Yesterday, Keith Olbermann posted his Worse, Worse, and Worst list. Guess who was the worst: Lamar Smith, but not for the obvious reasons. Smith, author of SOPA, has apparently been using an image on his site without showing any attribution or giving credit to the creator of the photograph. According to his own proposed law, this would make him liable for copyright violations. Yesterday, our students got the bad news that yes, they were actually expected to follow instructions and show attribution on any images used in slides, and that not doing so earned them one letter grade lower on their final slide design scores. But, Smith’s blunder costs him more than just a letter grade. Attribution matters people–not only does not giving credit when credit is due make one a plagiarizer, but it also completely damages one’s credibility. It’s also just plain lazy. How credible is Smith as a source of valid and correct information regarding piracy and copyright now? Here is Olbermann’s take on Smith, SOPA and attribution:
P.S. I also love his worser choice, Rush Limbaugh, someone who has never come up in a classroom conversation, and who I hope will remain firmly in the category of downright ineffective speakers. Olbermann on the other hand, just might be my choice for next month’s Qualities of Effective Speakers exercise.