IF IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY, WHY DO WE NEED COPYRIGHT LAWS?

Bunch of hypocrites, I say. The other day, Garry commented that Apple is suing Microsoft (again? still?) over copyright infringements. And Apple is suing Samsung (like Samsung doesn’t have enough problems?) for infringing on the copyrights of the iPhone.

I told him: “In the computer world, every company is suing every other company for copyright infringement. World without end. It keeps the legal profession in business.”

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We tell kids — one among many hypocrisies we spew — that “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” If Julia copies your hairstyle, buys the same dresses, talks and walks like you, it’s because she admires you and wants to be you. “Now, be nice to Julia. She’s just showing how much she admires you, dear.”

But if Julia had the same rights as a corporation, you’d be suing her ass and taking it to the Supreme Court. Oh the lies we tell!

The actual quote is:


“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”  ― Oscar Wilde

Not quite the same. Interesting how big a difference a few words at the end of a sentence can make in its overall meaning.

COPYCAT | THE DAILY POST

39 thoughts on “IF IMITATION IS THE HIGHEST FORM OF FLATTERY, WHY DO WE NEED COPYRIGHT LAWS?

  1. love that photo.
    “you go first”
    “no, you go first, you’re the oldest”
    “nahh, you’re better at stairs”
    “look, they opened the door!”
    “don’t trust ’em, it’s a trick. See that broom?”
    “oh. yeah, you’re right…
    errm, what’s a broom?”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. So true and it often bothers me as a “wannabe” writer. If I like what someone writes and I write a similar article but putting my own slant on it, am I showing the other person how much I admire their work thus flattering them or am I infringing on their work and infringing on their copyrighted material? It does make one stop and think – doesn’t it?

    Great post.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I had no idea that was the whole statement or that Oscar Wilde had made it. 🙂 Goethe says that everything is imitation, that what passes for originality is nothing but an old idea whose time has finally come. I think that’s true. A lot of success is just an idea intersecting with the zeitgeist.

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      • You were right Marilyn. So with all this emphasis on suing everybody, Apple has lost its reason for being by slowly removing the functionality of new devices and pissing off their, once loyal, user base. Where’s Steve Jobs when we need him?

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        • The people who originally started companies like Apple and Google were well-intentioned. Altruistic. The corporate drones who have followed in their wake are the same greedy assholes who have always run the world. Jobs, sadly, lost his clout in Apple long before he died. The corporation is all powerful. It eats dreamers.

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  4. “People are taking the piss out of you everyday. They butt into your life, take a cheap shot at you and then disappear. They leer at you from tall buildings and make you feel small. They make flippant comments from buses that imply you’re not sexy enough and that all the fun is happening somewhere else. They are on TV making your girlfriend feel inadequate. They have access to the most sophisticated technology the world has ever seen and they bully you with it. They are The Advertisers and they are laughing at you. You, however, are forbidden to touch them. Trademarks, intellectual property rights and copyright law mean advertisers can say what they like wherever they like with total impunity. F**k that.

    Any advert in a public space that gives you no choice whether you see it or not is yours. It’s yours to take, re-arrange and re-use. You can do whatever you like with it. Asking for permission is like asking to keep a rock someone just threw at your head. You owe the companies nothing. Less than nothing, you especially don’t owe them any courtesy. They owe you. They have re-arranged the world to put themselves in front of you. They never asked for your permission, don’t even start asking for theirs.”
    Banksy (2014)

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    • I agree. With the advent of internet advertising, there’s NO WHERE we can hide. And they really do have remarkable software. The government may not be able to find you, but Google definitely can, as can Amazon and every other advertiser with whom you have tangentially crossed paths. When people talk about “privacy,” I laugh. What privacy? At least signage stays put so you can have the pleasure of defacing it. The stuff leering at you from your computer is much much worse.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I agree, Marilyn. It’s such a viscious cycle. I was told that as a child. As an adult, it came back to haunt me. I put forth some very well received ideas, which were taken. I constantly recalled that adage to mind in my teens as I’d find a beautiful dress, and others would buy it before I could make it. For awhile as an adult, I mistakenly thought it was “the best form of flattery” as I was told. Not so much! Misleading quotes confuse children. Speak honestly, truthfully. Let them be the judge. I also agree with the hypocricy of it all.

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    • Thank you. I’ve been thinking about this off and for years as all the high tech companies continually sue each other for copyright infringement. It will never end. No one will ever accept that you really can’t patent ideas. If you have an idea, you need to put it into a format that can be patented. A book, an invention, even a tentative concept for a thing or book or play. Even a scenario. You need something to patent that has a form and definable content. No one seems to GET that. Including the high tech companies. Bizarre and such a waste of time and money. Of course, it keeps armies of lawyers in business, so someone benefits.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Nobody likes a copycat… even Oscar Wilde apparently. I did not know the full quote, nor that it was an Oscarism. I need to drop the full context in front of the notorious, unapologetic copycat I know (and despise) from my other internet group. Not that he’d get it… he thinks he’s being so original and creative when he steals someone else’s idea or style and runs with it without any resemblance of credit or acknowledgement…

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    • I’ve given up trying to protect my photographs and writing. If someone wants to grab it off the internet, there’s really nothing I can do to stop them. Big corporations employ armies of people to monitor online “theft” and they miss as much as they catch, so I can’t see where I have a snowball’s chance in hell. Just, every once in a while when I get to Wikipedia and I say “Hey, that’s MINE,” I get a bit irked. i’m not even asking for money, just a credit for my work. That doesn’t seem so much to ask.

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  7. The wife and I really love this blog and appreciate the creativity and imagery you provide. If you ever decide to take this blog to the next level by offering a Mobile App version we would love to help, we appreciate the hard work you have put into this blog and wish you all future success in business and in life.

    Thank you for your time, it is the most precious thing we all possess.
    -Jacque’

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  8. “Imitation is the highest form of flattery.” So say the sooth sayers.., But when it means dollars are involved, not so much. So, it comes down to the bottom line after all. And not to diminish Oscar Wilde’s view “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness.” Sincerity’s got nothing to do with it these days as “mediocrity” is just a condition, hiding in the bushes, waiting to steal a little greatness.., or a lot.

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