Plagiarism: the P word in the creative field

Switched on my comp and twitter (@tinagarg) after a long time yesterday, to discover this flaming interaction between @zigzackly and @acorn over a matter of plagiarism where @acorn alleged that Forbes India had copied a cover of Pragati magazine. Pasting the two covers here for you to see.









Both the gentleman went online with public posts on the subject — (from @acorn’s tweets).

While I am aware of both the people and respect their work, I choose not to comment on who is right or wrong. Frankly it’s their matter/war and I am no one to meddle in their affairs. It’s just that this stirred some thoughts on  the subject of plagiarism, which often creeps in on us in the creative field. So, I wanted to vent, if you all will be kind enough to let me:

If I were to bring out synonyms for the work plagiarism, they would possibly be ugly, cheap, unfair, slimy, cheating, disrespectful, and lackadaisical. It’s like Bollywood film subjects or songs (see List 1 and List 2) or Annu Malik in the Nineties (remember how he was ‘inspired by’ the music of artists across the world?!). Or Kavya Vishwanthan’s famous ‘How Opal Mehta got kissed, got wild and got a life’ – Read a good case study on her book and career here.

Ok, I may not be the last word on the subject, but I would be caught dead before I have one of the above attributes tagged to my name. In short… plagiarism is NOT acceptable. In ANY form.

As creative artists, we spend hours coming up with unique concepts and pride ourselves on that genius of an idea. Some of us have won awards for the unique work we bring out and revel in the glory that follows. Of course, it goes without saying that we wouldn’t want our work or ideas copied by someone else. But when you’re on the flip side, can you honestly digest glory from work that was someone else’s brainchild?

ALL of us have been ‘inspired’ at sometime in our lives. In fact, copying they say is a way of flattery (justification?!!!). And all of us in the creative fraternity get on the net and research all the time. But every time, you take even a germ of an idea from someone else, even if the execution is different, notice how you sell yourself short. Notice how the joy on seeing the final proof of the work gets divided by half. Notice how you feel let down by yourself. Notice how you reduce your work to the mundane!

If you do, stop selling yourself short!

Take the time to create the unimaginable. Generate the never done before. And rejoice in your success like you never have. Because, from my example I can assure you, a genuine piece of original work NEVER fails you. It brings home the bacon, not just once, but EVERY TIME! Your moment starts NOW!

(PS: This post does not qualify @acorns claim or dispel @zigzackly’s response, or in any way hint at what the two parties are implying. It only speaks on the subject of plagiarism that was started by the afore-mentioned people.)

  1. Nice article Tina. Having spent a decent amount of time in the creative field, while I agree Plagarism is not acceptable, that’s pretty much the way this industry works. My guess is that 6 out of 10 times, every creative is influenced (choosing this word over copied :)) by something that’s already done.

  2. Righto boss!! Totally agree. But the zing is in ‘creating’ something from scratch. Like I always say, there’s the portfolio work and there’s that which you do for your bread and butter! 🙂

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