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September 05, 2007

Creative Commons and Plagiarism

Last night, we discussed the notion of creative commons, a.k.a. "the spirit of exchange." A topic that immediately came to my mind was plagiarism. Like most during the first week of class, I have had teachers lecture extensively on this topic. An interesting dilemma always presents itself when considering plagiarism: who actually had the idea first? I understand that in "the spirit of exchange" we are to give credit to our sources. However, how are we to know that our source's ideas are original? Afterall, given thousands of years of philosophical thought and human ideas, couldn't someone else have already come up with the idea before the source? Also, we learn by passing along information. How are we to distinguish our own original ideas from something we heard in passing? I am interested to hear what others have to say on this topic.

Posted by leslieph at September 5, 2007 01:39 PM


This is a dilemma —and perhaps is part of why I like being able to link information that I place online to related information —when, that is, I'm aware of direct influence —but I also like to link to related info that I search after I post information.

That said, I should have prefaced this comment with an idea of all work being the result of some form of collaboration; to comment about something is to collaborate with it —I respond to something as opposed to generating something that exists entirely independently from anything else.

The dilemma you mention is part of what Limited Fork Poetics/ Limited Fork Science addresses with its focus on interacting systems. In this view, visual, sonic, olfactory, and tactile systems are (mostly) active, interactions creating multiple opportunities for influence on multiple scales, (sometimes/often) simultaneously.

I, too, want to hear more about ideas of "source" and "plagiarism" vs. "exchange" (Creative Commons licensing, especially the "share alike" license is meant to [begin to] address [some of] this.

Posted by: thyliasm at September 10, 2007 05:53 PM

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