Curious about your view


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  1. #1

    Curious about your view

    I am curious about the take others have on a situation that a dear friend and I have recently discussed.

    What do you think when you come across a poem posted online that is obviously a rewrite of a famous, or published poem? If the poster of the poem acknowledges that it is a rewrite or inspired by so and so's (insert famous name here) poem, then I don't have a problem with it. But what if the poster doesn't give any acknowledgement whatsoever, do you think this is a form of plagiarism, coincidence, or a case of imitation being the most sincere form of flattery?
    There is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination.
    Living there youíll be free
    If you truly wish to be.~ Willy Wonka

  2. #2
    Baron
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
    I am curious about the take others have on a situation that a dear friend and I have recently discussed.

    What do you think when you come across a poem posted online that is obviously a rewrite of a famous, or published poem? If the poster of the poem acknowledges that it is a rewrite or inspired by so and so's (insert famous name here) poem, then I don't have a problem with it. But what if the poster doesn't give any acknowledgement whatsoever, do you think this is a form of plagiarism, coincidence, or a case of imitation being the most sincere form of flattery?
    This depends very much on how it's treated. We have a member who quite frequently mimics the style and form of other poets but decidedly puts his own stamp on them. This is acceptable. If someone is simply paraphrasing the work of another then it isn't acceptable unless credit is given to the original.

  3. #3
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    Inspiration is certainly to be encouraged, and as long as proper credit for inspiration is given then there is no problem. Blatantly ripping off another work, whether famous or not, without making it ones own and without giving proper citation of inspiration is no different that plagiarism, in my mind.
    "I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision."

    "America I've given you all and now I'm nothing."

  4. #4
    As Baron pointed out, paraphrasing (even parody) is not a means to avoiding due citation or reference to source, despite the alarmingly popular belief otherwise. At the very least, an acknowledgment should be added (a few words; how hard is that?); if it's intended for publication, then permission from the copyright holder is the safest course.
    "I don't know ... I'm making it up as I go ..." - Dr I Jones

    Nature abhors perfection - cats abhor a vacuum!

    "Faith can move mountains - she's a big girl!" (unknown/graffiti)

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  5. #5
    Definitely seems like an issue which has to be judged on a case by case basis. if it is something randomly encountered on internet ramblings, I am not sure it is worth much effort of consideration. Here on a writing forum, a different standard ought to apply, and those charged with the integrity of the site ought to make a little inquiry or offer direction. I have found that ill intent is much rarer than negligence. I also believe that a writer who immerses himself in a genre, reading prolifically, must be extra careful not to be misled by one's brain into mistaking memory for inspiration.

  6. #6
    Baron
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanmt View Post
    Definitely seems like an issue which has to be judged on a case by case basis. if it is something randomly encountered on internet ramblings, I am not sure it is worth much effort of consideration. Here on a writing forum, a different standard ought to apply, and those charged with the integrity of the site ought to make a little inquiry or offer direction. I have found that ill intent is much rarer than negligence. I also believe that a writer who immerses himself in a genre, reading prolifically, must be extra careful not to be misled by one's brain into mistaking memory for inspiration.
    Ignorance is no excuse in law. If something is a paraphrase of another's work then it will get pulled when discovered. It will also be discussed with the member posting.

  7. #7
    I do think that we all need to be mindful of this in our own work. As alan has said, we are influenced by what we read and sometimes they can stick in our subconcious without our realizing it.
    There is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination.
    Living there youíll be free
    If you truly wish to be.~ Willy Wonka

  8. #8
    Global Moderator Squalid Glass's Avatar
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    I'm wondering what brought this on now.
    "I don't do anything with my life except romanticize and decay with indecision."

    "America I've given you all and now I'm nothing."

  9. #9
    It's something I've wondered about for a while now, SG. I've visited lots of online poetry forums and it's not unusual to come across a poem from time to time which is very reminiscent of published works.
    There is no life I know
    To compare with pure imagination.
    Living there youíll be free
    If you truly wish to be.~ Willy Wonka

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Gumby View Post
    I do think that we all need to be mindful of this in our own work. As alan has said, we are influenced by what we read and sometimes they can stick in our subconcious without our realizing it.
    This has happened with me. I had helped my friend write a poem in 9th grade (yeah--helped. Sounds weird now). I'd just finished the last stanza for her, the rest she had written it herself in front of me in a class. A year later, I came across that same poem--with a few minor changes--in a magazine written by a famous author (don't remember either the poem or the poet's name). I was surprised, my friend was shocked. Maybe she'd across the poem in her younger years and it had stayed in her subconsciousness. Worries me every time I write something.

    What makes me nervous at times is when I'm working on something big or exciting and I'm afraid someone else might get that same idea, and people might later call it plagiarism. How many times have great inventions or discoveries been made around the same time by two people in different parts of the world? Scary, really.
    "The greatest achievement was at first and for a time a dream. The oak sleeps in the acorn, the bird waits in the egg, and in the highest vision of the soul a waking angel stirs. Dreams are the seedlings of realities." ~ James Allen

    "Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best." ~ Henry Van Dyke

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