Plagiarism: maybe not so bad?

November 15, 2004 | 2 books mentioned

Malcolm Gladwell argues that perhaps we are too extreme when it comes to policing plagiarism. In an article in this week’s New Yorker (link expires), Gladwell tells the very personal story of a profile that he wrote being plagiarized by Bryony Lavery in writing her Tony-nominated play Frozen. The experience led Gladwell to wonder if plagiarism, far from being the literary equivalent of a capital crime, is actually a necessary ingredient in many a creative endeavor. Gladwell, by the way, has new book coming out in a couple of months, Blink: The Power of Thinking Without Thinking, excerpts of which you can read here.

On a similarly counterintuitive note, The Economist has decided that our obsession with intellectual property is misguided (link expires), and, in fact, “in America, many experts believe that dubious patents abound, such as the notorious one for a ‘sealed crustless sandwich.'”

Speaking of sandwiches, In an interview with Wired, Jeff Tweedy of the band Wilco continues with the intellectual property theme by declaring that “Music is not a loaf of bread.”

created The Millions and is its publisher. He and his family live in New Jersey.

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