Unattributed: A Reading List on Plagiarism — Longreads Blog

About six months ago, I photographed some vibrant purple hydrangeas, in my backyard. Afterward, I uploaded them to my Mac, removed the background with an editing tool, and replaced it with black.

Screen Shot 2016-06-14 at 8.53.48 PM

About two months later, I started following an artist who did the exact same thing with the minor difference of adding a filter which gave his rendering a bit of a melting paint effect. Still, side by side, one might be hard pressed to choose between his or mine.

And I hated that! The next thing I knew, I started wondering if this guy was going to accuse me of stealing his idea. I started wondering if I would have to prove that I actually created my flowers-on-black before I even knew of his existence.

Flowers on black backgrounds is not a new concept, but my reaction to this scenario proves how much I hate plagiarism, and how much I love new and creative ideas.

Cake Pops Are Still Just Cake

There really is no new thing under the sun; for instance flour, eggs, sugar, salt, and baking powder combined in a particular way will always make cake. Cake is cake, right? Or is it?

Take a cake from the 1950s, and put it alongside of one of today’s cake trends, and there is definitely a difference in presentation.

The Melania Speech Scandal and Cake Pops

All this talk of plagiarism is of course prompted by the Melania speech scandal. I was blown away with her poise, beauty, and delivery so it pained me to see a word-for-word clip of her, side-by-side with Michelle’s speech the next day. On one hand, speaking about her husband, her childhood, and her hopes for our country is pretty generic stuff, like flour, sugar, eggs and salt, but just think how Melania could have impacted history with a cake pop speech! Surely, speech writers at the top could have come up with something that included all the same sentiments, but presented in a new way.

As an artist and a writer, this is what I strive for in every single piece; my own cake pop moment. Had I been Melania Trump, somebody would be hearing, “You’re fired” today.

In the internet age, plagiarizing has become easier to detect—and harder to resist.

via Unattributed: A Reading List on Plagiarism — Longreads Blog


2 thoughts on “Unattributed: A Reading List on Plagiarism — Longreads Blog

    • A mistake was made, and we have an opportunity to discuss plagiarism as it applies to, not only speeches, but in writing, and creative works of art. We can all learn from what happened. Beyond that, I’ll leave it for the media to hash out, and the future to unfold.

      (To clarify the position of this blog, an endorsement for either candidate will never be a topic of discussion. The blog owner does not officially endorse anyone at this time).

      Liked by 1 person

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