for "plagiarism" in Japan! It indeed is starting to become a problem here as this was the theme for one day on "Close Up Gendai", an investigative news program from NHK that I think is somewhat comparable to 60 minutes in the U.S.
However, since there is no word for plagiarism, they spent the whole time warning the masses of the new problem of "Kopi Pe"!! ("Kopi Pe" (コピペ) is the Japanese abbreviation of "Copy & Paste")
These irresponsible no goods kids are apparently using technology for evil purposes such as finishing homework and reports by merely copying and pasting what others have written and passing it off as there own!
Yesterday, there has been more attention brought to this issue thanks to some net-savvy TV viewers of TV Asahi when they called them out. TV Asashi recently broadcasted a show called "Lie Busters", a sort of rip off of Myth Busters but with less explosions, that gave a sort of pop quiz game show to bust the myths that many Japanese have about various subjects. They apparently referenced 6 different online blogs as proof (because we all know we should believe whatever someone writes in a blog as facts, right?), however they forgot to mention that these blogs were fabricated by the TV show's staff members!
Whoops! Apparently, people in Japan know how to use google as well as the rest of the world and are able to search for given strings to find the original sources. Somebody should have informed that to the show creators beforehand!
Anyways, they were found out when angry viewers reported that these blogs didn't exist and TV Asahi apologizes deeply for this. They even replaced the Lie Busters' homepage with an apology letter expressing their sorry as well as how they received a "strict warning" as punishment from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications.
In the Lie Buster's staff's defense, they say they only fabricated the blogs because they could not receive copyright permission in time to show screenshots of the blogs. (Yes, copyright laws in Japan have not been updated for centuries now and does NOT include fair use. This causes a whole bunch of problems which i will one day write about in more detail, but for now that means that yes, simply posting a screenshot of a person's blog even if you black out everything except for one word and keep everything anonymous will still result in copyright infringement.)
However, it didn't sound too good when they said that they reproduced the blogs from memory and they don't know where the links to the original sources escaped to....
Now that this is getting media attention, people will surely start cracking down on this issue.
The picture of The Rock body slamming a panda does not have anything to do with this but it was the funniest picture I found when doing an image search for "lie buster".
The second funniest was this ad for a sleeping bag that you can walk in!! Ingenious!!! The Japanese know how innovate anything!
Yeah, I think I am breaking Japanese copyright laws for posting a screenshot of the apology from Asahi TV but since bloggers's (google's) servers are in the U.S., I will fight for my fair use rights!!! Hopefully I will win and not be subjected to a public lashing for my heinous crime...
Have a nice day!