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Plagiarism : A Fine Line Between Inspiration And Plagiarism

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When it comes to artist’s muses there is a fine line between inspiration and plagiarism. If one tries to define the areas where art starts plagiarizing a body of work, they will most likely end up fighting in circles. It is difficult to constitute where plagiarizing begins and inspiration ends. Artists have been including copyrighted or trademarked work into their own pieces and then calling it their own for decades, possibly even longer. Nowadays artists from all ends of the world are basing their work around preexisting pieces or are using the likenesses surrounding them. This doesn’t rest in the art world either. Just recently in the news, there was a report that a successful lawsuit was brought against Robin Thicke for his hit song “Blurred Lines.” Marvin Gaye’s estate brought a lawsuit against Thicke for ripping off Gaye’s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.” The ruling was in favor of Gaye, resulting in Thicke owing $7.3 million to Gaye’s family in damages (Grow, Kory). This case and other cases have light shed on them from the media and then public debates ensue about which party is in the right. Society has an array of opinions when it comes to copyright, fair use, and appropriation. Many people do not understand the specifics about copyright laws nor do they comprehend how one can truly break these laws fully. More often than not, people are familiar with at least the phrases copyright, appropriation and fair use. But the legitimate points are fairly skewed by the public.
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