In my lecture, "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly in the Age of the Internet" I referred to a quote from the author and exposed plagiarist, Jonah Lehrer.
“My arrogance. My desire for attention. My willingness to take shortcuts, provided I don’t think anyone else will notice. My carelessness, matched with an ability to excuse my carelessness away.” End quote.
This week, several copycat examples came to light in different media that all represent a "willingness to take shortcuts, desire for attention, and a carelessness expecting that no one would notice.
"Luc Tuymans Found Guilty of Plagiarism for Painting Photo of Politician" copied a photograph for his painting composition.
"Tom Petty awarded songwriting royalties for Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” after the songwriter admitted similarity with the earlier song. (This is not the first time a case like this has gone to the courts.)
Jeweler's Jury Images Used by Another Jeweler In this shocking example a jeweler steals an image and represents this as her own work.
I recommend that you look at all three links. I decided to write this post just in case readers have missed the discussions on Facebook.
So many examples in one week are shocking, but that wasn't all. In another discussion, an artist asks if she can copy poems from the Internet to accompany her paintings. Well thank
goodness she asked.
More than anything, I think we are witness to the growing pains in the "Age of the Internet." We have access to an abundance of information and images. It is easy to take, borrow or copy, when driven by the "desire for attention" and with access readily at our fingertips. It is easy to imagine the lure of appearing to be better, more perfect, beyond the ordinary, without hours of toil... if we copy.
Responsibility rests with each and every one of us to understand that ideas need to come from the inside, not the outside, and certainly not the Internet. And whenever we see copycat behavior, each of us should raise awareness and help our community "take notice."