Supporter Of Fashion Copyright Accused Of Plagiarizing Other Supporter Of Fashion Copyright
from the copying-is-okay-for-some-people... dept
Either way, Schumer clearly liked being able to use a "Harvard law professor's" research as cover for this ridiculously bad bill, and it was no surprise that both Suk and Scafidi were apparently among those recently called to testify before Congress about the bill. However, we received a note from someone going by the pseudonym "Untenured Colleague," who has put up an entire blog that appears to be dedicated to the claim that Suk and Hemphill "plagiarized" significant parts of their paper from Scafidi. The "Untenured Colleague," notes the irony of someone pushing for laws against copying allegedly copying others.
To be honest, I tend to find calls of "plagiarism" pretty silly, most of the time. If people are building on each other's ideas, is that really so bad? Though within academic circles, it's certainly quite a charge. But I do find some irony in someone in favor of stricter anti-copying laws even being accused of copying, because those in favor of the laws often underestimate just how quick people are to accuse others of copying. I have no idea if Suk and Hemphill plagiarized from Scafidi at all. You can look at the chart this "colleague" put together or a more detailed explanation and make your own decision as to the legitimacy of the claims.
Frankly, I'm not at all sure that the actions rise to the level of plagiarism. It certainly appears that Suk uses similar phrases, terminology and ideas as Scafidi has, but it's not uncommon for those advocating the same thing to do exactly that. I regularly see people advocating the same position I've taken, using nearly identical phrases and arguments that I've used (and even coined!), and I have no doubt that I've done the same to others without realizing it. But, really, what strikes me about this whole thing is that it demonstrates one of the serious problems with expanding copyright, especially into highly innovative areas like fashion design. People see "copies" in all sorts of things, and are quick to accuse others of copying, whether it's legit or not. Adding such a law in a highly competitive, thriving and innovative industry is just going to create a rash of unnecessary lawsuits, as different designers accuse one another of "copying." That may be good for lawyers, but it's not good for the industry and it's certainly not good for the public.