Monday, March 21, 2011

Something Borrowed

Malcolm Gladwell brings up different viewpoints on the idea of plagiarism in his piece "Something Borrowed". He uses different examples to create questions on plagiarism and if in some cases, what was taken can really be considered plagiarism. Gladwell talks a lot about the situation of Dorothy Lewis and the playwriter Byrony Lavery. Lewis believed her life was stolen for Lavery's play "Frozen". It is true that Lavery used much of Gladwell's interview of Lewis to write part of her play, but Gladwell questions if this is really plagiarism. One good point he brings up is that parts of his exact sentences that Lavery used could have easily come from a previous piece and how can he really be upset by another person using these sentences. Gladwell says "I could also simply acknowlege that I had a good, long ride with that line-and let it go". Gladwell also talks about the composition of songs and what can be considered plagiarism. Writing and songs are much different in the laws of plagiarism. He says how much is copied is what is most important in songs, compared to what is actually copied.

I really enjoyed this piece of writing. At first, it seemed boring, but I found it interesting once I heard most of his points. It developed my knowledge and understanding on plagiarism. I found that using specific examples, like the play "Frozen", helped get his points across very effectively.

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