79 plagiarized essays on design.
Of all of the essays I read, Micheal Bierut’s essay about plagiarism was by far the most interesting. Believe it or not I spend a lot of time thinking about the issue of plagiarism and the role it plays in our modern digital society.
First of all…it is my opinion that everyone is a plagiarist and in each of these essays I can cite examples of sentences that Bierut plagiarized “Graphic designers are lucky…”, “Finally, remember what my Mom always says.” and “Now that I think about it…”. (I don’t even know why I bothered quoting these) I have read/heard each of these strings of words together at one time in my life…so is it plagiarism? If so, the pure nature of the grammatical structure can be considered plagiarism in some instances. Every sentence can be argued as an unintentional and unconscious form of expression. Think about the alphabet or slang or popular english phrases how could one possibly police all of these individual instances. I could go on for days…
But the most relevant takeaway here is about how the issue of plagiarism will effect visual design in the future. Some people may think that plagiarism will soon become a more predominant issue to consider for interactive media professionals but I disagree.
I think that in the next 30 years the concept of plagiarism will become obsolete. You can already see this trend becoming apparent in copyright cases for the music industry. The judicial system is simply not able to handle the amount of copyright cases it faces everyday. They have set general rules and regulations and sometimes people get caught and sometimes they don’t.
This is because for the first time in years everyone is able to create unlimited content and produce variations of work. You no longer have to have a book deal to be an author. Someone can publish a blog post or a tweet and automatically become an author. There is no possible way with the overwhelming amount of content being stuffed into our daily lives that professionals could police what is actually plagiarized and what is not because everything will be derived from something that came before it. The same goes for covers, graphics, code and even tweets. Soon enough I think our society will understand the significance of remixed and multimedia pieces. We will be less concerned with who did it first and more concerned with who did it best.