November 9th, 2011 / 2:54 pm

I usually like seeing text and ideas stolen and incorporated in new texts. Often there is a clear intent, or the layering makes it interesting, even if more often you maybe don’t realize it was stolen. Though when students do it for papers it can seem like laziness, and often really is. Little, Brown just killed a “suspense” novel that they realized stole direct language from lots of classic mysteries, unacknowledged, including major stuff like Bond. Are there limits to acceptable “plagiarism”? What are they?


  1. The Author Function

      The article I read definitely made it seem like the book was copying whole sentences and paragraphs straight from other mystery novels. I’d certainly call that unacceptable if it isn’t acknowledged. 

  2. gavin

      Interesting that you brought this up.  In class today, we had a whole discussion about the book we are reading (There Is No Year) and it’s relation to another book (House of Leaves).  Specifically, one student seemed irked that in the TINY chapter called “Inside,” the author of the book, as the student saw it, was deliberately stealing formatting techniques as they were also used in HOL.  The student’s ire reached a fever when he pointed out the coloring of the word bloodred in another portion of the novel, and we also commented on the similarities between the opening dedications of both books (For no one vs. This is not for you).  I asked if TINY is “stealing” (the student’s word) from HOL or if we could call it something else.  I also pointed out that HOL surely “steals” liberally from many sources, and that it would seem odd for the author of TINY to write that particular book while never acknowledging in someway the existence of HOL.  I have pointed out that TINY is in fact an entirely different book than HOL, while both mine some of the same tropes and terrain.  For me the textual conversation these books have with one another is part of the fun.  

  3. Richard Wasserfall

      I think there needs to be a level of irony, self-reflexiveness and artful appropriation in the act — quotes without the quotation marks — as well as, dare I say it, something of the prophetic: a bringing forth out of the plagiarized text(s) and into this world something of a new order.

  4. Blake Butler

      that’s interesting. i read HOL in 2001, and while enjoyed some of the house things in it, wasn’t really thinking about it at all in relation to No Year. definitely had no idea of the dedication of his book being This is not for you. honestly, i don’t consider HOL an influence at all on the book: the formatting i stole more from Inland Empire’s structure, and from other texts that are more recent and full to me. i’d call almost all of the overlaps there entirely coincidental, if certainly concerned in certain ways with the similar ideas of space and containment.

      beyond all that, i like the idea of any book being potentially related to any other book ever, and everything stealing from everything w/ or w/o intent.

  5. deadgod

      Once in a while, I ask myself whether there are limits to the acceptance of plagiarism.  You see, sometimes I enjoy seeing text and ideas borrowed or stolen and incorporated into other texts.  The intent, however complicated, might be undisguised, or the layering of ‘old’ and ‘new’ text might be interesting, but often one doesn’t realize what was taken from elsewhere.  (When students copy text directly into ‘their’ papers, it seems merely lazy and often is; that’s a criterion for limiting one’s acceptance of plagiarism:  self-aggrandizing laziness.)  –So:  I ask myself whether there are limits to acceptable “plagiarism” and what they are.

      I don’t mind telling you that I wish someone would initiate a discussion on this topic at HTMLGIANT–I don’t even want credit for making this suggestion.

  6. lorian long

      interesting that little, brown isn’t acknowledging what isn’t acknowledged

  7. EC

      I like working with appropriated text, including “whole sentences and paragraphs” from other sources, and I don’t acknowledge it to the readers (sorry Author Function).  But I do alert the editors by adding a note like
      “This story contains appropriated text,” when I submit such a story.  I figure that the editor can ask me about it if they want to, and at least I can say they were warned if a reader (or, who knows, a lawyer?) objects to the story after it’s published.  In fact Blake was kind enough to publish something of mine in the final Lamination Colony that wove in a lot of ripped off and detourned bits.  I only do it when there’s some kind of point, though, although (just personally) I probably wouldn’t object to more gratuitous, just-for-the-hell-of-it uses if I encountered them in others’ works…

  8. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      I still haven’t come to a conclusion on this, but I feel like the degrees of plagiarism have a direct relation to a piece of art’s commercial success. Like if something is made, and its intent is more strongly bent toward making money than making art, then plagiarism becomes more of an issue.

