The Internet has fundamentally changed the way we live, work and communicate, and has had a profound impact on many industries. Digitization have opened up myriad possibilities for the creative industry, and enabled people to create and distribute their own content. It has also developed issues for the creative industry which becomes challenging for them.
The most common issues faced by people in the creative industry are plagiarism and copyright issues. Clarke (2005) stated that “Plagiarism is presentation of the documented words or ideas of another as a person’s own, without attribution appropriate for the medium of presentation.” It usually occurs when there is no copyright protection for that idea, however sometimes copyright infringement can still occur. An example is Zara came under fire for replicating an indie designer, Tuesday Bassen’s designs on their clothing, treating it as their own.
Sometimes not everything is copyrightable as well. For example, there is no copyright protection in a game mechanic or the functionality of a game, which allows other parties to produce a game with similar mechanic (Parkin, 2011). Hence, people can still plagiarise through “loopholes” like this.
Further information on plagiarism can be found in the video below which addresses the issues & solutions to plagiarism.
The concept of plagiarism can also be debatable. Which brings me to my next question – To what extent is the work considered “plagiarised”? There is a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism, and trying to distinguish them is often difficult. We are all influenced by our experiences and daily encounters, hence it is unavoidable that we may be “inspired” by them subconsciously (or sometimes deliberately). Novosedlik (2014) pointed out that Picasso’s works were often inspired by famous works of artists who came before him. Picasso was able to ‘steal’ the original idea and make it his own, thus presenting the viewer with something new. Thus with the free availability of works online, it benefits not only the people in the creative industry, but also inspire individuals like us to influence our ideas/works.
Despite all the issues artists faced, many still feel that the pros outweigh the cons. By publishing their works online, they can gain a group of community and clients that support them. It serves as good publicity for them and enhance recognition, through which the community will also help to protect their works (Mellow, 2012). They believe invisibility is a bigger problem as compared to their works getting stolen (Art of Hustle, 2012).
The bottom line is that all of us, regardless as consumers or businesses, should respect the effort content producers put into their works, and always practice ethical measures when using their works.
Featured Image: Austin Kleon – Show Your Work
Art of Hustle. (2012). The Pros and Cons of Publishing Your Work Online. [Online] Available at: http://www.artofhustle.com/2012/11/the-concerns-and-virtues-of-publishing-your-work-online/ [Accessed 15 Nov 2016]
Clarke, R. (2005). Plagiarism in Creative Literature: The Case of the Unsquared Circle. Xamax Consultancy. [Online] Available at: http://www.rogerclarke.com/SOS/PlagAdams0502.html [Accessed 15 Nov 2016]
Mellow, G. (2012). How Do Artists Protect Their Work Online? Scientific American. [Online] Available at: https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/symbiartic/how-do-artists-protect-their-work-online/ [Accessed 15 Nov 2016]
Novosedlik, W. (2014). Inspired or Stolen? MISC Magazine. [Online] Available at: https://miscmagazine.com/inspired-or-stolen-2/ [Accessed 15 Nov 2016]
Parkin, S. (2011). Clone Wars: is plagiarism killing creativity in the games industry? The Guardian. [Online] Available at: https://www.theguardian.com/technology/gamesblog/2011/dec/21/clone-wars-games-industry-plagiarism [Accessed 15 Nov 2016]