Teen Remixes The Works Of Others Into Best Selling Novel... And Critics Love It

from the collaborative-writing dept

Here's a story that will get traditionalists up in arms about "stealing" and "laziness," but they'll all be missing the point. We've see for decades how remix culture works in music. The ability to take the works of someone else, mix them up with others, change them around and create something new and powerful, is a wonderful expression of culture, that shows how artistic culture is often about shared experiences and sharing works of art. But what about in the literary world?

There has been some exploration of this concept in the past, such as when author Jonathan Lethem wrote a very eloquent defense of plagiarism that was entirely plagiarized. Separately, we've discussed how many (especially younger people) who have grown up on things like Wikipedia often point out that they don't view it as plagiarism so much as collaborative writing. And they have a point (even if there's one patent lawyer in particular who links back to that article every few weeks to mock Techdirt). There will always be those who don't recognize how this is, in fact, collaboration and does create new and unique pieces of artwork and culture -- but they're the same sorts of people who have decried every new artform from the Waltz ("The indecent foreign dance called the Waltz was introduced... we feel it a duty to warn every parent against exposing his daughter to so fatal a contagion") to romance novels and plays ("The free access which many young people have to romances, novels, and plays has poisoned the mind and corrupted the morals of many a promising youth; and prevented others from improving their minds in useful knowledge") to comic books ("All child drug addicts, and all children drawn into the narcotics traffic as messengers, with whom we have had contact, were inveterate comic-book readers This kind of thing is not good mental nourishment for children!").

But the good news is that this form of collaborative creation is gaining a bit of acceptance. Duane alerts us to the story of a 17-year-old German woman whose critically acclaimed book has been found to have large chunks plagiarized from other sources. A few years back, when a similar situation arose in the US, the author Kaavya Viswanathan, was shunned -- even if some of us thought that was ridiculous and unfair. In this case, however, the author, Helene Hegemann, readily admits that she was "remixing" other works into her book -- and the critics still love it. Her book was nominated for the $20,000 prize of the Leipzig Book Fair even though the judges already knew about the plagiarism.

And, really, what's the problem here? Some might claim that it's unfair to the original authors whose work she used -- but the author of the largest segments, named Airen, is getting a ton of attention for Airen's own book, which received little actual attention when originally published. In fact, Amazon now notes that "customers who bought" Hegemann's book also ended up buying Airen's book. In the same way that remixes and mashups often drive people to buy the original music, it seems like remixed/mashedup books can do the same. It may be a big cultural leap for those who think there is "a way things must be done," but it seems that the younger generation has other ideas.


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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 6:54pm

    Collage has been around for ages. Big deal.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 7:02pm

    "And Critics Love It"

    By definition a critic wouldn't agree/like with it.

     

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  3.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Feb 12th, 2010 @ 7:25pm

    Meh.

    Because that one page was critical in the overall success of the play. If it wasn't for that bit of genius that was overlooked somehow, this thing would have fallen flat.

    Get over your damn selves, people.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 8:35pm

    Honestly, the idea of a book that mostly appropriates stitched together bits from other books doesn't bother me -- if the person doing the stitching is honest about it. Fair or not, one tends to assume that the writing in a book is entirely the product of the imagination of the person whose name is on the cover, unless otherwise stated.

    If this author had been completely upfront about her "remixing" from the get-go, I'd support that; but, the fact that it had to be discovered after the fact by some blogger, and followed up with a cop-out "my generation" type statement leads me to believe that the author's motives had nothing to do with any sort of innovative approach in the construction of her novel, but rather she just didn't feel like doing the kind of work that she was all too willing to take credit for up until the moment she got caught.

    I'd just like to see someone do a re-mixed novel, who's willing to say "Yeah, it's mongrel art--so what?" before she gets caught out for copying, rather than afterward.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 9:31pm


    If this author had been completely upfront about her "remixing" from the get-go, I'd support that; but, the fact that it had to be discovered after the fact by some blogger, and followed up with a cop-out "my generation" type statement leads me to believe that the author's motives had nothing to do with any sort of innovative approach in the construction of her novel, but rather she just didn't feel like doing the kind of work that she was all too willing to take credit for up until the moment she got caught.


    Apparently, the text of the book makes it fairly clear that it was "about remixing" from the start, and the author probably wasn't trying to "get away" with plagiarism. Of course, I don't like the failure to properly attribute sources, but I wonder whether it was deliberate to draw more attention to the book (e.g. from this blog post).

