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Bolshevik

Plagiarism on the road to success

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Apparently, if you're good enough, you can get away with plagiarism.  Machiavelli ya'll.

 

https://www.plagiarismtoday.com/2015/02/10/5-great-people-who-plagiarized/

 

In the end though, Boston University did investigate the allegations of plagiarism and, in 1991, found that King’s dissertation did contain plagiarism. However, while the school appended a note to the dissertation, it declined to revoke his degree saying that the dissertation, despite its shortcomings, still contributed to the field.

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The author of that article could have benefited greatly from consultation with a copy editor. There are several typographical errors. Also, though there are several links to allegedly supporting material, the one I looked at (related to music) wasn't necessarily authoritative. Further, with popular music involving sometimes significant sums of money, litigation can be involved and whether or not the litigation was successful would color claims of plagiarism one way or another.

Thanks, Bolshevik, for the food for thought but I'm skeptical.

 

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https://www.theguardian.com/books/2005/nov/23/comment.stephenmoss

 

Somewhere on these threads the "truth is truth" argument is presented.  If an idea is stolen, does that make it a bad idea?

I believe stealing of ideas is commonplace in all fields.  Pick any well known name, just start digging and you will find grayness.

After all, great ideas will outlive their discoverer.  All people will be forgotten.  If ideas are lost, they will be re-discovered.  Maybe?

  

 

 

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Yeah, sure, nothing is ever completely original. And, that's good fodder for a philosophical discussion. But, when someone knowingly takes the work of someone else and misrepresents it as their own, they've ventured into a land where cold, hard reality trumps the esoteric.

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33 minutes ago, waysider said:

Yeah, sure, nothing is ever completely original. And, that's good fodder for a philosophical discussion. But, when someone knowingly takes the work of someone else and misrepresents it as their own, they've ventured into a land where cold, hard reality trumps the esoteric.

I don't think it's esoteric.  What objects are you using now, where ideas were not stolen?

What lands?

 

 

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Stolen is too strong a word. It suggests deliberation. Drawing from previous influence might better describe the process. I'm using "lands" metaphorically. 

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25 minutes ago, waysider said:

 

Stolen is too strong a word. It suggests deliberation. Drawing from previous influence might better describe the process. I'm using "lands" metaphorically. 

I wasn't accusing you of stealing, if there's confusion there.

Ideas were forcefully taken and applied to many of the objects we are all using now.  Doesn't mean we stole them.  Doesn't mean we refuse to use them.

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I should have been clearer. I didn't think you were accusing me of anything.  I'm just saying that to me, personally, the term "stolen" implies deliberate intention. For example, if write a song that unintentionally includes a riff I heard 30 years ago, that's a mistake on my part. If I know the riff is from a 30 year old song and try to slip it in, hoping no one will make the connection, that's stealing. Same result...different motivation. Well, anyway, that's just my opinion.

 

By the way, this was an issue of legal importance before the internet existed because you had to prove accessibility to make a claim valid. If some guy in Germany wrote the same song I did, I would have to prove he somehow had access to my version. Otherwise, it was considered coincidental.

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Okay, I was not referring to coincidence.  That would be philosophical.  Often, for example, scientific discoveries are made by multiple people in different times and places.  But history typically rewards one person above the others.  Often, they had friends in power or just better marketing opportunities.  Perhaps it is therefore wrong to credit anyone and just remember the discovery. 

 

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There's a guy from Cleveland, Ohio, named Eric Carmen, who had a couple of hits in the 1970's. His family is from a Russian background, his aunt was a violinist for the prestigious Cleveland Orchestra. He started studying classical music even before he entered kindergarten. So, one might surmise he was no stranger to the works of Rachmaninoff. 

 

Well, it turns out that All By Myself was partially based on Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto #2 in C minor/Opus 18. Never Gonna Fall in Love Again was influenced by the second movement of  Rachmaninoff's Symphony #2. It was no coincidence. Carmen had probably been exposed to these works hundreds of times. The problem he encountered is that he thought they were in public domain. In fairness to him, I should note he was, at that point, not much more than a local kid, trying to break out on the music scene, not yet versed in the legalities of the music industry.

 

His error was quickly discovered and he reached a royalty agreement with Rachmaninoff's estate. Wierwille's deliberate deception, on the other hand, took decades to come to light. Some still can't accept the reality of it.  It's quite a different and darker issue than the Eric Carmen/Rachmaninoff controversy.

Edited by waysider
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I do not believe intent plays any part in copyright infringement cases.  

To me, a larger problem is the pseudoepigrapha and forgeries in "scripture".

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1 hour ago, Tom Geiger said:

I do not believe intent plays any part in copyright infringement cases.  

To me, a larger problem is the pseudoepigrapha and forgeries in "scripture".

Hi, Tom

 

My point wasn't really a reference to intent. Before the internet, a large part of proving someone had stolen your music was being able to show they had been exposed to it at some point. Such is the case with Led Zeppelin using Taurus as a partial framework for Stairway to Heaven. They toured together and shared the same stage. Zep may have even heard Spirit experiment with various paramutations. So, there's the exposure element for you. Same with Eric Carmen. He undoubtably had extensive exposure to Rachmaninoff material. Wierewille clearly had access and exposure to the works he pilfered. They weren't "previously unknown truths" as he led people to believe. This is where intent to deceive enters the picture.

