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The Little Book of Plagiarism [Format Kindle]

Richard A. Posner
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

On Richard A. Posner:

“He writes with a flair that puts most journalists to shame and a depth of knowledge that puts most professors to shame.”
–Alan Ryan, The New York Times Book Review

“Posner has a voracious intellectual curiosity and a discipline for work rivaled by almost nobody in the United States.”
–Alan Wolfe, The New Republic

“An intellectual force to be reckoned with . . . he can lay claim to the title of pre-eminent judicial theorist of our time.”
–Leonard H. Becker, The Nation

“He writes with a refreshing parsimonious intensity.”
–Robert S. Boynton, The Washington Post

“A marvel. He is hyperactive like Harold Bloom, audacious like Christopher Hitchens, and a practical man of the world like Alan Greenspan.”
–David Brooks, The New York Times Book Review

“A polymath, a one-man think thank.”
–Gary Rosen, The Wall Street Journal

“Posner has not only the lively intelligence one expects of a public intellectual, but also extraordinary energy and resourcefulness.”
–Gertrude Himmelfarb, Commentary

“A felicitous writer with a marvelously caustic wit . . . a pleasure to read.”
–Eric Alterman, The Nation

Présentation de l'éditeur

A concise, lively, and bracing exploration of an issue bedeviling our cultural landscape–plagiarism in literature, academia, music, art, and film–by one of our most influential and controversial legal scholars. Best-selling novelists J. K. Rowling and Dan Brown, popular historians Doris Kearns Goodwin and Stephen Ambrose, Harvard law professor Charles Ogletree, first novelist Kaavya Viswanathan: all have rightly or wrongly been accused of plagiarism–theft of intellectual property–provoking widespread media punditry. But what exactly is plagiarism? How has the meaning of this notoriously ambiguous term changed over time as a consequence of historical and cultural transformations? Is the practice on the rise, or just more easily detectable by technological advances? How does the current market for expressive goods inform our own understanding of plagiarism? Is there really such a thing as “cryptomnesia,” the unconscious, unintentional appropriation of another’s work? What are the mysterious motives and curious excuses of plagiarists? What forms of punishment and absolution does this “sin” elicit? What is the good in certain types of plagiarism?

Provocative, insightful, and extraordinary for its clarity and forthrightness, The Little Book of Plagiarism is an analytical tour de force in small, the work of “one of the top twenty legal thinkers in America” (Legal Affairs), a distinguished jurist renowned for his adventuresome intellect and daring iconoclasm.

From the Hardcover edition.

Détails sur le produit

  • Format : Format Kindle
  • Taille du fichier : 136 KB
  • Nombre de pages de l'édition imprimée : 130 pages
  • Pagination - ISBN de l'édition imprimée de référence : 037542475X
  • Editeur : Pantheon (12 mars 2009)
  • Vendu par : Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Langue : Anglais
  • ASIN: B000S1LD8O
  • Synthèse vocale : Activée
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  • Word Wise: Activé
  • Moyenne des commentaires client : 4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)
  • Classement des meilleures ventes d'Amazon: n°416.578 dans la Boutique Kindle (Voir le Top 100 dans la Boutique Kindle)
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Commentaires client les plus utiles
4.0 étoiles sur 5 tout petit mais plutot pas mal 18 août 2008
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
l'ouvrage s'interroge sur une question a priori triviale: que signifie le plagiat? Posner utilise les outils de l'analyse économique du droit et son approche "pragmatique" pour avancer. De nombreux éléments intéressants et une approche réellement originale font tout l'intéret de l'ouvrage. A lire donc si vous êtes intéressés par le sujet.
Par contre, l'ouvrage est vraiment très petit: à la fois en taille et en nombre de pages, et certains pourraient être surpris.
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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.3 étoiles sur 5  19 commentaires
22 internautes sur 24 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Big Subject, Small and Accessible Book 8 février 2007
Par R. Hardy - Publié sur
Plagiarism is not a legal offense in itself. Thus, you might think that Judge Richard Posner might not be the best of guides to it, even though he has written books about non-legal issues before. But plagiarism does sometimes include fraud, copyright infringement, theft, and unfair competition, issues that are clearly legal in nature. In _The Little Book of Plagiarism_ (Pantheon), Posner has turned a legal view onto the very gray areas of plagiarism, an offense that everyone thinks is bad, but which comes in many forms, each with variants that are not offenses at all. Plagiarism has been in the news a lot lately, with famous (or potentially famous) people damaged by the charge. In the digital age, plagiarism is easier, and so Posner has written a useful volume to guide logical thinking on a hot issue. It is indeed a little book, 109 pages of text, but there are plenty of big ideas here, expressed in pithy prose that calls out for re-reading just to appreciate its clarity and lack of superfluity.

