Different definitions of plagiarism
We like to divide everything into black and white, right and wrong. However, there are cases, which can not be considered as good or bad action. In modern world plagiarism has variety of faces. Can it be justified? Can you clearly decide what is stolen intellectual property and what is simply an impression from any song or painting? English cleric and writer Charles Caleb Colton claims, that „if you steal from contemporaries, you may be blamed for plagiarism, but if you steal from the ancients- you will be complimented for erudition.“ Sometimes an author, being impressed by any great piece of art, puts a „reflection“ of original work into his work. So, it is a crime or author unconsciously mixes his own ideas with impression from a masterpiece? Thereby, it is hard to distinguish between copyright crime and a new manifestation of creativity.
Lawrence Lessing, lawyer, in documentary „RIP: a Remix Manifesto“ mentions, that „We can not stop people from taking culture an remaking it an a way that expresses their ideas.“ Culture around us is being created and recreated. Remix - is a new contemporary language. For instance, Girl Talk is an artist making mash ups, which are based on old songs. He gives a new birth to forgotten melodies, brings fresh look to old-fashioned stuff. It is said „Every new thing is actually a forgotten one.“ If you look carefully at some new art movements, they correspond to a mix of different styles. Jules Girardin, french writer, agrees, that „Plagiarism is a basis of each literature with the exception of the first one, though we do not know anything about it.“ Photographers, artists, musicians naturally share impressions with each other. Professional photographers usually advice beginners to look through works of others to study and to get inspired. A photograph can evoke bright emotions, motivate viewer to create something else; it will be obviously based on other work in the end, but it bring new ideas as well. After all, mixes of impressions from creativity of others and our own ideas are a new art, new culture. Brett Gaylor, the author of „RIP: a Remix Manifesto“ proves, that „Culture always builds on the past.“
Interesting cases of plagiarism
Plagiarism helps the author to understand how valuable his work is. Interesting case happened with one song written by Andrei Hvostenko in 1972 titled „Heaven“. Boris Grebenshikhov performed this song without knowing who is the author of this song. Ten years after this song was recorded by russian rock-band Aquarium with the name “Under blue sky”, which changes whole meaning of this song (original song starts with “Above blue sky” and tells about Heaven). Boris Grebenshikhov changed „above“ to „under“ and Hvostenko blamed Grebenshikhov for plagiarism. But after this song appears in Sergei Soloviev’s movie „Assa“ and gains nationwide love and reached third place in „100 top rock russian songs in XX century“ . Hvostenko accepted the situation and withdrew his claims.