Something Borrowed

In the article, Something Borrowed, Dorothy Lewis is described as a victim of a plagiarism. She wrote a memoir called, Guilty by reason of Insanity, in 1998. It was about her life and her studies of serial killers. It was recently brought to her attention that a Broadway play called, Frozen, had a similar story line as her memoir published years ago. The play was written by a Bryony Lavery. It wasn’t untill she was asked to speak after the play to answer questions about serial killers and their phsycological problems, that she realized someone had made her feel violated. She studied the play and highered a lawyer after she assembled a list of similarities and exact quotes from her piece. At first, in the article it sounds like the story is not told by Lewis, but once you finsish reading you realize she is telling her story to an audience. Her audience not being someone in particular, but to those who could understand her feelings. The context of this material is straight forward and provides alot of examples and evidence of the plagiarism designed by Lavery. Lewis even states that she would have been honored to provide research and quotes for the Broadway play, but to just take them without asking is theft. The rest of the article provides examples of other plagiarism incidents and how lawsuits were brought about, and what steps they took to punish the plagiarisers. Using the Beastie Boys, Beethoven, and Phantom of the Opera, were all great examples of how each piece had been plagiarised. It then goes in to detail about how these people gained their rights and were able to take back what they had spoken or written. Many lawsuits were conducted and that is how most of these cases ended. The next couple of paragraphs talk about Lessig’s, a Stanford professor, new book “Free Culture”. Here he explains his thoughts on public and private interests in intellectual property. He argues that property fundamentalism is taking control in todays culture. It had connection with our traditions, but it is all of a sudden a huge issue. When he talks about his views, it some what fits in the piece but it goes right back in to talking about palgiarism so it could be depleted. The next relevant conversation is with Lewis and her friend who works in the music industry. He provided hundreds of examples of songs and melodies that matched with other songs and melodies. He explained how to use these properly without the title of plagiarism. Tweaking, cribbing, and transforming, were the words he used for creating something different. Flat out copying someone else’s work just is not morally right. Lewis meets with Lavery and they discuss how this incident took place. Lavery just wanted to use Lewis’s work for accuracy because it was such a divine story. She meant no harm in her plagiarism and was sorry for her actions. Lewis is understanding because there was no harm done in the process and Lavery was very up front and honest. At the end of the article Lewis is still telling the story and her audience is the same. The context changes from her talking about what she discovered to her having a conversation with Lavery who had plagiarised her work.

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