Everything is a remix; some things are just mixed less than others.


Plagiarism, in other words.


Plagiarism (from Latin plagiare “to kidnap”) is the practice of claiming, or implying, original authorship or incorporating material from someone else’s written or creative work, in whole or in part, into one’s own without adequate acknowledgement. Unlike cases of forgery, in which the authenticity of the writing, document, or some other kind of object, itself is in question, plagiarism is concerned with the issue of false attribution.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plagiarism - which helpfully notes This article or section may contain original research or unverified claims.



Beg, borrow, or steal?

  • Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal.

Eliot, T. S. in Philip Massinger, in The Sacred Wood (1920)


  • Good artists copy. Great artists steal.

attributed to Pablo Picasso




Jonathan Lethem



other stuff

software detection
New Yorker: Something Borrowed - Should a charge of plagiarism ruin your life?


What Plagiarism Looks Like
Q.R. Markham’s Assassin of Secrets

That said, the intensity and promiscuity of his literary swipeage is really something else; it’s relentless, often at length, from a wide variety of sources. If he’d just thrown it out there as a mashup, instead of roping the industry into selling it as a fully-original work, this would have been an excellent project. You don’t have to see it as some sort of snooty statement or deconstruction of the genre, just as a fantastic remix of classic Bond-dom that got lost on the way to the internet.


he defends himself by asserting that plagiarism is pathological. meh. NB: his real name is Quentin Rowan.



Authorship in the Age of Generative Art

Gnoetry Daily: The Authorship of Generative Art

GD on Margorie Perloff’s Unoriginal Genius: Poetry by Other Means in the New Century



remixing, not plagiarism?

NYT: Author, 17, Says It’s ‘Mixing,’ Not Plagiarism


Although Ms. Hegemann has apologized for not being more open about her sources, she has also defended herself as the representative of a different generation, one that freely mixes and matches from the whirring flood of information across new and old media, to create something new. “There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity,” said Ms. Hegemann in a statement released by her publisher after the scandal broke.


Banksy, Banksy, Banky

Notes on sourcing Banksy’s own appropritation would more belong over @ VisualAddiction.Appropriation (which then re-inforces the image vs text battle that I thought I resisted). But this note is on sourcing Bansky’s writing:

Chances are pretty good you’ve recently seen the “Banksy on Advertising” quote that begins, “People are taking the piss out of you everyday.”




Most of it is swiped directly from an essay I wrote in 1999, in the “Death, Phones, Scissors” issue of my zine Crap Hound. The first paragraph is more or less original, but the rest is mine, right down to the same words and phrases.




As problems go, it’s a pretty nice one to have. I like Banksy’s art and ideas. I’m flattered he liked my writing and my sentiments, and I’m happy others liked the quote enough to post and forward. I’ve seen forums where people are debating the passage, including rebuttals from ad-agency twats. It’s on wikiquotes and a hundred blogs. My essay never would have had that impact on its own.




The downside is that Banksy’s name is always on it. Seeing my writing credited to someone else makes it a little less magical. Same with knowing that one day (maybe soon, since the issue in question is being reprinted), I’ll get to hear how I ripped off Banksy. [emphasis added]



Everything is a Remix




Audio Overdrive




see Also





source recycling stealing remixing reworking resourcing revisions plagiarism theft authors authority unique inspired influenced



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