Monday, March 21, 2011

Something Borrowed

            In Malcolm Gladwell’s essay, Something Borrowed, he explores the aspects of plagiarism. In doing so he tells the story of Dorothy Lewis’s case with the Broadway show “Frozen.” Throughout the piece the tone of the essay changes from supporting to against copyright laws. After many friends had suggested the show “Frozen” to Lewis the group preforming the play asked her to speak to the actors because of her expertise in the main subject of the play. She asked for a copy to read which shocked and angered her. It appears that the entire premise and multiple lines were taken from her book and other writings which were then turned into the play. She felt violated that her life was taken and put on a stage. She began the process of suing for plagiarism. As her story progresses then reader is given instances where in plagiarism isn’t necessarily bad. As the story continues, Lewis’s opinion changes. She then believes that copy write laws are a strange and in some ways a destructive force on humanity. The essay points to the idea that plagiarism in just a reactionary and natural occurrence; plagiarism is taking inspiration from and expanding ideas from not stealing.
            I strongly agree with this essay. People who, with greed inspired actions, place copyrights on drugs that could potentially save lives. By doing this they can charge more money for their product. Actions like this are only slowing the advancement of humanity. There is a fine line between plagiarism and being influenced. Sometimes this line can disappear when people have alternative motives for their ideas (i.e. money). I personally believe that copyrights interfere with the growth of society and technology. Life is reactionary thus we learn from previous music or ideas, then from that we create new music and ideas that seem similar to the previous but are still new.

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