COPYRIGHT AND COPYWRONG by VALERIE LAWS
|'What's yours is mine, bwahahaha!'|
|It's always hunting season for messengers!|
You may think that an exposed plagiarist, who’s been getting credit and wedges of dosh for stolen work, on exposure, would be howled down. Their publisher, crimson with shame though innocent of wrong, would pulp the book, apologise to all concerned, repudiate the offender, and perhaps falling short of demanding refunds of funding, the plagiarist would be named, shamed and pretty much ruined as a writer. You may think that but you’d be wrong. People do like to shoot messengers. People may cling to denial, especially when it’s someone they know. But nothing prepared any of us, a core group of five, for the shitstorm that has broken over our heads. Much of the contumely has been aimed at us for exposing it. Partly this is a facebook thing, and partly it’s current attitude to copyright. All the sympathy was reserved for the plagiarist, and most of the abuse, to say nothing of the work of finding all the examples, was reserved for us, though the tide has slowly turned as the sheer scale of it has been uncovered. Our motives are automatically suspect. Dr Lightman must be some kind of sinister figure. This should not have been made public. (Not sure how else to put right the public theft of credit for others’ work…)
|Notice the quote has been attributed properly, twice!|
|My Quantum Sheep idea was 'rustled' by someone who claimed they thought of it first though it'd been in the media for over ten years.|
These are some of the other excuses made for plagiarism, in a world where it is endemic in the student population, where all students’ work is put through detection software, where essays can be bought online or the internet used for copy and paste orgies.
|He can't really complain that someone stole his 'r'.|
‘Copyright is capitalism.’ Words belong to us all, to use as we like, regardless, and that includes how words are put together. Property is theft and so is intellectual property.
|Neither did 'sue your ass off'...|
|'Yes, but who from?'|
I've posted this clever feminist spoof of 'Blurred Lines' (Full credits are on youtube!) rather than the icky version by Thicke and Williams who got sued for stealing from Marvin Gaye. Enjoy!
‘It’s ‘found poetry’.’ This used to mean poetry you create from phrases found in the world outside, posters, newspapers, instruction manuals, which you incorporate into poems. It’s now being used to mean ‘I found a poem by X, I’m remixing it or tweaking it and calling it mine.’ I have now heard of workshops being run where impressionable newby writers are being taught these techniques. I found a website encouraging this and challenging people to produce one a day, easy enough as using someone else’s poem you can churn them out in minutes. All the above can apply to novels and short stories. Another plagiarist was lecturing at university while selling stories by the likes of Dylan Thomas as her own.
Who cares? Do you? Is it only writers and creators of original work who care about copyright? Is it worth fighting for, or should we just accept that it’s dying out?
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