Appropriation and Remix Culture in our Technological Times

Reading through the article, the word cryptomnesia first interested me. I searched online and found the definition that it is a memory bias where one person though one came upon something new or original but actually is forgotten memory that one did not recognize. It is really common in the filed of art where people come up with similar ideas and one cannot be sure is it really plagiarism or cryptomnesia.

Due to some cultural differences, some of the examples I cannot relate and this may have effected how I understood the article a little bit. I first became aware of the difficulty of examples when the film The Lineup was introduced. Some of the examples really went over my head and even I research it I still cannot gain full understanding.

And people can grasp that it is plagiarism but what if the author never realize or recognize it and take his or her production as original? If there is to be a law written about plagiarism, what is the line between plagiarism, quotation, manipulation? When I come up with a new idea, I often write it down in my notebook and sometimes I found out that the new idea that I thought is new is already written and next to it I also wrote where I got the idea from. Should this be considered plagiarism or cryptomnesia?

This also kind of reminds me of learning history. Everybody tries to be original but once one find out the ideas are from history, how should one take it? My father tells me that no matter what, humans are foolish and that things and events just rotate. Even though it happens in different time periods and seem to show in different context and reasoning, events, things and ideas in history show up again and again and just make me think is there anything that is considered original? Everything seems to be a manipulation or quotation of anything possible and it is hard to prove it.

Take Disney cartoons for example. The one I totally find familiar is Mulan. It is taken from the Chinese folk tale Hua Mulan and gave it a twist to make the story more heroic and funny. In the original story, nobody found out that Mulan is a girl until she dressed into her own clothes when she returned home and approach her friends in the army. She never did something as heroic as going to the palace and saving the emperor. The only part taken from the original tale is that she did take her father’s place in the army and trained like all soldiers. This should be called manipulation or plagiarism, as some of the story comes from original ideas, some from the folk tale and some form traditional Chinese customs.

Plagiarism is so hard to identify and the issue of copyright never goes away.