Spitting in the Face of Creativity: Lessons in plagiarism from Polish magazine Przekrój.
Through my Facebook feed (via Noma Bar) I stumbled upon this article via Brain Pickings, written by Maria Popova 05. Spetmber 2011
Przekrój, which is Poland’s oldest weekly news magazine, has plagiarized Bar’s portrait of Hitler on the front cover. Apparently Daniel Horowitz was the illustrator who created this image. Popova explains that he “neither sought permission for a derivative graphic nor acknowledged the very clear “inspiration” for the cover”.
In Noma’s words:
‘Take a sad song and make it better’…. In this case, [Horowitz] didn’t make it better. The balance, detail and tension in the face — all lost. I would be a bit more encouraged if I felt that I learned something new about Hitlers face — unfortunately, I didn’t. It’s an obvious trace of photo and a random barcode.”
Popova expalins further:
“While I’m a vocal proponent of remix culture, it’s important to understand the line between remix and rip-off. The law still struggles with this distinction and, in many cases, draws the line in such a way that it discourages remix. But as far as I’m concerned it comes down to a rather simple litmus test: If a derivative work changes the original in a creatively meaningful way, or offers cultural commentary or critique on it, then it’s a new original work of its own creative merit; if it merely parrots or mimics the original while adding no context or commentary, then it’s a rip-off. That a publication of Przekrój’s stature and legacy is unable or unwilling to make that distinction is a disgrace to both journalism and creative culture.”
Amazing. I could have not said it better!
Want the full article? It’s here