Heinz von Lichberg, published the tale of Lolita in 1916, but it’s Nabokov’s ‘Lolita’ the one, which gained the popularity, even though it was written 40 years after the original. This is the first example of a plagiarism, provided by Jordan Lethem. He explains that literature has always been a field in which familiar themes are continually recast.
Similar situations occur in films and music. The great example is Bob Dylan, who was inspired by many Hollywood films, poetry or dramas.
Basically, the whole art is based on plagiarism. Music, like blues or jazz have became some sort of an open source culture, where songs are often reworked.
Now, thanks to the technology, we have more and more possibilities to recreate other’s work.
We were forced to create ‘Copyright’, which is a legal right that grants the creator of an original work exclusive rights to its use and distribution. Culture became to be seen more like a market right now.
Thomas Jefferson, considered copyright as necessary, but he’d shrink the copyright to minimum enforcement. He believed that second comers might do a much better job than the originator with the original idea. I must say that I partially agree with this statement. Of course, nobody likes to be copied, but without that the world wouldn’t not be able to develop.
What I liked about this article, is a part called ‘The beauty of second use’. Books can be quoted in reviews or parodied in magazines. The artistic content sinks into our culture pretty quick, engaging receptive minds of our society. Same with consumer goods – they need to be used, to become ‘real’.
Another interesting subject raised by Lethem is a ‘power of a gift economy’. He says that ‘where there is no gift there is no art’. Everything what’s free (open-source software) coexist very naturally with the market.
Very often, art and culture becomes commons, altered by every contributor what doesn’t mean that the community owns it. It belongs to no one, not even by society as a whole. We have to remain constantly vigilant and not let anyone exploit our common heritage for their private gain.
Basically, the valuable material of all human utterances — is plagiarism. All ideas are secondhand, drawn from a million outside sources, and daily used by each one of us.
Another reading, we were supposed to familiarize with was the ‘Rights of Molotov Man’.
“Molotov Man,” was the main character of a photography taken by Susan Meiselas in revolutionary Nicaragua in 1979.
The photography inspired the painter – Joy Garnett, who reproduced the man’s image, making it one of the leading painting in his series. After showing his work at the exhibit in 2004, he has been sued by Susan Meiselas for the right of an image.
The photographer claimed that she do respect the individuality of the people she photographs. She rather focuses on contextualizing images, whereas Joy Garnett did the opposite. Moreover, Susan wanted to protect the original context of the whole image. That was her way of fighting against misinterpretation.
I totally understand Susan, who actually had a chance to be a part of the whole situation. She had to face both historical and political backgrounds.
Of course, as we have learned from the previous article, the great art bases on the other art. That’s exactly what Joy Garnett did in order to succeed. Actually, by suing him, Susan helped his art even more.
I wouldn’t like to keep anyone’s side, I’m rather neutral in this case. Both artists are right. Each of them has their own ideas and beliefs.
It’s an obvious thing, that each piece of art would be subjected to misinterpretation. It’s obvious, that Susan didn’t like the fact that Joy became a popular artist, through the wrong interpretation of her art, but I think that there wouldn’t be any art if everyone has the same way of thinking !
Allergy to Originality – I totally enjoyed this video! This delightful illustrated op-doc for The New York Times, explores why all creative culture is built on plagiarism and appropriation.
I love this funny interpretation on the issue of plagiarism. I think that a monotone voice of the ticket seller and his quotes directly from wikipedia (he even included ‘edit’ word from time to time) was a pretty nice idea! I think that video tells the true.
Recently, I realized that I just stopped going to the cinema. I wasn’t exactly sure why, but after exploring foregoing materials I finally found the answer. I am getting bored out there. It seems like many films are remakes of the old ones. Why do I have to watch similar plot over and over again? (Even actors remain the same).
I’m expecting that moment of dubiety, when I actually don’t have a clue what will happen next, how the story is going to end and what how I would feel after discovering it.
I really wish there was a little bit of originality in the movies.
In ‘Embrace the Remix’ video, Kirby Ferguson, quotes Henry Ford, who said ‘I invented nothing new. I simply assembled the discoveries of other men behind whom were centuries of work. Progress happens when all the factors that make for it are ready, and then it is inevitable.’ I like this idea. To create something new, we need some bases.We need some fundaments to be able to build a house. Even programmers use pre-programmed softwares with already assigned functions. By transforming, copying, remixing artist creates a new form of the art with references to other works.
Thats how it is! That’s how humanity moves forward! Steal your colleagues’ code – professor told us during our first programming classes. Improve, use what has been already discover, recreate. Isn’t that a little bit the way ITP works? Let’s help each other, share our ideas, thoughts, learn one from another. I don’t thing that there’s anything wrong with basing on the same fundamentals, but building our individually shaped houses.