Monday, October 31, 2011

Something Borrowed

In the article "Something Borrowed" by Gladwell, Gladwell asks whether plagiarism examines the effect plagiarizing has on not only the person that stole a piece of work but the person that was stolen from.  He goes about this by describing the story of how his article recapping the life of a psychiatrist had been stole by Bryony Lavery in her Broadway play "Frozen."  He talks about how the author of this play incorporated pieces of her story from many different stories and articles she had read, and did not consider it stealing at the time.  She thought that Gladwell's articles had been purely news and that she was allowed to take his words.  The play had many similarities to the life of Dorothy Lewis, the psychiatrist that Gladwell had written about, and the similarities were glaring.  He also looked at how music can be related to plagiarism and how fine of a line there is between stealing and simply having a product with similarities. It's hard to say that one artists owns certain notes when so many different things could be made from those same notes.

I thought that this article really showed, not only how important it is to understand plagiarism, but how thin of a line there can be when defining plagiarism.  I had always known how complicated of a topic plagiarism was but I had never thought of it in the context of music.  I also never realized that someone like Lavery would be able to get away with something like that for so long when it is evident that the similarities were so obvious.

No comments:

Post a Comment