Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Accidental Plagiarism? Indian please...

(We don't believe you, you need more people.)

I was recently shattered when I discovered that the melody of George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord," quite possibly my favorite song, was plagiarized from "He's So Fine" by 1960's girl group, The Chiffons.

Harrison admitted he was inspired by the song "Oh Happy Day" when writing "My Sweet Lord."
Combine that with an LSD trip and his infatuation with Hinduism and you can see how he ended up getting sued for copyright infringement.

Not long after that, it was revealed that Harvard student, Kaavya Viswanathan, who signed to a 6-figure book contract two years ago at age 17, stole shitloads of material from at least 3 authors for her debut novel, "How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild and Got a Life."

She claims she has a photographic memory and that she read one author's work so many times that she internalized what she read. She hasn't responded about stealing from the other two authors yet.

The publisher cancelled her book deal, every newspaper she every worked for is raking through her work, Harvard may expel her, Salman Rushdie is gunning for her (when an author who is literally being gunned for, takes the time to gun for you, things are bad) and now the book is more popular than ever.
You gotta love America.

Anyway, it got me thinking about this whole idea of accidental plagiarism.
And there seems to be a word for this phenomenon, it's called cryptomnesia.

Can you be so impressed upon by art that it just becomes a part of your collective consciousness?
Can you have the same exact idea as someone else?

This girl appears to be a psychotic liar, so she isn't the best example but for some reason I kind of believe George Harrison.

It's possible, but it seems to be very illegal and expensive.
Oh well.


Other nonsense

-Snoop Dogg was released from a London jail, after he and his weed carriers got into a fight with airport security. This of course is the same dumb bastard who gave this memorable quote,

  • We can't stop [the violence...but we can] try to be as positive as we can and do good things with our lives. I just know that every time somebody gets killed in hip-hop, we should look at it as a tragedy. There's nothing we can do to stop it as hip-hop artists, but be who we are and continue to make our good music."

-My(Corporate) Space users seem to be to stupid or busy posting semi nude photos of themselves to notice that the site was purchased by Rupert Murdoch and that it is now another revenue stream for his News Corporation.
The company and advertisers are still in the process of figuring out how to squeeze some revenue out of the site.

Article says,

  • The bigger opportunity, however, is not so much selling banner ads, but finding ways to integrate advertisers into the site's web of relationships. Wendy's Old Fashioned Hamburgers, for example, created a profile for the animated square hamburger character from its television campaign. About 100,000 people signed up to be ''friends'' with the square.
Jesus Christ. Can I be friends with your corporation too?

-MTV continues its trend of making hits out of shows that people hate. The newest example is "Super Sweet Sixteen," which is about disgustingly rich kids crying until they get what they don't deserve. Most parents pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for these things.

Peep the mentality of the children these parties produce,

  • We both want to lose three pounds," said Priya, who received a Mercedes convertible and an assortment of diamond jewelry for her birthday. Her sister's graduation gift package included a Bentley, diamonds and two homes in India.

    "I was really surprised," Divya said, "because I was only expecting a Bentley and one house."

    Just last month they gave a preparty where invitations to their coming event were handed out by body builders whom Priya ordered not to smile. "Assistants are not supposed to smile," she explained.

Now peep how cheap bastard L.A. Reid flipped his party,

  • Aaron Reid, son of the music mogul L. A. Reid, took five months to plan his party. He had just moved to New York from Atlanta and was eager to make a name for himself at his new prep school, to establish himself as more than L. A. Reid's son. His invitation was an MP3 player. At his party, held at Jay-Z's 40/40 club last November, the producer Jermaine Dupri was the D.J., the rapper Kanye West performed, and Diddy, Aaron's godfather, made an appearance. Poppa Reid clearly pulled some strings.

    "Everybody else spent hundreds of thousands of dollars, but I didn't spend anything," Mr. Reid said proudly. "I got my friend's club. I got my friend to perform and I got my friend to D.J."

    "There's absolutely no way that I would ever spend that type of money," he continued. "I think it's over the top and sickening and a real poor representation of wealth."

Ah, that hustla spirit.


  1. True story, a college professor gave me a hard time before about a story I wrote. She said it reminded her of something she read somewhere. I told her the truth which is that I don't read shit but the shit I write. There is no father to my style.

    When someone has the same idea as you call it 'parallel diffusion'. Fire wasn't invented in just one place.

    H.R., you been on blogger crack lately. keep up the good work.

  2. Perhaps all that young writer needs is some good luvin'...I'm starting to sound like Chef with explanations like that.

    I should be allowed 5 minutes of every "Super Sweet Sixteen" to just slap those kids. I would have been thrilled if my moms got me a hooptie for my 16th.

  3. 5 minutes is good, 15 would be fabulous. :P

  4. Sweet Sixteen is my crack. In the words of Tyrone Biggums, It "has ruined my life."

    On plagiarism. Plagiarism is always a toughy for me. I mean, I think it is theoretically impossible to create anything completely original. That being said, there is an obvious difference between copying someone else's work virtually word for word and being influenced by someone else's ideas. I mean, can you really copyright an idea? Think about it. What is an idea? you really can't. I mean you can't copyright the idea of a love story that involves two people who grew up together in the same town as best friends, went separate ways, and then came back together to eventually marry after an awkward reunion and courting. That means 95% of movies out today couldn't have been made with out paying exorbitant royalties.

    I'm sure there's details about this Indian chick that we are not privvy to (she's hot by the way), but I'd like to give her the benefit of the doubt. Almost everything I ever write in my blog or in my papers for grad school are influenced heavily by other things I've read. Do I copy these authors word for word, or even every 7 words? No. But the influence is evident. Does that mean I plagiarize. No. Do I imitate? Yes. But imitation is not plagiarism. Not by a long shot.

    I don't know. I just think plagiarism is a difficult thing to truly judge. Computer programs try to come up with an algorithm (the every 7th word thing), but I'm not sure you can really quantify it like that. Fiction writers are constantly borrowing (stealing) from other authors. I would equate it to the way a lot of hip hop artists sample music. Is that plagiarism? I don't think so.

    What do you think?

  5. Im with the jesus on it being VERY hard to create something that doesnt seem to remotely resemble something someone else has created... HOWEVER- I read some of the excerpts that this chick plagiarized and clearly- it was WAY too familiar. I just dont get how she thought she could really get away with it. *shrug*

    As far as Sweet Sixteen *puke*... those kiddos make me sick. I just watched one where the girl was catchin a dern ulcer just because the table decorations were wrong. Her mother said that they saved them $3000 by chosing those- the father gave in and said that the daughter could have $3000 in cash as compensation then. *rolls eyes*
    Im just hatin...

  6. i just took a second look at the excerpts and no longer want to give this chick the benefit of my doubt. I have taken away all benefits and left only my despise.

  7. I think she stole some pieces of her book from the Bible.
    The details of her theft are ridonkulous.

    Super Sweet 16 can only be taken in two episode doses.
    After that I am just kicking my TV.
    But those kids are so hate-ably watchable.

  8. Interesting re: the writer chick. Gonna have to delve into that one.....

    good look

  9. I am trying to remain on the blogger crack by the way. Thanks for the links and all DP.

    I do believe plagariasm is kind of a gray issue, but this chick was not a good poster child for this discussion.
    This bitch is a straight thief.

    It's disgusting. I hope she gets sued for her book advance by a reader.