We work for the Internet. And we’re guessing many of you do too. Whether it’s researching, selling, coding, supporting, designing — so many of our careers depend on the Internet.
One argument that’s been made to Congress is that the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) is needed to protect American jobs. In truth, the new liabilities this bill would impose on startups could stop American innovation in its tracks.
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This weekend, we hosted a meeting at Tumblr HQ with top technology companies, politicians and advocacy groups to coordinate our effort to reform or prevent the well-intentioned but deeply flawed Stop Online Piracy Act from becoming law. You guys have already made a huge impact in…
What I find fascinating about a case of plagiarism isn’t the actual plagiarism—I think it’s much more interesting to pay attention to the responses of the accused, accuser, and spectators.
Rex Pickett, author of Sideways, rightly points out that by appropriating AA language and using “addiction” as an excuse for his plagiarism, Quentin Rowan is trivializing addiction.
But what’s even more interesting to me is further down in the comments when Pickett defends a comment he made about genre writing being recycling:
I suppose at one level one could default to that maxim that there are only so many plotlines, but I’ve never bought into that because there’s a plethora of potentially new and original characters out there to explore. I mean, as artists, we all borrow to some extent. Hell, I’ve openly admitted that “Sideways” was inspired by, among other works, the black comedy “Withnail and I.” But mine is wholly originally. I don’t take, or even riff on, any scenes from that wickedly funny comedy. In fact I go out of my way not to have anything in my work resemble anything in any other work than I’m aware of.
It’s a matter of open-mindedness and perspective. To say that one can go out of their way to not be similar to something else is foolish.
Are not words, sentences, paragraphs the tools of writing? Is not a pencil, or computer also a tool? How is it any different from me writing something with a pencil I didn’t create, than a sentence? Aren’t we all just constructors, not really creators?
I suppose Apple owns this because it is written using a computer they created, and jointly owned by tumblr, being I’ve used their “tool” to visualize it on the internet, etc.
Plagiarism is something we need to all stop crying about. Some people are good at making the pieces. Others are good at putting them together. A few fortunate bit of us are gifted with the talent to do both. Does that make any of the three better than the other? More justified? No.