  9. c2k

      I wish someone would initiate a discussion on this topic at HTMLGIANT–

  10. c2k


  11. c2k


  12. deadgod

      Why, you dreary little copy-cat.

  13. marshall

      no limit

  14. Leapsloth14

      In this milieu, the fucked up HTML crowd, I would like to see everyone ‘steal’ works from  others and put them into their own work. I do it, and I would like to see others do it. Take my words, please.

      How about this, over at Collagist:

      I seriously like when authors drop other author’s work into their own. And I don’t care about citations or exposing it as not your work, etc. Shake shit up. Steal literature. It makes literature more valuable.

      The key to making poetry and fiction and so on significant and relevant is to steal it and reproduce it. Give it value. Piss someone off, if you must. Do it.

  15. ryan brei


  16. c2k


  17. The Author Function

      So corny. 

  18. deadgod


  19. Pontius J. LaBar

      Biting prose in heavy genre fiction is just a Folger’s Crystals switch. Readers/editors are probably more pissed they didn’t sniff the store-bought can of grind when they paid a premium and thought they were drinking fresh beans.  Fact is, the readers like the taste and the pretense they want it fresh is just bullshit. Shame on the guy for duping people, unless it’s Part 1 in a performance piece on the decline of the publishing industry.   

  20. The Author Function

      I mean, I’m sorry, but a lazy author who steals other people’s work and passes it off as his or her own for financial gain is not some crazy rebel blowing our minds with the transgression of their radical works, maaaaaaaan. They are just… a lazy author! 

  21. Leapsloth14

      Did I address authors who write for financial gain? I did not. I don’t give a fuck about those authors.

  22. Leapsloth14

      True dat.

  23. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      I think money is the true litmus test for how strongly one reacts to plagiarism. Like imagine you write something that doesn’t make money, then some dude steals a huge chunk of it, puts it in a James Bond movie or something, and makes hundreds of thousands of bucks off your work without any compensation for you?

  24. bartleby_taco

      interested in seeing full-length prose/poetry/fictional text written only using appropriated deadgod thread responses from the wesbsite HTMLGiant

  25. Leapsloth14

      I think money is the true litmus test for how strongly one reacts to plagiarism.

      That’s most likely true and an essay.

  26. Leapsloth14

      I like when people copyright poems.

      This entire comment thread I am going to publish tomorrow as a “novel” at a certain press.

  27. Leapsloth14

      I like that take. Plagiarism as wake-up call to a genre.

  28. William Hung

      A similar thing happened when the punk group Green Day recorded the song “Who Wrote Holden Caulfield?” and then the group Screeching Weasel replied with the song “I Wrote Holden Caulfield”, which contained the devastating line, “I wonder if you’ll ever come to realize what I always knew. I wrote Holden Caulfield and so did you.”

  29. ryan brei

      You all owe me money now. 

  30. gavin

      Thanks for the response.  I too like the idea that these coincidences are running hot through our books.  I think HOL is an influence on the student in question, and your book is ringing certain bells, which makes for an interesting conversation as well.

  31. ryan brei

       Coffee is coffee.

  32. ryan brei

      Selected Unpublished Blog Posts of a Group of Disgruntled Writers

  33. Blake Butler

      thanks for teaching it Gavin

  34. Laura Carter

      This brings up a lot of questions about “intellectual property”—there are fair usage laws, creative commons licenses, etc. I look at what Conceptual and Flarf poetry is doing and how this sort of subverts the notion of originality, which is something I’m largely interested in doing, to an extent.

      There is also the thought of emulation—how much borrowing becomes, well, a re-mix of original and pastiched in text, and a question I have is whether this is flattering or obsequious to the writer in question. 

      Slippery slope, something that I like to see writers re-thinking in theoretical terms, etc.

  35. mimi

      I like seeing, texting, ideas, stealing and newness.  
      I like clearness. Or layering. Just make it interesting.  

      I like more, often.  

      I like seeming; I like laziness.  

      And often.  

      I don’t like things that are little and brown.  

      I don’t like killing.  

      I like suspense.  

      I like direct language, sometimes.  

      Major stuff.  

      I like James Bond.  

      Are there limits to acceptable “liking”?  

      What are they?

  36. deadgod

      Why, you rancid little bomb-thrower.