     

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  6.  
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    Mr Big Content, Feb 12th, 2010 @ 11:22pm

    Copyright Is Copyright

    All your so-called “facts” and “evidence” about the harms of copyright don’t mean anything, because when it comes down to it, copyright is copyright. It’s self-evident. Doesn’t it say in our great founding documents somewhere “we hold these truths to be self-evident”? This wonderful country was founded on self-evident truths. Relying on evidence is just bowing to Communist subversion.

     

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  7.  
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    Chargone (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 12:56am

    Re:

    I'm fairly sure that's not quite right...
    I'd give you a dictionary definition, but I'm too out of it at the moment. maybe someone else will make up for my lack of awesome...

    Not that it's terribly important.

     

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  8.  
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    redwall_hp (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 3:56am

    I'm not too bothered by borrowing from other authors; it's a cornerstone of the arts, after all.

    I am, however, completely opposed to plagiarism. (Plagiarism, for those who need a refresher, is the act of passing someone else's work off as your own.) That's what copyright law was originally about, before it was tainted by people trying to prop-up their business models.

    If you copy works from others, and don't attribute them properly, that's plagiarism. And there is no excuse for it. I don't see anything wrong with making a copy of a book you like and giving it to someone, just as I have no problem with people quoting passages liberally. Copying without attribution is another thing entirely. It's just wrong.

     

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    Rasmus, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 4:09am

    Re: Copyright Is Copyright

    Haha, just the kind of post you would expect from someone who really is a communist subversive.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 5:54am

    "There will always be those who don't recognize how this is, in fact, collaboration and does create new and unique pieces of artwork and culture -- but they're the same sorts of people who have decried every new artform from the Waltz"

    You know, this really does kind of bother me, the way you take everyone who disagrees with any artistic development and throw them all in the same box.

    Not everyone who sees artistic decline is an ignorant schoolmarm with a social agenda. Some of them are like that, certainly. But then, there are some people who really do just like to fill up their hard drives with infringing material and never buy anything.

    If it's unfair to characterize every techdirt reader as a freetard, and I think it is, it is equally unfair to characterize every cultural critic who sees decline as a schoolmarm.

    Say what you will about, say, Spengler, he certainly wasn't a schoolmarm.

     

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    timlash, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 6:11am

    Fatal Waltz

    Never take the Waltz lightly. My great great grandmother's second cousin was killed while waltzing.

     

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    Brian Doom, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 6:58am

    remixes

    A few things I feel are getting lost in this debate:

    - this is a novel she "wrote." It was printed. On paper. It was not a free performance.
    - She got a lot of money and kudos for writing the novel. She got paid.
    - She never mentioned where this non-original material was from... leaving readers to guess which parts were "Borrowed" and which were actually written

    Compare to:
    - when a remix song uses samples, it is generally very obvious the sample is not created by the artist. Often the original source is obvious to the audience, which is what makes it useful as an homage.
    - when a remix song is sold, the original sources are credited or paid or both.

     

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    Brian Doom, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:01am

    remixes

    A few things I feel are getting lost in this debate:

    - this is a novel she "wrote." It was printed. On paper. It was not a free performance.
    - She got a lot of money and kudos for writing the novel. She got paid.
    - She never mentioned where this non-original material was from... leaving readers to guess which parts were "Borrowed" and which were actually written

    Compare to:
    - when a remix song uses samples, it is generally very obvious the sample is not created by the artist. Often the original source is obvious to the audience, which is what makes it useful as an homage.
    - when a remix song is sold, the original sources are credited or paid or both.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:16am

    The entertainment industry needs to sue!!!

     

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    Luci, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:19am

    Re: remixes

    Yes, where she lifted whole sections for her book, unaltered and unattributed, and is being praised, people doing using sections of music, even altered AND attributed, are being sued into obscurity. We got that.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:38am

    Re: Copyright Is Copyright

    The evidence that IP is good for society is that it enables the rich to further unfairly exploit the poor and therefore it must be good for society.

