Monday, October 31, 2011

Something Borrowed

In his piece "Somthing Borrowed", Malcolm Gladwell shows the complexity of intellectual property and how plagiarism in this sense can ruin a person's life. Gladwell uses his own experience to support his claim that plagiarism is wrong but difficult to define.  In the play "Frozen", writer Bryony Lavery takes the life story of psychiatrist Dorothy Lewis and parts of an article by Malcolm Gladwell to write the script for the story.  Lewis feels violated because essentially her life's work was taken without her permission to be used as in Lavery's play.  Gladwell also discusses the music industry and how artists work around the idea of plagiarism by being influenced by previous works of other artists and creating new ideas that are "similar" to the old ones.

I really liked this piece and found it enjoyable to read.  I think Gladwell brings up an issue that has been around for years and yet is still not resolved.  It shows how people can steal others ideas all the time in creative ways, like using a few notes of one song in your own original piece.  I really liked how he used a personal experience to show how serious plagiarism is and its effect on people who are the victims.  Overall, copyright laws are complex because they only last for so long because ideas are constantly being reused and reinvented into better ones.

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