Thursday, April 22, 2010

Artistic plagiarism from Winnipeg

The Winnipeg Free Press wrote:

Two Winnipeg artists are involved in a copyright dispute that is earning national attention.

The Globe and Mail reported Wednesday that the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art (MMCA) has stopped screening a film by New York-based artist Marcel Dzama after he was accused of plagiarism by experimental filmmaker Deco Dawson.

At issue is Dzama's 19-minute film The Lotus Eaters, which he made in 2005 and which Dawson claims borrows uncredited footage from his 23-minute 2001 production, FILM (dzama).

IPBiz notes that the actual LEGAL issue involved is one of COPYRIGHT infringement, not an accusation of plagiarism.

On the facts in the story, the museum was showing a film which had (allegedly) taken copyrighted material without permission.

**Separately, Steve Duin in The Oregonian:

* On Thomas Mallon's Stolen Words: Forays into the Origins and Ravages of Plagiarism: "Fascinating stuff. As with kleptomaniacs, the thieves don't need what they take, and often leave clues suggesting they want to be caught. E.B. White divided plagiarists into thief, dope and total recall guy. The University of Oregon plagiarized Stanford University's handbook on plagiarism ... Joe Biden plagiarized from Neil Kinnock, R.F. Kennedy and Steinbeck. J.F. Kennedy and Theodore Sorenseon stole from O.W. Holmes, who had already been robbed by Harding. This 1990s book was too early for the outrages of Stephen Ambrose and Doris Kearns Goodwin."

The big plagiarism done by Joe Biden was NOT of Neil Kinnock's speech, but from a law review while Biden was a first year at Syracuse Law School. Biden was caught dead to rights and given an F. The problem with the Kinnock speech was that the facts taken by Biden from Kinnock did not apply to Biden. They were untrue as to Biden.

Of White's three classes, one wonders where inadvertent plagiarism resides. Glenn Poshard would not say he was thief, or a dope, and he definitely was not a "total recall guy" (who is a total recall guy in a Ph.D. thesis?)

The better "plagiarism definition" theft case is Poshard's SIU stealing its plagiarism definition from Indiana University. Stupidity and irony rolled up into one.

As to speechwriting, if we get wrapped up in phrases lifted without credit in speeches, we are going to have a lot to write about.

Of Ted Sorenson (not Sorenseon), wikipedia writes:

Theodore Chaikin "Ted" Sorensen (born May 8, 1928) is of counsel (retired Senior Partner) at the law firm of Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP and writer, best known as President John F. Kennedy’s special counsel and adviser, legendary speechwriter, and alter ego. President Kennedy once called him his “intellectual blood bank.”

How does the image of an intellectual blood transfusion comport with ghostwriting, which is a form of plagiarism (copying the words of others without attribution)?


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