People weren't always so picky. One of Posner's examples is that of Shakespeare's use of Sir Thomas North's translation of Plutarch's description of Cleopatra's barge, which shows up in blank-verse paraphrase in _Antony and Cleopatra_. Posner includes both passages here, and it clear that Shakespeare really did borrow North, and also clear that Shakespeare's description is more colorful and fun to read. ("If this is plagiarism," jokes Posner, "we need more plagiarism.") If Shakespeare were writing today, he'd probably be in trouble for all his borrowed plots and characters. Plagiarism changes depending upon time, locale, and profession. So, how do we know when something is plagiarism and when it isn't? Posner suggests, among other things, that we evaluate the harm done. An example Posner returns to repeatedly is that of Kaavya Viswanathan whose novel _How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life_ came out in April 2006. She was a sophomore at Harvard University (Posner gives many examples from Harvard here, and maintains that plagiarism is no more common in that estimable school, just more conspicuous, and more enjoyed by the public when revealed). She got a half million dollar advance for her work and a film deal with DreamWorks. Attentive readers, however, found that there were passages that had been lifted from the work of a fellow "chick-lit" author Megan McCafferty. Viswanathan didn't do her readers any real harm; her book is as good as they found it. She didn't harm her publisher (until she was caught), and she herself brought any harmful consequences to herself. The harm is done to McCafferty, and not simply because McCafferty's words were lifted and re-used, but because by doing so, Viswanathan boosted herself up as a competitor within the chick-lit field, an unfair advantage.

So a key for finding plagiarism is finding that harm has been done, but Posner does not wish to see it among the harms dealt with by the criminal courts: "The harms it causes are too slight to warrant cranking up the costly and clumsy machinery of the criminal law", and often the harm is insufficient to crank up the civil courts, either. Viswanathan got her measure of "... disgrace, humiliation, ostracism, and other shaming penalties imposed by public opinion on people who violate social norms whether or not they are also legal norms." So did Doris Kearns Goodwin, Stephen Ambrose, and Alan Dershowitz, whose cases are examined here. That high-profile authors would risk getting caught in such thefts is something that Posner cannot explain, but he does make the case that the digital technology which makes plagiarism particularly easy these days is also going to make it more detectable. There are programs on the market like Turnitin which are doing better sleuthing for plagiarism than any professor or general reader. Thousands of colleges license the program; Harvard doesn't, and Posner accuses it of being naïve. Turnitin looks for similar passages in previous works, especially those on the web (and remember that many quotations from modern books are found on the web, even if full books are not). The program also looks for similarities within papers that have been submitted to it for inspection before. Publishers aren't themselves using such programs much yet, because they would simply rather not know beforehand, but Little, Brown lost plenty on the Viswanathan affair. Posner says, "We may be entering the twilight of plagiarism." It is a rewarding intellectual amusement to share Posner's thinking about the subject, which presents plagiarism with penetrating originality.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Plagiarism as a culturally conditioned reaction to Enlightenment individualism and market driven economy (see pgs. 64-75) 19 janvier 2007
Par Shaun - Publié sur
Posner is an accomplished federal judge and author. As a judge Posner adeptly distinguishes subtle differences in the way ideas are copied. What is plagiarism? - Posner asks. Posner give his full answer at the book's end: "Plagiarism is a species of intellectual fraud. It consists of unauthorized copying that the copier claims (whether explicitly or implicitly, and whether deliberately or carelessly) is original with him and the claims causes the copier's audience to behave otherwise than it would if it knew the truth" (pg. 106).

Posner not only discusses contemporary plagiarism but gives a history of the topic that places the modern version in its context. The first recorded usage of modern sense of plagiarism was in the Roman Empire by the poet Martial who claimed his work was plagiarized, Posner continues by giving additional examples which complicate our notions and require distinctions on terms such as "copy", "fraud", "plagiarism", "imitation", "copyright infringement", etc. Gathering together his ideas in the last chapter, Posner writes, "The vagueness of the concept of plagiarism should be acknowledged and thus a gray area recognized in which creative imitation produces value that should undercut a judgment of plagiarism - indeed an imitator may produce greater value than an originator, once 'originality' is understood, as it should be if we are to understand plagiarism in properly relativistic terms, just to mean difference, not necessarily creativity. In modern commercial society, which places the stamp of personality on goods both physical and intellectual for economic reasons unrelated to high culture, a verdict of plagiarism is pronounced without regard to the quality of the plagiarized original or, for that matter, of the plagiarizing copy" (pg. 108-109).

