The ad read:
"Seeking a writer to create 12 business start-up how-to articles. Articles target couples thinking of starting a business together, explaining everything from picking the right business to marketing and more. Articles should be approx. 3 pages in length."
I applied. The response came. It read:
"These projects pay $6 per page (approx. 420 words / page). As a guestimate, I may need 20 pages from you, but let me confirm this with the others first. In most cases, you'd need to Google to find source articles/posts to blend & rewrite to 60% original. Then you would add a few sentences you think will give the piece more quality thinking / a good flow."
"While the payment is quite low and I wouldn't normally work for such rates, that's not the larger issue here. Revising someone else's work to "60% original" does not sit well. It's unethical at best and certainly rings of plagiarism. There's no mention of citing the sources, which is a big no-no, and according to the AP Stylebook, writers can use only a small portion of another's work, with attribution, without being guilty of stealing another writer's work."
The next response read:
"...nothing I do is plagiarized. If merely copying someone else's work was my goal, I wouldn't need to pay anyone else to get involved. I'm afraid you don't know the entire process, only the set up that I was asking you to handle. There's quite extensive work that I do to edit and improve what's you would have given to me. If you had re-worked it to the extent I asked, I then would have had something fairly unique with which to do my own deep embellishes and improvements. Nothing I consider a finished piece could ever be claimed by anyone else. I pay people to put enormous amounts of time into it, and I make in-depth quality changes and revisions myself."
It's still plagiarism.
And "enormous amounts of time"? For six bucks a page?
Does no one understand that if it's not yours to begin with, it's plagiarized?