Saturday, May 27, 2006

Getting Away With Plagiarism

What with plagiarism having been in news so much lately, there’s a lot I don’t get about the crime. For starters, how exactly is plagiarism defined? In other words -- how much is too much? Surely, I’m allowed to take inspiration from someone else’s work, maybe even pilfer the odd detail from here or there. Who decides then that a certain piece of work has too much that is copied from other sources?

Obviously, to a certain extent what might appear like ‘plagiarism’ may, in truth, be nothing more than a strong coincidence. So we need someone to decide whether it was indeed coincidence or not. Who does this? And how? I don’t see any see, clear-cut mechanism for the same.

Is it plagiarism if I copy little bits from various different pieces of work? I don’t know.

For me, the best defense to plagiarism (if the ‘coincidence plea’ doesn’t work), is saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery!” Alternatively, you could use -- “Great minds think alike!” No one will have the heart to sue your ass after you claim they have a great mind. Try it.

Too bad Ms Kaavya Vishwanathan didn’t have me on her defense counsel!


visionunseen said...

since iam still around here, lemme add... "imitation is the best form of flattery" provided it is not concealed. 'it' could refer to the party imitated, or the party being flattered, depending of course on your skills of diplomacy!

Arnold said...

visionunseen - I figure if I'm copying a book and then publishing it for millions to read, then that ain't quite 'concealed' now is it?

visionunseen said...

but if you don't mention whom you are attempting to flatter in that (inspired) book you wrote for millions to read, until you're on your own 'defense counsel', then that ain't quite what i'll call 'not concealed' either. basically, you shouldn't imitate today, and confess to have attempted flattery tomorrow. as long as they're on the same page, i'm cool.

Freaky Chakra said...

or, you could always offer - "i grew up on bollywood movies. what did u charge me with again?"

Arnold said...

visionunseen - fair enough... point taken.. imitate but credit the source..

freak chakra - Rofl!! nice one, bro!

angeldust_xtc said...

Lol, I so agree with freaky chakra.

Hey, wats with the blog name?

Arnold said...

angeldust_xtc - I just like to change the blog's name every so often to something new! It's the readers' job to try and figure out what the names mean! :)