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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Is plagiarism now considered acceptable?

   
Author Topic: Is plagiarism now considered acceptable?
Eisenoxyde
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I was surprised that this was never discussed here in hatrack. Helene Hegemann copied from other books and defended her actions by saying "There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity,”

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/world/europe/12germany.html

It looks like the literary world is giving her a pass too. This looks like a really bad precedent. Is "sampling" from other authors going to become more common and if so, will they receive a share of the earnings or will the person ripping them off get everything?

/goes back to lurking

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Samprimary
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Oh, I followed this.

Yeah, don't worry. She's a hack, and no, the literary world will not give her a pass.

Now, there is something to be said about her quote: it is impossible to be original in the sense that there is nothing that we can create which is not in many significant ways derivative of our communal cultural experience. Nobody can come up with a truly 'original' story. Tony Hillerman noted that there were essentially only a handful of types of stories to be told in this world — perhaps as few as seven — and he still made about 87 books from them.

But this is noting that nothing can be original in the sense of how nothing can lack being derivative from earlier works. She's callously expanding this to include originality from intent and conscious self-generation, and she's doing so as a bit of an egotistical and clumsy response to being caught baldly plagiarizing.

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AvidReader
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I think what she's forgetting is that with sampling, the original artist still has to get royalties. And with lyrics, usually credit in the liner notes.

She's like Vanilla Ice claiming that one high hat made it a different song.

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Scott R
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quote:
She's a hack, and no, the literary world will not give her a pass.
Really?

quote:
Ms. Hegemann’s book was announced as one of the finalists for the $20,000 prize of the Leipzig Book Fair in the fiction category. And a member of the jury said Thursday that the panel had been aware of the plagiarism charges before they made their final selection.
An awards panel with control of a $20k purse is a lot more representative of the "literary world" to me than anonymous commenters on Amazon.

[ February 22, 2010, 07:43 AM: Message edited by: Scott R ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Scott R:
Really?

yes really. watch and see!
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Omega M.
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If it turned out that Shakespeare's greatest plays were full of passages stolen from now-obscure writers, I doubt that the works would become less great.

However, in the short run, it is not right to gain money and fame from a work that uses more from other people's works than is allowed by fair use.

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Tresopax
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I'd have to think a literary "remix" is a legitimate artistic concept. However, I think if you're going to do it, you've got to (1) make it clear that is what you're doing, (2) give due credit to the works you are remixing, and (3) comply with copyrights.

Having said that, the modern world is going to force some rewriting of conventional rules. This is reminiscient of the complaints by journalists about bloggers who take their news stories, compile them, and thus get the web traffic instead of the people who did the work to truly report the news.

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