This book is short, fun, written clearly, intelligent, and a challenge. It challenges the definition of plagiarism as "literary theft" and instead emphasizes "reliance, detectability, and the extent of the market for expressive works as keys to defining plagiarism and calibrating the different types of plagiarism by their gravity" (pg. 109). Unfortunately, Posner gives us only one court case in his brief history of plagiarism (Rogers v. Koons).
9 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Originality vs. creativity 7 février 2007
Par hrladyship - Publié sur
This book is meant for a variety of readers: writers (beware), legal eagles (what is the difference between plagiarism and copyright infringement?), students (don't copy that Wikipedia article), professors (be careful about your student's research), etc. It is brief and to the point, yet raises several interesting questions. Do we most value originality or creativity? Posner defines the difference, although some readers may disagree with a a few bits here and there.

According to Posner, the concept of plagiarism as a bad thing is a fairly recent attitude. Shakespeare and others in the past -- from the Egyptians to the writers of the Bible -- have copied earlier works, improved on them or not, expanding the ideas and the discussion.

One concept is missing from the present discussion, however, that of "work for hire." For instance, writers are often paid to write works, fiction in particular, in a specific milieu, often under another name, without receiving public credit for that work. This may include students who do the research for a scholarly book that the professor writes (but I would not think the same holds true if the student does the actual writing and credit should be given, of course). Posner also states that plagiarism is more of a problem for students than professors. Given the "publish or perish" mentality of universities in hiring and granting tenure to professors, it would seem that plagiarism could become more and more of a temptation.

Beginning with the young "chick lit" author whose work was full of copied sections, working through scholarly writers, many instances of being caught are cited. Posner, like the news media, places greater emphasis on the fiction rather than the scholarly. The young Harvard student was virtually pilloried in the press. The only plagiarism in scholarly work that came close to being so condemned, was that of Stephen Ambrose. Most professors caught plagiarizing are forgiven by their institutions and, it would seem, the public.

It is important to consider this problem especially in light of the new software being used by universities that can identify plagiarism, access to virtually any written work via the Internet, and the ability for the news media and others to identify stolen work. There are some who espouse the idea that all creative work should be "open source." The possibilities are numerous.
12 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 if you are reading this, you should buy the book 21 janvier 2007
Par John Thorne - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
For those of us who enjoyed Judge Posner's Public Intellectuals or Law & Literature, this very little book fits in that niche -- easy to read, full of charming bits, grindingly rational. The book's topic and brevity will give it a natural market among school administrators and teachers. Maybe a private school or two will make it required reading for students. Students in particular need to know that schools now are using an internet software service to catch plagiarists.

But like Posner's other books, this one asks a deep and haunting question. Why do we prize originality so much? The best writers (Posner cites Shakespeare) copied extensively, improving as they went. The ancient Egyptians went thousands of years painting the same odd figures on their tombs; they disdained originality. Ironically, Posner explains, student textbooks may be the least original of modern writings.

The book is well worth $[...], an evening's reading, and further reflection.
6 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Short and dull. 27 juin 2008
Par David M. Giltinan - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Judge Posner is known for being prolific - reading the dust-jacket blurb, one's immediate question is "how can one man write so many books?" If this book is anything to go by, the answer is "by having them be short, dull, and perfunctory".

The operative word in the title is "little" - at 106 pages and a reduced page size (I would guess 60% of normal), it's little more than an expanded magazine article. There was nothing particularly illuminating in the book - the style was (predictably) stolid, with awkward sentences like the following being far too frequent:

There is considerable overlap between plagiarism and copyright infringement, but not all plagiarism is copyright infringement and not all copyright infringement is plagiarism.

The great majority of the material in this book was a dull restatement of the obvious. Even the examples were dull - quite an accomplishment, given that the history of plagiarism is not exactly wanting for colorful characters. The only thing I learned from this book was Judge Posner's view that the difficulty of detection of an offence should play a greater role than the seriousness of damage done in determining the severity of punishment, That, and the fact that he is not a fan of Doris Kearns Goodwin.

If you want to read a well-written and interesting book about plagiarism, give this one a miss and try instead Thomas Mallon's excellent "Stolen Words".
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