     

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    zegota (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:49am

    Definition: critic

    a person who is professionally engaged in the analysis and interpretation of works of art
    wordnetweb.princeton.edu/perl/webw

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 7:56am

    If this author had been completely upfront about her "remixing" from the get-go, I'd support that; but, the fact that it had to be discovered after the fact by some blogger, and followed up with a cop-out "my generation" type statement leads me to believe that the author's motives had nothing to do with any sort of innovative approach in the construction of her novel, but rather she just didn't feel like doing the kind of work that she was all too willing to take credit for up until the moment she got caught.


    This.

    Here's a story that will get traditionalists up in arms about "stealing" and "laziness," but they'll all be missing the point.


    Ah, people who respect authors are now "traditionalists". Good to know.

    And yes, she is a lazy little plagiarist who only fessed up once caught and no, that's not "missing the point".

     

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    zegota (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 8:02am

    Uh, no

    I'm usually with you Mike, but not in this case. This differs from mixtapes or remixes in a few fundamental ways -- first, that the "author" made a boatload of cash off of it, and second, that they made no attributions or citations.

    The first one is just sort of irritating, but not that big of a deal. The second part is the worst, and it's the same reason I refuse to read any of Cassandra Claire's work. Remix culture is fine with me, but when you lift passages and put your own name on them, you're passing that work off as your own. That's not even a matter of copyright -- even if strict copyright didn't exist, that would be illegal. So, no, regardless of how much talent it took to "remix" those passages, I'm not really down with it. Next time she should put in a "Works Cited" page, just like mixtape makers do when they have tracklists.

     

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  20.  
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    Sneeje (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 8:12am

    Two issues here

    One is, whether or not prior work should be attributed from the very beginning. I suspect no one here, including myself would advocate anything other than yes it should--it is ethical and perhaps even moral to do so.

    The second is whether or not it makes sense to put all kinds of economic et al barriers to the creation of remixes. I interpret Mike's support to the support of the latter not the support of use without attribution.

    I personally believe that the speed at which culture and technology transforms will be directly related to the friction involved in the ability to reuse/leverage/build on/whatever others' work. So our decisions about copyright, etc. must take that impact into consideration.

     

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  21.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:02am

    Re: remixes

    - when a remix song uses samples, it is generally very obvious the sample is not created by the artist. Often the original source is obvious to the audience, which is what makes it useful as an homage.

    Actually, that's very often not the case. Many musical remixes change and distort sampled pieces so much that they are unrecognizable... and they still get sued.

    - when a remix song is sold, the original sources are credited or paid or both.


    That was *not* the case originally -- and still not the case quite often. It's only become more standard after a series of lawsuits.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:05am

    Re:

    If this author had been completely upfront about her "remixing" from the get-go, I'd support that; but, the fact that it had to be discovered after the fact by some blogger, and followed up with a cop-out "my generation" type statement leads me to believe that the author's motives had nothing to do with any sort of innovative approach in the construction of her novel, but rather she just didn't feel like doing the kind of work that she was all too willing to take credit for up until the moment she got caught.

    That's one way to interpret it. My sense -- and I admit this could be wrong -- is that part of the point of her doing it this way was that waiting for people to find the plagiarism was part of the *point* of the book's experience.

     

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  23.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:07am

    Re:

    But then, there are some people who really do just like to fill up their hard drives with infringing material and never buy anything.

    Sure there are. Who said otherwise? But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about people who insist that what many people consider to be art "can't" be art, because they don't like it.

    And, yes, I find that attitude to be ignorant. Art is what people feel is art.

     

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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:09am

    Re:

    Ah, people who respect authors are now "traditionalists". Good to know.


    How do you define "respect"? In this case, this author got another author a tremendous amount of publicity and sales. That seems quite respectful to me, while you seem to think it was disrespectful.

    And yes, she is a lazy little plagiarist who only fessed up once caught and no, that's not "missing the point".


    Yes, it is. Very, very much. By a wide margin. But, if it makes you feel morally superior to pretend that other's artwork doesn't count, more power to you.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re:

    This is what I've been trying to figure out since I heard this story. I'm quite curious to read the book now - because if the plagiarised aspect was part of the purpose book, well, that's pretty cool, and I'm all for that that kind of postmodern experimentation.

    But it's hard to rule out AC's interpretation too, and if it were in fact the case that she was just trying to cut corners and get published, well, that's pretty hard to respect. I wouldn't say it should be illegal (obviously the raw facts of what happened would be the same, and it would still be a transformative work) but I also wouldn't think very highly of her.

