I prefer to keep RL issues out of this journal, but this certainly touches on fandom issues:It's 'Mixing,' Not Plagiarism
With the caveat that I can't go back completely to the original sources, since some of it is in German...
What troubles me isn't so much that Hegemann did this -- it's an old, sordid, familiar story. What bothers me is that she insists that it's okay
-- and that she hasn't been disqualified as a possible winner for a prize in the Leipzig Book Fair because of it.
"I myself don’t feel it is stealing, because I put all the material into a completely different and unique context and from the outset consistently promoted the fact that none of that is actually by me."
"There’s no such thing as originality anyway, just authenticity."
From what I understand, though, she didn't "promote the fact" from the outset; she didn't admit it until a week or so ago, when she was caught.
The article includes this passage:
Ms. Hegemann finds herself in the middle of a collision -- if not road kill exactly -- between the staid, literary establishment in a country that venerates writers from Goethe to Mann to Grass, and the Berlin youth culture of D.J.’s and artists that sample freely and thereby breathe creativity into old forms.
So since she's "breathing creativity" into someone else's blog posts, it's fine? Integrity in the literary world is "staid" and old-fashioned? Say what?
I am personally astonished at the suggestion that the internet and the speed and process of modern-day communications would legitimize
plagiarism. If anything, it makes it much easier for guilty parties to be caught. I will say that "authenticity versus originality" might be a shot across the bow at fanfic, but we don't try to claim Daniel or Jack or Sam or Teal'c as our original creations or
try to make a profit from our usage of the characters or settings. And I am saddened at even the hint of a possibility that plagiarism might gain a patina of legitimacy, as long as it's spun into a "different and unique context," as Hegemann claims. Because apparently, it's not just her - the committee for the book prize still has her in the running.
I'm usually willing to give a teenager a little leeway in making mistakes. She has apologized, sort of. But she still claims that her only mistake was failure to cite her sources, rather than lifting phrases and paragraphs from another author/blogger and claiming them as her own; and to me, that means that she hasn't apologized for anything other than being caught.
How would you want this to go, and how do you think it might impact fandom as a whole?Additional discussion can be found on LJ.