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Monday, October 23, 2017

Other plagiarism arguments

People overly concerned with tracking down and denouncing plagiarism have defective characters.  They are small-minded, reactionary bullies.

Since the fine people accused of plagiarism will likely feel bad about it, the main reaction should be to feel sorry for them / defend them against "lynch mobs" and "witch hunts."

Nobody is that original anyway.  We should be humble and not take these things too seriously.

Originality is over-rated in the first place.  It is a just "fetish."

Authorship is a fetish too.

Let's talk about something else for a change.

But... Trump! Weinstein!

Capitalism is bad. Nobody should own poetry. (Property is theft, per Marx.).

Poetry should belong to everyone.

Illiterate blues musicians....

The poem I stole from you was not that great anyway.  Who do you think you are?

Since there is no real money in poetry, the idea that it can be "stolen" is ridiculous.

In the distant past, most poetry was anonymous.

Poetry is not a real job.

The internet.

Copyright is a recent invention.  

We all write in the same alphabet so there are limited things we can express.  

Since nobody reads poetry, we shouldn't care about who the authors are, whom we are not likely to be reading. The stakes are too low for us to care.

It's all in a gray area, so let's approach the problem through a more nuanced view (which ends up holding nobody culpable).


Leslie said...

We have an actually gray area in my ceramics studio/class, I think.

Fact: if the glazes were original creations of the leader/owner/teacher, and we were using them, I would *definitely* not sell my work as being entirely my own.

But: in this case they are commercial glazes, anyone can buy these exact colors. This is why I would say they are as much mine as anyone's (or they are no-one's), and I feel I have the right to claim work by me glazed with them as mine.

Still: if I imitate the teacher's design or other elements of style, or get help from her in some way, I don't feel the work is fully mine and don't sell it saying I am "the artist."

Nonetheless: someone who had obviously done their very best to imitate the work of this teacher, and who used the same glazes in the same combinations, won the prize in a local competition. I was not aware of the contest and walked into the gallery unprepared, saw the pieces instantly and said: but this is plagiarism!

And: something I make in a mold someone else made isn't mine in the way something I throw is, I claim, even if the thing I throw is in a very classic shape, the proverbial Grecian urn.

There are numerous fine points and one can go around and around on these things, and many people want to copy something and then call that something "they made" and I say that may be a craft of sorts but it has no art.

Jonathan said...

So do potters or ceramists talk about plagiarism? I don't practice that art or craft so I don't know. In poetry you can be too derivative without plagiarizing per se.

Leslie said...

...is plagiarism a form of impersonation? There's definitely being too derivative in any art, and that's not plagiarism, it's just ho-hum. Yet I feel differently about impersonation.

Other people have yet stronger feelings and views on this and it has to do with market, selling, having an identity and style that is yours. This teacher, for instance, feels ownership over certain combinations of commercial glazes and in a way I see her point, in a small or even regional market, but heck: if I buy the glazes, I can easily come up with the same combinations; what I find odd is trying to outright copy work AND break into the market with it instead of coming up with your own designs.

Jonathan said...

Take the idea of forgery. It is the opposite of plagiary. You are giving the original artist credit for what you have done, rather than taking credit for something the original artist did. The common element is deceit.

Nobody has a copyright on a particular color that is commercially available to paint or glaze with, but I can see getting territorial about unique combinations (but how unique are they, really?) If someone's made a reputation then I can see how they don't want confused people buying imitations thinking they are the real thing.

Leslie said...

Forgery, you're right, that's what it is.