    However, the fact that the judges of the book prize are supportive of her makes me think the positive interpretation is more likely. Ultimately I think I'd have to read both books to decide.

    From article #2:

    Not only did she borrow humorous collocations like “Techno-Plastizität" (techno plasticity) or "Vaselintitten" (Vaseline tits), she lifted whole lines and scene setups.

    The first part is obviously okay and in fact really awesome - if it weren't, there would be no such thing as "coining a term" anymore. It's the lines and scenes where I have my doubts - though in this case, the benefit of said doubt goes to her I think.

     

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    lux (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:30am

    "Duane alerts us to the story of a 17-year-old German woman whose critically acclaimed book has been found to have large chunks plagiarized from other sources."

    Main Entry: pla·gia·rize
    Function: verb
    Derfined: to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own - : to commit literary theft


    This girl needs to learn to paraphrase.

    Let me write a 40 page Econ paper and lift 15 pages from another author and call it "collaborative writing" with a shit eating grin.

    Seriously, give me a break Mike.

     

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  27.  
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    lux (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Re:

    She wasn't honest about "stitching" (read: stealing) pieces of books together. She only admitted it once she was called out. Read the article. Get the facts. Make a better judgment.

     

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  28.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:53am

    Re:

    Let me write a 40 page Econ paper and lift 15 pages from another author and call it "collaborative writing" with a shit eating grin.

    Sure, and you'll never get an academic job ever.

    But this wasn't an academic paper. It was a literary book, a work of art, where cutting & pasting was part of the point.

    How did you miss that?

     

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  29.  
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    lux (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 10:22am

    "But this wasn't an academic paper. It was a literary book, a work of art, where cutting & pasting was part of the point.

    How did you miss that?"


    The context in which the plagiarism was performed doesn't negate the fact that it was (still) plagiarism.

    Remixing song adds additional musical layers over the original work - often to the point where it's almost subliminal. Reworking someone's painting adds additional aesthetic compliments - often to the point where it's almost subliminal or unnoticeable.

    There's nothing mysterious (or artistic) about cutting & pasting.

     

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  30.  
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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    I couldn't care less whether someone gets compensated for a sample in a music, or a page in a book, which is ripped off. Copyright is to protect jerks from wholesale republishing my book without my permission, not to give me perpetual control over whatever words or sounds I make until the end of history. Plagiarism is if you commit something which you and your community considers dishonest, and if she is right, and she and her community do NOT consider it dishonest but rather part of the art, then who are we to quibble?

    I want to believe that this author grew up in an environment where the idea of 'plagiaraism' from reusing other people's work was an idea that simply DID NOT EXIST. Wouldn't that be cool? The extinguishment of a rotten meme; maybe we can watch it happen.

     

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  31.  
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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 11:28am

    Re:

    Says you, about what is artistic. Didn't you know the quickest way to remove yourself from a serious discussion is to look at what someone else calls art and say it isn't art?

     

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    Heidi Martinuzzi, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Thanks !!!

    This is a great article. I am going to copy and paste it onto my own site, and not give you credit for any of it, and pretend I wrote it. Maybe all of your articles from now on! So much easier than writing my own news.

    Thanks for letting me know it isn't plagiarism - just a new art form.

     

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    herodotus (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 1:14pm

    "Sure there are. Who said otherwise? But that's not what we're talking about."

    No one said otherwise. I was simply asking you to extend intellectual courtesy to the people that you disagree with.

    People accuse you of 'justifying freeloaders' all of the time. I am sure that you think these accusations are bullshit. I certainly do. Your positions are usually much too nuanced to be characterized with a simplistic slogan. So are the positions of some of the people you disagree with.


    "We're talking about people who insist that what many people consider to be art "can't" be art, because they don't like it."

    But has anyone actually said that? Usually people have a reason for saying that something isn't art. Often these are bad reasons: 'it corrupts youth', 'it's in poor taste', 'it gives you herpes', and so on. But sometimes critics give more thoughtful reasons than these. I am certain, for example, that Adorno would have hated remixing. But reading his reasons for hating it would probably be quite interesting and informative, even if they were ultimately found to be mistaken.

    "And, yes, I find that attitude to be ignorant. Art is what people feel is art."

    Which people? All of them? What if they disagree with each other? Are they all right?

