We are all Just Copy Cats



We are all Just copy cats but originality is what everyone tries to obtain. Each person who creates a book, song, movie or idea adds to this expressive world we live in today. How does one stay original when so many other people are trying to be original and unique as well. We can not all be extremely unique because there has to be some type of over lap. For example, writer A writes a love story about a girl who falls in love with a guy but then the guy cheats on her and then they break up but because of true love they find their way back together( I’m sure if you love romance novels you have read something like this before); writer B may write a story with the same plot but have a different setting, or characters. Both writers A and B write about the same ideas but they add their own unique qualities to the romance novel. So are they really original? Jonathan Lentham, likes to point out in his article “The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism,” that copywriting can not be an effective process due to the fact that we all “plagiarize” in some type of way.

Have you ever gotten that feeling when watching a movie that you feel like you have seen it before and can accurately guess the ending because it is just so predictable? The reason you know the ending is because subconsciously you know that the movie you are watching is similar to a different movie you have seen before. (This is

BuzzFeed’s funny take on that idea: (http://www.buzzfeed.com/hunterschwarz/movies-that-have-the-exact-same-plot-if-you-had-to-describe#.vodbrrBwkV).

Lentham makes the reader realize that no matter how creative we think we are, we can not be totally original because somewhere and somehow we copied some other person. In my opinion, what Lentham fails to acknowledge is that without using other people for inspiration everything we would have no type of diversity. We use other peoples ideas to expand and grow our creative thoughts and ideas.

Many of the amazing movies I’ve seen have the same plot but each has a unique approach to the plot that makes them a little different. Although there are only so many “original” ideas, I think by using the original ideas to create a bigger and better version of that former idea is what keeps us entertained and a growing society. Other than movies and books, fashion is a great example of this. Fashion like history repeats itself. Clothing that was popular in the 60’s, and 70’s are now popular again but have a more modern take on them. The style of clothing is copied from when they were originally popular in the 60’s and 70’s but now designers have improved and expanded them to a more modern take on them to make them in fashion for their customers. Although somethings will always be copied they will always have some type of uniqueness to them; which to me is completely okay.

Written by: Elena Carrasquillo

We are all Just Copy Cats

One thought on “We are all Just Copy Cats

  1. msicherer says:

    I think it is really cool how you incorporated that buzzfeed article into your response. It was very entertaining to look through and really solidified the point both you and Lentham were trying to make. I also completely agree that “plagiarism,” at least to the extent that Lentham spoke of, is completely acceptable. It is even seen in almost every song, especially pop music. I am sure you have seen this clip (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QpB_40hYjXU); another comedic example of repeated themes with unique attributes. We can pretty much just replace the word “plagiarized” with the word “inspired.” The things we create are not “plagiarized from” something, but rather they are “inspired by” and we need to start embracing this. However, because of the capitalist society we live in, we have begun to view ideas as commodities as opposed to concepts; things which must be owned and purchased. Thus, the copyright was born. After reading Lentham’s article, I feel that our new form of copyright should just be abolished. Think about all the people in the music industry who have had lawsuits filed against them for subconscious similarities! It is unfair that we have put a price on creativity and this is surely impeding on the creation of new things.
    So, overall, I completely agree with everything you are saying. So long as the creator incorporates some aspect of creation, the piece is their own.
    Maybe we should just resort back to the old rules of copyright that the first Congress proposed; fourteen years that can only be renewed if the author was still alive. That’s a lot more fair than seventy years…


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