My wonderful sister sent over the following quote on plagiarism vs. a community of knowledge and scholarship
by famed literary critic F.O. Matthiessen, from his classic book, American Renaissance
"During the course of this long volume I have undoubtedly plagiarized from many sources--to use the ugly term that did not bother Shakespeare's age. I doubt whether any criticism or cultural history has ever been written without such plagiary, which inevitably results from assimilating the contributions of your countless fellow-workers, past and present. The true function of scholarship as a society is not to stake out claims on which others must not trespass, but to provide a community of knowledge in which others may share."
-F.O. Matthiessen, American Renaissance 1941
Good stuff. Too bad so few still seem to feel the same way.