     

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    AR, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 2:10pm

    Re:

    Im really surprised that no one has thought of it yet. its name recognition. If she would have came out right away with this info she would have been marginalised by the critics and readers. But with holding back she created controversy, discussion, intrigue, and free publicity to boot. It probably at least doubled her book sales from what they would have been. It also increased sales of the original authors. No...I dont know the numbers, but sometimes bad publicity can be useful publicity. Then she can sit back and take the high road on how she was trying to bring an issue to the forefront. A way to do this would be to secretly get an agreement, never to be made public, with the original author. When the news comes out the original author complains, publicity for for both authors, but never has a lawyer pursue it in court. I could actually see this as an effective, though unorthodox, marketing strategy. Then again isn't that what innovation is all about? I mean taking the effective but unorthodox and capitalising on it to create something new, or a new way.

     

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  35.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Re: Research Plagiarism

    lux wrote:

    Let me write a 40 page Econ paper and lift 15 pages from another author and call it "collaborative writing" ...

    Isn’t there a saying somewhere that if your paper copies from one source, it’s “plagiarism”, but if it copies from many sources, then that’s “research”?

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Thanks !!!

    As has been stated previously, you're free to do so. No one will care, though.

    Public domain.

    It is rather dickish that you wouldn't give credit where credit is do. Thankfully, this being the internet, credit is usually a search away.

     

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  37.  
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    anti-mike fanclub member #1, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 4:12pm

    Re:

    Yes. Art is a tool (to create aesthetic delight). If someone wields it as a tool, it IS.

     

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    Lex, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 5:27pm

    "What's the problem?" The problem is he didn't write it.

     

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    cybernia (profile), Feb 13th, 2010 @ 9:08pm

    Back in the dark ages, before the internet, quite often young writers, in trying to find their own "voice" would unconsciously copy the style of their favorite writer.

    It's good to know that young writers no longer have to copy the style of other writers, they can simply copy their actual work.

    I may be an old and in the way, but I was taught to find my own voice and be original and don't ever, ever copy someone else's work. At one time that was an unforgivable sin.

    It's one thing to be influenced or inspired by someone else, it's quite another to steal their stuff. And let's make no mistake about it, it is theft. It doesn't matter whether it is legal or not, it is ethically wrong.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 13th, 2010 @ 10:29pm

    Re:

    That's right. Being pedantic is useful. Don't sprain a muscle patting yourself on the back.

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 6:05am

    Re:

    Is this really TAM? or is this sarcasim.......

     

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    peterchen, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    There's a difference between imitating the voice and copying it. There's a difference between finding inspiration, and copying contents. There's a difference between an allusion and an unmarked copy.

    This difference we call art.

    The book features got exactly what they love right now: young, female, uninhibited.

    If the critics weren't afraid to lose face after their highest praise, they'd bash her into the ground. Somehow, it's all the internet's fault now.

     

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  43.  
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    J. Shaffer, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 6:54am

    RE: Remix Culture

    You were off by a little bit here. . . let me fix it for you.

    We've see for decades how remix culture works in music. The ability to take the works of someone else, mix them up with others, change them around and create something discordant and execrable.

    There. NOW it's accurate.

     

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    Hugh Mann, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 9:46am

    Re-mixing as "powerful" cultural statement?

    Well, I think re-mixing can be sort of fun in a gimmicky kind of way once in a while, but if it IS a general statement about our current creative culture, I think it's not a very positive one. Certainly we expect artists to borrow themes for their new works. No problem there at all. And, of course, things like satire, parody and commentary will justify the use of much more specific elements of the works of others. That said, to "create" a work that is primarily made up of the work of others is a bit lame in general. What do you re-mix down the road when there are more re-mixes than actual original creative works? Hopefully, the fact that this German girl has been granted some exposure in the light of a literary prize consideration will merely prove that re-mixes are the exception, rather than the rule. HM

     

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  45.  
    identicon
    Dr. E, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 10:50am

    Most of human behavior is remix of behavior of others

    What ever happened to the phrase, "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery"?

