Plagiarism and repetition in the cartoon (An attempt of classification), Marat Valiakhmetov
Plagiarism (from latin “plagio” – abduct), a type of author or inventor rights violation. Presented in the illegal use of someone else’s work (scientific, literary, musical) or invention, rationalization proposal (in whole or in part) without specifying the source of borrowing.
Big Soviet Encyclopedia
The most frank form of plagiarism in the caricature is a direct copy of the picture and lines (if extist), while preserving the composition and manner of the author.
Due to the huge amount of material available in the press, the Internet and in caricature collections, it is easy to steal a little-known work and attach it to the press, or even to a competition under your own name. There were cases when such clones even received decent prizes at international competitions.
Indirect, but still, a frank form of plagiarism is when the picture is not similar in style and composition to the original source, it only steals the plot of a cartoon, repeats its gag and humorous content. It is difficult to catch such a plagiarist red-handed since it is almost impossible to prove that this is not an accidental repetition (which will be discussed below). Perhaps, there are some signs, but which can be recognized by specialists only.
There is a kind of plagiarism, which I would call –
Plagiarism as a necessity
The artist as an employee of a daily newspaper simply cannot do without borrowing the ideas, gags of his colleagues, due to the fact that he is obliged to produce a lot of new material on a daily basis.
There is no direct plagiarism here, but many cartoonists recognize in these works their gags, notions and other findings.
As a rule, these authors are self-sufficient, they do not communicate with colleagues in the workshop, do not participate in collective exhibitions, in every way avoid any contact with the soul friends, choosing their financial well-being against conscience.
There is another version of plagiarism, which is quite forgivable, although annoying for respectable authors –
Plagiarism of an Idea
In cartoon the idea, the gag is the main component, the author’s pride. The gag itself is the most appreciated part by colleagues and fans of the genre. This can be skillfully used. It is easy to take advantage of privatizing someone else’s idea, drawing it in a different manner, in different composition and using other characters, which is not good. Impolite caricaturists casually turn out to be plagiarists.
It is also difficult to convict such an author of plagiarism, since there is another phenomenon that I would call –
Plagiarism as a Necessity
“A head is not a garbage bin” as my friend used to say when he had forgotten something.
It is impossible to keep in memory tens of thousands of works seen before, created by other authors, something once sunk into memory and a few years later emerged as a separate idea and was well adjusted to the current situation in society.
And the funny thing is that the memory helpingly suggests the same composition, so after you have to prove that you made it without malice.
The only way this can be avoided is to think carefully beforehand if such work could have existed before? It is not very difficult on the condition that you are educated, erudite and not stupid.
The main thing is to wake up the censor deep inside yourself.
Now we are moving to the most harmless form, which not being plagiarism at all is called –
Telling repeat of plagiarism is quite difficult. On a whim and basing on some signs one can believe that the author had not steal the idea, because it is simply floating around so it could have come to minds of several authors at the same time. Thus, in different issues, cartoons appear at one time like twins, differing however in an individual style of drawing and composition. In these cases, it is customary to assign authorship to an earlier publication of the work or, as it is often done, the idea is assigned to a more venerable and professional cartoonist. And nothing can be done here.
Being engaged in the selection of cartoons sent to Komsomolskaya Pravda, I found sometimes among the mass of amateur ineptly drawn drawings truly ingenious ideas. It was a pity to return them to the author with a refusal to publish, but it was absolutely impossible to print this feeble piece of art. “Crocodile” with his right decision is involuntarily recalled – good plots are to passed to the masters of cartoon performance.
We have to recall Valentin Rozantsev, who used to say that if you possess the original way thinking, you never repeat anyone.
And finally, in the caricature, there are pictures that, out of stupidity, are not only amateurs but other professionals take for a repeat at best, and for plagiarism at worst. These are the drawings that finish off a theme that sounded in a certain period – they put a fat point in the end of the topic.
Cartoon is also subject to fashion, if the hot topics that arise during a certain period of time are be taken as fashion. So, even the hundredth drawing on this fashionable topic of the author, who has found a new twist in the plot, is neither a repetition nor plagiarism!