 

Yes, the problem with authenticity of what was once regaled as sacred is certainly a valid area of interest and quite worthy of exploration. I think what we're talking about here, though, is something of a more basic, fundamental nature...Wierwille actively made a deliberate effort to misrepresent his work and conceal that fact in order to facilitate his own, self-centered interests.

Edited by waysider
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On 10/4/2017 at 2:15 PM, waysider said:

. . .

Yes, the problem with authenticity of what was once regaled as sacred is certainly a valid area of interest and quite worthy of exploration. I think what we're talking about here, though, is something of a more basic, fundamental nature...Wierwille actively made a deliberate effort to misrepresent his work and conceal that fact in order to facilitate his own, self-centered interests.

Had VPW cited sources in the modern way would he have been as "successful" as he was?

Some might argue he made a tactful decision.  (From the standpoint of getting The Word Over The World, and that's all that matters)

Edited by Bolshevik
edited to clarify frame

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TWI to my knowledge is composed of anti-intellectuals.  Practically chanting "Uneducated Lives Matter"

It sounds like VPW played to his market, so he didn't want to look too intellectual.

 

Also to my knowledge, much of the names like Stiles and Bullinger, people he plagiarized from, were well known in TWI.

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1 hour ago, Bolshevik said:

TWI to my knowledge is composed of anti-intellectuals.  Practically chanting "Uneducated Lives Matter"

It sounds like VPW played to his market, so he didn't want to look too intellectual.

 

VP openly promoted this line of thought in PFAL when he derided what he called "world wisdom".

 

Also to my knowledge, much of the names like Stiles and Bullinger, people he plagiarized from, were well known in TWI.

 

They may be well known now but few of us who became involved in the earlier days had ever heard of them.

 

Edited by waysider

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Yes, world wisdom, as VPW put it.  A common hatred among many Americans.

VPW won people's hearts without citing sources.  Old-timers can look at VPW's books and the plagiarized sources side-by-side and not bat an eye.

 

 

 

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On 10/5/2017 at 7:45 PM, Bolshevik said:

TWI to my knowledge is composed of anti-intellectuals.  Practically chanting "Uneducated Lives Matter"

It sounds like VPW played to his market, so he didn't want to look too intellectual.

 

Also to my knowledge, much of the names like Stiles and Bullinger, people he plagiarized from, were well known in TWI.

Only the name "Bullinger" was well-known.  Kenyon was known to some, and Stiles and Leonard were actively concealed, even to their names and existences.

vpw made a doctrine out of contrasting with :"world's wisdom"-but the hypocrite lauded to the skies any "worldly expert" who took pfal. 

Don't take vpw as an expert on anything but fleecing the public.

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7 hours ago, WordWolf said:

Only the name "Bullinger" was well-known.  Kenyon was known to some, and Stiles and Leonard were actively concealed, even to their names and existences.

vpw made a doctrine out of contrasting with :"world's wisdom"-but the hypocrite lauded to the skies any "worldly expert" who took pfal. 

Don't take vpw as an expert on anything but fleecing the public.

He was a good shear-cropper though — a portion of what he swindled out of folks went right back into pulling the wool over their eyes.

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On 10/5/2017 at 10:31 PM, Bolshevik said:

Had VPW cited sources in the modern way would he have been as "successful" as he was?

Some might argue he made a tactful decision.  (From the standpoint of getting The Word Over The World, and that's all that matters)

Did you mean "tactical" ?

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1 hour ago, Twinky said:

Did you mean "tactical" ?

Probably.

Would his followers have respected him more, or less, for citing sources?  

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On ‎10‎/‎5‎/‎2017 at 5:31 PM, Bolshevik said:

Had VPW cited sources in the modern way would he have been as "successful" as he was?

Some might argue he made a tactful decision.  (From the standpoint of getting The Word Over The World, and that's all that matters)

I think he would have been MORE successful, as it would have shown that he was separating the baby from the bathwater, as it were.

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On ‎10‎/‎3‎/‎2017 at 2:01 PM, waysider said:

There's a guy from Cleveland, Ohio, named Eric Carmen, who had a couple of hits in the 1970's....

I remember Eric Carmen.

He's the guy who had that hit in the 1980s called "Turn the Radio Up."

Of course, that song is impossible to find nowadays because like a fool, he gave it the wrong NAME. He seems to think it's called "Make Me Lose Control," which is totally NOT the line everyone remembers.

It would be on a list of Greatest Misnamed Songs, for songs remembered by lines rather than titles.

Prime Example: "Never Gonna Dance Again," by Wham!

Some a-hole in marketing called that one "Careless Whisper.'

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On 10/5/2017 at 6:45 PM, Bolshevik said:

TWI to my knowledge is composed of anti-intellectuals.  Practically chanting "Uneducated Lives Matter"

It sounds like VPW played to his market, so he didn't want to look too intellectual.

On the contrary, Saint Vic wanted to appear uber-intellectual. Why else insist everyone refer to him as "Doctor"?

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1 hour ago, So_crates said:

On the contrary, Saint Vic wanted to appear uber-intellectual. Why else insist everyone refer to him as "Doctor"?

I think you both are correct. Dictor wanted to project a credible (intellectual) persona... but he only tolerated anti-intellectuals among his followers. Once anyone developed a sense of cognitive dissonance and said so out loud, he banished them.

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I think his act was along the lines of Will Rogers or Mark Twain...act like a bumpkin while spewing "wisdom".

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