    More importantly, all culture must be a "remix" or "mashup" (a form of imitation) of the behavior of other human beings. Social learning theory (See Dr. Bandura and Dr. Mischel's descriptions in the social science literature) tells us that most of what we know and learn comes from our observations of the behavior of others. Watch how children learn from parents and peers. Our behavior is a remix of the behaviors of many different people whom we have observed over the years. We speak the languages that we do because of the languages we listened to and observed when growing up. Religious beliefs and behaviors are almost always learned by observation of one's parents. The point is that all culture is socially transmitted and is a remix of the many behaviors of others. What determines whether some remixes are copyright infringement and others are not? Remixes of the ideas expressed by others (laws)? It is interesting that the Catholic church never figured out how to copyright aspects of their religious art (the cross, communion, the bible). Could it be that they want more people rather than fewer people to share and "remix" their culture with others?

     

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  46.  
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    John and Dagny Galt, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 12:27pm

    Making Copies: OK For Some...Not So Much For Others...Cognitive Dissonance!

    Abe and Bill each purchased some land on a private resort complete with airstripe, golf course, and even a river for fishing and white-water rafting.

    Abe lovingly built the most ingenious log cabin home. Bill thought it looked and functioned so well he lovingly built an identical duplicate. Abe thought that was grand!

    Bill lovingly built a hand-crafted light aircraft. Abe thought it looked and functioned so well he lovingly built an identical duplicate. Bill sued for patent infringement!

    Both Abe and Bill bought land. Both Abe and Bill bought materials to construct their homes. Both Abe and Bill bought materials to construct their aircraft.

    Why do silly humans behave this way?

    Why can't everyone just leave everyone else alone!

    Starving The Monkeys Continually And Forevermore,
    John and Dagny Galt
    Atlas Shrugged, Owners Manual For The Universe!(tm)


    .

     

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  47.  
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    john, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 2:17pm

    Visual artists have been doing exactly this for century's.
    "The average artist borrows, the great artist steals."
    When I copy , I do it so badly that people think I am original.

     

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  48.  
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    ross hytnen, Feb 14th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Copyright Is Copyright

    I see what you did there ... and I love you for it.

     

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  49.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 14th, 2010 @ 11:23pm

    Re:

    There's nothing mysterious (or artistic) about cutting & pasting.


    Sure, and if all she did was cut and paste, you might sorta have a point. But she didn't. So you don't.

     

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  50.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 14th, 2010 @ 11:27pm

    Re: Thanks !!!

    This is a great article. I am going to copy and paste it onto my own site, and not give you credit for any of it, and pretend I wrote it. Maybe all of your articles from now on! So much easier than writing my own news.

    http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

     

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  51.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 14th, 2010 @ 11:30pm

    Re: RE: Remix Culture

    We've see for decades how remix culture works in music. The ability to take the works of someone else, mix them up with others, change them around and create something discordant and execrable.

    You clearly are paying attention to the wrong remixers. Spread your horizons a bit.

     

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  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 4:23am

    Re:

    Look it up

     

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  53.  
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    Droslovinia, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 5:56am

    Collaboration

    It's snowing really hard outside, so I decided to "borrow" my neighbor's SYV to get to work. It was just a "collaborative effort," so he has no right to be angry when he looks out at his driveway and finds it missing. I'm thinking about putting on a mask and going down to my local bank at lunch, to see if they will "collaborate" with my efforts to buy that flat screen television I've had my eye on. Of course, if the folks at the store would just collaborate with my plans to take possession of it, it would save me all this trouble. I'm working right right now on "collaborating" for my next album. Let's call it "Rubber Soul." It should do well, since my previous work "Abbey Road" was so well-received and helped those other guys become so famous. Better yet, I'll find some budding author, like Bert Montgomery, on Amazon, republish most of his book with my name on it, add a couple of stories, and we'll both be famous. I'm sure he'll LOVE that!

    Copyrights exist for a reason. They are not evil, but they can be abused. Anyone submitting something to me that is plagiarized is writing the last thing, from them, that I will ever read.

     

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  54.  
    identicon
    Valkor, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Uh, no

    Agreed. One of the central tenets of this blog is that re-use equals free promotion which equals an increase in reputation which results in increased ability to leverage creative assets into something that can be exchanged for cash. Plagiarism short circuits that process of attribution, which is why it is reprehensible.

     

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  55.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 11:15am

    Re: Collaboration

    It's snowing really hard outside, so I decided to "borrow" my neighbor's SYV to get to work. It was just a "collaborative effort," so he has no right to be angry when he looks out at his driveway and finds it missing.

    What's missing in the book story above?

    That's where your analogy breaks down entirely and shows you're talking about an entirely different situation.

