If you would ask a business man what he thinks of plagiarism, he would tell you that copycats will never be as successful as the original product or service. Why? Because people don’t just buy the product, they buy the idea. If you ask an artist what he thinks of plagiarism, you will probably hear a totally different answer (which might even include a couple of swear words) because it so much more difficult to ‘patent your work’ and it can be copied by anyone with a similar skill set. However,can plagiarism turn out to be a positive thing?
I will have to agree with the majority of artists. It’s annoying and hurtful when someone plagiarises your work. In my opinion, copycats hurt themselves more than they hurt an artist. In order to create something original and meaningful a true artist has to go through a creative struggle. It’s a part of the process. Sometimes I have a love and hate relationship with my acts. I spend hours and days wondering whether my performances have any value or whether people will like them. It sometimes takes years for me to realise what’s the underlying message of my performance or why I created it.
However being in this darkness, feeling lonely and doubting yourself turns into the most beautiful personal growth. It’s what makes you an artist. This is why, when you find the answers and stand at the end of your performance, your body fills with joy and admiration for the art you’ve just created. I feel deeply sorry for the copycats because they will never get to explore the path of creative struggle and they will never reap these fruits.
On the other hand, the famous Charles H. Duell, the Commissioner of US patent office, once said ‘Everything that can be invented has already been invented’. If so, does that mean that everyone is plagiarising everyone to a certain extent? Not exactly. I believe that an artist can be inspired by another artist; they can take the same idea and put their own spin on it. This way they get their creative juices flowing and produce something even more original. At the end of the day, transforming the essence of an idea isn’t stealing.
Though what happens if an artist inspires a mass of people and someone’s original idea becomesmainstream? The line between plagiarism and inspiration become blurry once again. Is it wrong for so many people to follow the same path? Absolutely not. Not everyone can be a Da Vinci or a so- called pioneer and the beauty of this is that by falling under a certain genre you get an opportunity to meet and collaborate with so many like-minded people. There’s nothing more uplifting than sharing your passion and working together towards the same goal.
So can plagiarism be a good thing? In my opinion, plagiarism which doesn’t require any creative input won’t bring any results to anyone. The copycat won’t understand the meaning behind their performance and, as any marketing guru would tell you, the audience will notice it. However, if plagiarism is turned into inspiration, it can help an artist grow professionally, meet other artists who share similar interests and as a result reap the fruits of the creative struggle.