‘The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources.’
Have you noticed there’s been a run on high-profile copyright violations lately? Led Zeppelin, Sam Smith, Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams have all been accused and that’s just the music business. Jonah Lehrer, author (and expert copy and paster), infringed on his own work — packaging old, previously published material as new and original.
Here, on the Internet, copyright holders send Google millions of takedown requests every week, naming infringers they believe should be removed from the search engine. Plagiarism is rampant, but not at all surprising. Everyone wants to be famous, make a billion dollars, and live in luxury. They have the ambition, all right, just not the talent.
Well, we probably all infringe to some degree. Writers are unabashed thieves, although they’d call it appropriating. Heck, it’s practically part of the process. The ones who astonish me are the writers who, ahem, appropriate entire characters, like Jeeves and Scarlet O’Hara, and Philip Marlowe, when the copyrights expire. Who believes they can measure up to P. G. Wodehouse or Margaret Mitchell or Raymond Chandler? The geniuses who tried ended up publishing their own own inferiority.
Okay, look, what I’m trying to say is: I was short of ideas and too chicken to steal one. Sorry.
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