     

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  56.  
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    Me, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re:

    You should look up the definition of "critic" again. They give their own professional opinion. They can "LOVE" just as much hate something.

     

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  57.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 12:51pm

    Really it just comes down to integrity. You should acknowledge the sources that you're quoting verbatim. If you're trying to make a statement and don't want to clutter your text with footnotes and quotation marks, then hide it in the back of the book, post an addendum on the publisher's website, whatever. It's the right thing to do, and anyone who has ever labored seriously with writing knows that. Even this seventeen year old apologized for not being more upfront, before defending her methods. And had she done the right thing in the beginning, this wouldn't even be an issue, and if the work is truly worthy, it would have still received its prize nomination.

    This work doesn't deserve to be maligned purely because of this girl's hubris, but to act like there isn't any problem with this situation is to promote a world in which we don't have to worry about attribution. I know Mike is a businessman and not too concerned with art, but I would think even he would understand the impact this would have on future artists' motivation to create.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 15th, 2010 @ 1:05pm

    Re:

    Sure, but a visual artist, at least in past centuries, still has to recreate the work using their own hands. It's more akin to a musician covering a song. No two artists technique is exactly alike, so even if one tries to copy another verbatim, a different work is still produced.

    This is just copying and pasting text. Nothing has been changed in the process. In this way, it is more like sampling, where the new context that the work has been placed in is (hopefully) transformative, but the work itself is still intact.

     

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  59.  
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    R. Hammond (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 1:26pm

    Re: Re-mixing as "powerful" cultural statement?

    Hugh Mann's comment is the best here. I mean, imagine if every artist tried to be Girl Talk? It's just untenable. Yes, some critics laud this young author and Girl Talk for their work, but to promote their methods as the new model for creativity is foolish. These works can only have value as a commentary on works made through more traditional methods of creativity. Don't get me wrong, it is important commentary (though to be honest, I don't think Girl Talk is all that important, but I'm talking more generally here). But if this becomes the artistic norm, that value will be lost, and I fear we won't be left with much else.

     

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  60.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 10:24pm

    Re:

    I know Mike is a businessman and not too concerned with art, but I would think even he would understand the impact this would have on future artists' motivation to create.

    I'm curious, who did this particular act harm? Who is worse off because of this action? Whose motivation to create is lessened?

    I can't seem to find an answer to any of those questions.

     

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  61.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 15th, 2010 @ 10:27pm

    Re: Re-mixing as "powerful" cultural statement?

    Well, I think re-mixing can be sort of fun in a gimmicky kind of way once in a while, but if it IS a general statement about our current creative culture, I think it's not a very positive one.

    That's your opinion. But historically, almost all new forms of culture were built on earlier ones. See the wonderful chapter 6 in James Boyle's book "The Public Domain" which explains how pretty much all of soul music came about due to Ray Charles' creative remix of another work.

    What do you re-mix down the road when there are more re-mixes than actual original creative works?

    What does it matter if there's more of one than the other? There are plenty of incentives to create new works no matter what. You act as if there's some sort of limit. There is not.

     

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  62.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 1:06am

    Re: Re: Re-mixing as "powerful" cultural statement?

    Hugh Mann's comment is the best here. I mean, imagine if every artist tried to be Girl Talk?

    False premise alert!!! Seriously, who claimed that "every artist" would want to be Girl Talk? That makes no sense.

    Yes, some critics laud this young author and Girl Talk for their work, but to promote their methods as the new model for creativity is foolish

    False premise alert!!! No one claimed that these models are "the new model for creativity." We just said they're *one way* that people are expressing creativity these days. Nothing in that excludes other ways.

    ut if this becomes the artistic norm, that value will be lost, and I fear we won't be left with much else.

    False premise *and* totally unsubstantiated claim alert!!!

    Please. No one said this is becoming the "norm" and it's ridiculous to believe that suddenly everyone does this and no one does other types of creations.

    Please.

     

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  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Feb 16th, 2010 @ 11:33am

    Re:

    Copyright isn't a "meme," it's a law.

     

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  64.  
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    SscoootzZ (profile), Feb 16th, 2010 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Copyright Is Copyright

    But what is self-evident about the subjectivity of art? What is self-evident about litigious-minded persons to artfully weave together threads of law to either condemn or defend artists in their quest for self-expression? What is self-evident about the need for observers to comment on, and provide discourse for, the existence and etiology of art?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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