Censorship by tyranny of the few
The Storied Machine

Words about plagiarism

NEW YORKER -- "Words belong to the person who wrote them. There are few simpler ethical notions than this one, particularly as society directs more and more energy and resources toward the creation of intellectual property." The New Yorker makes this point in an article that examines how storylines to "CSI" and "Law and Order" come to the screen. Sometimes the ideas don't originate with the scriptwriters.

Malcolm Gladwell's article about plagiarism winds its way into the music business where U2 fans will be glad to hear how simply using a sequence of notes from another song isn't a rip-off. Using a range of notes is no more than a mordent, a turn. Rock groups have borrowed notes from each other thousands of times before. Oasis can't say they own the composition of every line to "Morning Glory" and subsequently demand payment from U2 for infringing on the same notes when they play from their "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" album.

Gladwell puts it in perspective by citing a prinicple often-mentioned by Stanford lawyer Larry Lessig.

Creative property, Lessig reminds us, has many lives—the newspaper arrives at our door, it becomes part of the archive of human knowledge, then it wraps fish. And, by the time ideas pass into their third and fourth lives, we lose track of where they came from, and we lose control of where they are going.

Malcolm Gladwell -- "Something borrowed"
James Corbett -- "U2 prove that downloads help sales"