Plagiarism is just really inefficient hyperlinking.
— Aaron Levie (@levie) August 10, 2012 Although he probably just intended to be witty, I think Levie makes a good point. Plagiarism is defined as the attempt to “steal and pass off the ideas or words of another as one’s own,” and it is the last part of that definition that is the most important one. It isn’t so much that a writer like Lehrer or Zakaria takes information from someone else and uses it in a column — plenty of writers do that, and as the media world has exploded thanks to social tools such as blogs and Twitter, this phenomenon has only become more commonplace. But neither of them gave credit to the source of the content they used, and that was the real crime.