What He Said

Friday, February 22, 2008


In the windy realm of political oratory, boosting words or cadence or even whole sentiments is nothing new. Did it stick, then, when the Clinton campaign invoked the P-word after Obama borrowed a few sentences from Gov. Deval Patrick? Copy that!

Comments [8]

Bob Foos from Webb City, MO

Weeks later, and I still can't quit relating YES WE CAN! to Bob The Builder.

Thanks, OTM.

Mar. 11 2008 02:58 PM
David R. Pekarek Krohn from Chicago, IL

"Connected threads or no, in journalism, literature and scholarly writing, borrowing text unattributed is unequivocally a crime."

This comment by Bob Garfield is problematic in two ways.

First, there are cases where borrowing text unattributed is not a violation of law. This is known as fair use and is preserved by statute for the benefit of the public.

Second, and more importantly, even if it is a violation of the law, it is likely not a "crime." Almost all copyright infringement, especially in the United States, is actionable only in civil, and not criminal, court. This is a mistake often made by the media, where they announce that someone was found "guilty" of copyright infringement.

Feb. 26 2008 09:42 AM
Jack from Chicago

I think Clinton raised this issue because nothing else in her candidacy is gaining any traction. It didn't work either, time for the attack ads.

Feb. 24 2008 05:22 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Back in ’85, in my first run for city council on the Green Party ticket here, my slogan was “Building A Future For All Of Us”, with a photo of me helping construct a Peace Pagoda on our town green to memorialize the 40th anniversary of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Two years later, the incumbent Democratic Mayor’s campaign slogan was “Building A Better New Haven For All Of Us”.

I didn’t accuse him of plagiarizing it, strictly defined by using more than three words from a source consecutively without attribution. I charged that he had stolen my slogan.

Not that I cared. I was actually flattered and highly amused, but the charge got me more press than all the work I did on cablecasting council meetings, raising money for the senior citizen newspaper I worked for, or trying the establish city-wide recycling. It was a hook I knew the press could hang a story on.

Years after, the later jailed Republican Governor decided to take it a step further with his slogan, “Building A Better Connecticut For All Of Us.” Now, he’s the Economic Development Director of his hometown, Waterbury.

Voters elect and re-elect thieves all the time in this country, so who thinks a little plagiarism will change the dynamic of this race? It’s a time honored tradition.

Feb. 24 2008 02:56 AM
Darrel Plant from Portland, Oregon

What got Joe Biden in trouble in 1988 wasn't simply that he used someone else's words. It was that he appropriated someone else's history and modified the details to present it as his own. He took Neil Kinnock's words about his forefathers coming up from the mines and mapped it to New England, saying the same thing about his own ancestors. There is a difference.

Feb. 23 2008 01:14 PM
Dan Woog from Westport, CT

So how come no one is upset that both Deval Patrick AND Barack Obama are quoting the Founding Fathers without attribution?

Feb. 23 2008 10:41 AM

Noted -- perhaps on his next trip to your county here in North Carolina, Obama may just skip through Henderson entirely...

Feb. 23 2008 08:07 AM
Emmett Bailey,Jr. from Henderson, NC 27537-8257

Consider this quote--mine: U.S. Corporate interest will not allow Obama keys to the White House. Reference JFK in Dallas

Feb. 23 2008 07:51 AM

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