Monday, October 31, 2011

"Something Borrowed"

In Malcolm Gladwell’s “Something Borrowed”, he told his own personal story of   plagiarism in the Broadway play, "Frozen" by Dorthy Lewis.The play was about a psychiatrist that studied serial killers. Dorthy Lewis felt offended by the play as it was basically about her life and some of the scenes in the play were acts she had never really committed. He also shared stories of other incidents of plagiarism in the music industry. Gladwell questions whether or not using an artist’s same words, but telling a different story, is considered plagiarism. He says that one could take music or someone’s ideas and modify them to create their own. Copyright laws do not punish someone for simply copying someone’s work; it punishes them for how much they copied and the specifics of what were copied. It is hard to define plagiarism, as there are so many different types and exceptions. Throughout his piece, Gladwell questioned what cases of plagiarism cross the line. 

This piece really made me realize how many different forms of plagiarism do exist. I thought that Gladwell’s use of music, with different types of songs, was very unique as it made me realize how so many songs could be quite similar to each other. I always thought in high school that plagiarism was just one basic idea, but now I realize that it is a very difficult concept to wrap your finger around.

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