What do you do when ……..

Often, we hear jokes or stories which are a rehash of something that we have already heard or read. Sometimes, there is a small change or twist but generally they are the same. And when that person is claiming authorship to that joke or story, what do you do?

Usually,  when I sense that I am hearing something that I have already heard or known,  I immediately lose interest and do not participate.  But if by chance the other person claims ownership, I would boil inside and sometimes even erupt in public, pulling him up for his act of plagiarism.  Ditto when I read an article that is a total copy with a new author’s name.

Of late, I am behaving differently in such circumstances.  I now feel that this person needs to be complimented because he / she has taken the effort to share something he / she heard or read somewhere else but I also pity him / her because he / she is so cheap to take credit for someone else’s contribution.

In response to an invitation, I recently attended a  speech by someone from Mumbai which was followed by a DVD presentation, that he claimed was his work.  It was so beautifully and slickly made and I wanted to compliment the speaker for his great work.  Then a good friend pointed out that this particular DVD was a work by an Hyderabad-based company and that it was for sale.  I checked out the website and found that it was true and there was no mention of this ‘so-called’ ‘self-styled’ author!!!!

I was struck by two thoughts.  The  first was, how could one so easily and shamelessly put his name atop someone else’ s hard work and the second was how did one expect to get away with this, esspecially in this information era where it is possible to check up any story instantly!!

I had an urge to share this with the host of the presentation but controlled it because the host had done it with all the best intentions and this revelation might  stop from organizing any such interactions in future.


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