Cory Doctorow getting tangled up:

I know lots of people who disagree about when and whether it’s OK to reproduce creative works without permission. There are long, thoughtful debates about how long copyright should last; whether publicly funded works should be treated the same as privately created ones; whether scientific and scholarly works should be freely available; what sort of works qualify as “creative”, and, of course, what fair dealing/fair use should and should not allow.

But while I know plenty of proud pirates, I don’t think I’ve ever heard of someone standing up for the good, old fashioned plagiarism.

Interesting idea.  But no:

When this happens, a consensus quickly emerges that the culprit is a bad person, that the attention has been misappropriated. The real artist has been wronged – she didn’t get the upvotes, attention and good feeling she deserved. But so has anyone who was conned into believing the misattribution, and so missed the chance to discover more works by the real artist.

For me, the most interesting thing about plagiarism is that even though it’s legal, companies and people who do it get into real trouble for it.

Even without a law, doing something that is so universally reviled has genuine, lasting consequences. There’s a lesson in there for people looking to find the right balance for internet copyright: a law without public support will be widely flouted, but things that the social consensus rejects out of hand be automatically, widely enforced.

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