Friday, November 26, 2010

Not all plagiarisms are alike

In light of the recent Supreme Court bugaboo, and the Department of Tourism's dud of a rebranding that many people believe was purloined from another country's tourism logo, the succinct reminder below from playwright Rody Vera is, I believe, in order. Money quote: One is intellectual dishonesty, the other is simply poor taste.

The original comment appeared in a Facebook thread by actress-advertising mainstay Mae Paner (aka Juana Change) here.


may kaunting katotohanan ang sinabi ni romano pagdating sa creative field. in the creative field, practically no one is original. kapag kumita ang isang konsepto-- ang dami dami daming derivatives nito. ganun nabubuhay at umuusbong ang bago sa larangan ng sining. kung hindi mangongopya ang mga COPYWRITERS, mamamatay ang industriya.

that is why... a distinction [has to be made] between "pangongopya" sa creative field at plagiarism sa academic and official spheres. plagiarism applies differently in the creative field. plagiarism in the arts is reprehensible if the artist claims a whole work that is not really hers. Take note, a whole work. Take a part of it out of context, it slides into something else na. And then again, in the creative field, we are not even required to footnote. Baguhin mo lang nang kaunti, mahirap nang patunayan na nag-plagiarize ka. Many well-known artists copy from others--for no special reason.

the best artists of the world don't even say they copied. they use another term: creative stealing. shakespeare, brecht in the field of theater, andy warhol in the visual arts. even in music--all artists copy, which in the eyes of rigid adherents of originality (dyusme, may ganun pa ba ngayon???) is plagiarism. That can be a very dangerous advocacy for the arts.

Artists allude, parody, reference, quote, embellish the original, build on the source all in the name of artistic license--for whatever reason we cannot judge. Ke nagbebenta ka ng corned beef o nagbebenta ka ng bansa.

so hindi plagiarism at pangongopya per se ang pagkukulang ng Pilipinas Kay Ganda. Huwag sana nating ihambing ito sa plagiarism na nangyari sa supreme court, halimbawa. these are two different issues. one is intellectual dishonesty, the other is simply poor taste.

kahit original pa ang ginawang logo, kahit pinaghirapan mo pa ito ng ilang linggo, kung talagang pangit, pangit.

PLUS: Case in point, hommage--the last scene of Carol Reed's The Third Man, which should remind you of the ending of what Filipino indie film? Quick.


Rick said...

Just guessing: Pagdadalaga ni Maximo Oliveros?

gibbs cadiz said...

currect! :)

Jason said...

I am quoting a previous Inquirer editorial: "... the proof lies in the simple act of comparing the two works in question side by side... and concluding from there that one had indeed copied from the other..."

I still say it's plagiarism.

gibbs cadiz said...

that editorial, just to clarify, tackled the supreme court case specifically. the pilipinas kay ganda uproar hadn't happened yet at the time it was published. :)

Jason said...

I agree but I don't think to quote the editorial and use it to judge Kay Ganda would be out of context. To add, it also said:

"Plagiarism... comes from the Latin word that literally means 'kidnapping'—'plagiarius.' To plagiarize another person’s thoughts, expressions, ideas or creative work and pass it off as one’s own is, in effect, kidnapping in a different guise. "

Ultimately, I feel that to give credit or cite your inspiration would be an homage; to deny that is plagiarism.

Just my opinion (and we can just agree to disagree) as it's really an interesting discussion. :-)

rody vera said...

Guys, read this brilliant brilliant essay by Jonathan Lethem-- his defense of Plagiarism in the arts. Apparently kapag munting artist na tulad ni Aureaus ay nangopya it's called plagiarism. Pero kapag si Shakespeare na o si Nabokov o si T.S. Eliot-- hindi?

Copyright laws according to this fantastic essay have been taken way out of control-- out of the hands of the artists and their community -- who were initially the beneficiaries of the law and into the greedy hands of cultural capitalists who do not have any part in the artistic creation process.

Anonymous said...

Nowadays, there is hardly anything original. Most get their inspiration from someone else's work. The trick is to make it look like it is an original. Creative people have a way of doing just that.

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