Smiles for the World Organizer’s Carelessness Leads to Mark Joseph Solis’ Plagiarism Issue

By on September 24, 2013 — Updated on September 24, 2013

Updates about Mark Joseph Solis, an amateur photographer and a graduate student of University of the Philippines who has reportedly plagiarized the work of Gregory John Smith, is flooding on my Facebook wall since yesterday.

Mr. Solis won the first prize in the Smiles for the World photo contest organized by Chilean Ambassador Roberto Mayorga, but the winning photo is an original and copyrighted work of Gregory John Smith, an entrepreneur with the global network Ashoka and founder of the Children At Risk Foundation in Brazil.

But, I am just wondering how did the winning photo pass the screening despite of the new technologies the world has today? Did  the organizer carelessly check the entries? Maybe, yes.

As reported, the said photo is available in Flickr. If the entries have passed trough Google Image Search, this current issue perhaps won’t happen.

Therefore, I should say that on this problem, it is not only Mr. Solis but also the organizer has mistaken. What do you think?

 

2 Comments

  1. moira

    September 27, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    It actually depends on the contest criteria. Usually, screening of potential entries is only made on the basis of defined categories (often, they only check whether the entries are complete in terms of documentary and eligibility requirements, and judge it for originality and not for “authenticity”). Moreover, contest entries are always assumed original. So, it is not inherently the responsibility of the organizers even more so the judges to verify whether the photos were not original or copyrighted.

    • Jyppe A. Quidores

      September 28, 2013 at 11:17 am

      In some points you are correct but as what I understand, verifying the originality and copyright of the entries is a part of the organizer’s responsibility. The judges can be excused on this matter but the the organizers.

      I also experienced to a be a part of organizing a national photo contest, and the criteria and guidelines of that contests are closely similar with the above mentioned one. During the submission period, we had to carefully check every entry—the authorship, the originality and more. This means that we had to run an image search on the internet, check the image properties and the EXIF metadata and many others.

      It is tedious work but at least it reduces the risk of plagiarism.

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