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Workshop Description

Everything is a Remix is an online series that explores the link between creativity and copying that reminds us there are many ways to think about plagiarism. We’ll address the challenge—and potential—of plagiarism by brainstorming approaches to assignments that encourage creativity and reduce plagiarism.

Rachel Levin (Faculty Development) led this discussion.

(Workshop date: Fall 2012)

Learn more: Plagiarism Is Not Always What We Think

Slideshow (no audio)

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Online Resources

  • Everything is a Remix

  • Tape-Beatles
    Beginning with analog tape recorders, and later expanding to include digital technology and film media, the group of artists and musicians has used collage techniques to create works that challenge the notion of intellectual property through a process they call "Plagiarism®."

  • TED talk - Kirby Ferguson: Embrace the Remix

  • TED Profile - Johanna Blakley
    Blakley studies the impact of intellectual property rights on innovation, and finds that those industries unrestricted by copyrights - such as the fashion industry - thrive and that "knock-offs" and the ability to "steal" a design leads to greater creativity and a faster evolution of ideas.

  • Steal Like an Artist


  • Blum, Susan. Academic Integrity and Student Plagiarism: a Question of Education, Not Ethics. The Chronicle of Higher Education (February 20, 2009).

  • Lethem, Jonathon. The Ecstasy of Influence: A Plagiarism. Harpers (February 2007).

  • Schumpeter. Pretty profitable parrots: For businesses, being good at copying is at least as important as being innovative. The Economist (May 12, 2012).


  • Boon, Marcus. In Praise of Copying (Harvard University Press, 2010). Free PDF available online

  • Hyde, Lewis. Common as Air: Revolution, Art, and Ownership (2010). Draws on the founding fathers for arguments against the privatization of knowledge.
  • Goldsmith, Kenneth. Uncreative Writing (Columbia UP, 2011). [Review by Radhika Jones]

  • Raustiala, Kal and Sprigman, Christopher. The Knockoff Economy: How Imitation Sparks Innovation (Oxford University Press, 2012). Uses a study of fashion and other industries to argue that creativity can coexist with copying, and even thrive.

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