Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hillary Clinton on Rainville incident

Of the response of Hillary Clinton to the Rainville "plagiarism" incident, the Boston Globe [AP] noted:

Clinton's campaign had fun with the news, issuing a statement that said Rainville's was not the first Republican campaign to take portions of an energy speech the senator gave "and adopted it as their own. This is yet another clear example of why important policy ideas, such as real energy reform, will be best left to a Democratic Congress," Jennifer Hanley, Clinton's press secretary, said in a statement.

The idea that foreign oil dependence is a national security and a national economy issue did not originate with Hillary Clinton. Remember "the moral equivalent of war"? Is labeling this an "important policy idea" truth in advertising?

The Globe had a quote: "I think all politicians do stuff like that. They just don't get caught," said Bryan Lambert, 38, of Wallingford. They could have included law professors, too, except some did get caught.


In a different area of plagiarism analysis, ccnmtl wrote:

Accused of plagiarism (a not uncommon charge bandied among 18th and 19th century composers, although usually without the gruesome legal and economic baggage that attends these charges today) Beethoven might have claimed that both his and Haydn's themes were derived from prior art, as indicated by information obtained from Themefinder. First, as indicated in the example above, we reduce both melodies to strings of searchable information. Searching the Folksong and Classical modules of Themefinder using a query of the first five pitches of Haydn's theme retrieves Haydn's work, a Schubert symphony, and four folksongs; a rough and refined contour query of the first eight directions retrieves thirteen works, but of these only the Folksongs show any kinship with Haydn's melody.

Thus, Rainville says to Hillary Clinton: our ideas are derived from Jimmy Carter's stuff in the 1970's.

Separately, on mixed public/individual creations, see Gemmy v. Chrishna Creations, 72 USPQ2d 1409, on blow-up Santas and Jack-o-Lanterns.


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