  37. deadgod

      Why, you crummy little gold-digger.

  38. deadgod

      Why, you awful little avant-guardiste.

  39. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      Guys I’m bored and getting drunk. If anyone wants to play music with me come here:

      I can’t guarantee you’ll like what I play but I guarantee that I’ll be polite and drunk.

  40. William Owen


  41. John Minichillo

      The difference between theft and appropriation should be obvious. If it’s for the art you own up to it, point to it, color it, bend it. if it’s for convenience or lack of inspiration or whatever, deny deny deny.

  42. alex crowley

      I’ve been writing prose poems using other people’s sentences for a while now, but nobody reads my blog so it doesn’t much matter.

  43. James Tadd Adcox

      No, I like those. I like how you link each stolen sentence to its source, too. Not because you’re “giving credit” or whatever, but because it makes it seem like each poem expands outward in this really interesting way. It seems like the ultimate effect is based less on appropriation, per se, than the sort of possibilities of expansion inherent in appropriation.

  44. James Tadd Adcox

      I hope you weren’t fishing for compliments. Then I’d just feel silly.

  45. Trey

      please really be William Hung of American Idol fame. please really be William Hung of American Idol fame. please really be William Hung of American Idol fame.

  46. c2k

      I counterfeit money as well, so I can give you as much as you want. Send me a self-addressed stamped paper bag.

  47. Ester

      You didn’t mention if you were teaching undergrads or not, but I’m guessing undergrads. In my experience teaching the dear things, as hip as they generally like to think they are, they can often display a surprising puritanism. Perhaps that says something about American culture today (as mine generally are). Perhaps it just says something about me always wishing my students were freakier.

  48. Ester

      If the appropriated bits stand out as being way better than the author’s own words, then it’s just embarrassing. Similar to if an introductory epigraph is deeper than the whole poem or story that follows. One wishes, as with a bad toupee, that the author’s loved ones had stopped him going out like that.

  49. Brooks Sterritt

      I plagiarize the hell out of Kenneth Goldsmith.

  50. Bradley Sands

      I think it’s acceptable when the author is open about it and unacceptable when they are not. Yeah, what John Minichillo said.

  51. anon

      The idea of plagiarism would become obsolete if authors didn’t claim authorship. As would the idea of copyright. Both seem like antiquated ideas that need to dissolve in this day & age. If an idea or sequence of words is good enough that it gets replicated, then hats off to that sequence of words & forget about the author.  

  52. Cremistress

      human bodies

  53. The Author Function

      I agree we live in an age where art and giving credit to artists has little value. What is art except a reason to buy a shiny new iPad? If it wasn’t made by a massive global corporation with shitty labor practices, it probably isn’t worth copyrighting or paying for. 

  54. Leapsloth14

      I think it would be amazing to write a genre novel and occasionally drop full pages from other leading authors in that genre into the text. Wouldn’t that be challenging the genre, or pointing out something about its nature. I mean if I write fantasy, and I have swords and magic and light versus dark and all these genre cliches, then I drop several pages of another author who has magic, swords, whatever Tolkien hangover, it might be a conceptual work now, better than the genre.

  55. anon

      You’re confusing art for the artist. Art IS the value. Everything else, the artist, money & the technology we use to look at art will become extinct, but the art will remain.

  56. Erik Stinson

      the limit is brandon scott gorrell stealing my social media lexicon story for thought catalog and then publishing it in mcsweeny’s under his name

  57. Shane Clements

      The Cult of Originality, as I like to call it, wants you to believe that the best art is unique and original, but it’s not. Everything is copied from somewhere, or a translation of something. The best one can hope for is to be fresh, and sincere. It doesn’t matter where you take things from, it’s where you take them to.

  58. c2k

      Sincerity, eh?

  59. Shane Clements


  60. c2k

      When you steal something – knowingly copy and paste text, add/subtract whatever you want, reformat, co-opt, etc etc etc – and then submit this thing as your own so-called original work without acknowledging the source which is otherwise obscure (e.g. not shakespeare) to most readers, do you ever think, even for a moment, a second or three, before or after, that what you are doing, or did, is completely fraudulent?

  61. c2k

      When I hear things like “we live in a new age” etc re plagiarism, I tune out.

  62. Shane Clements

      The first poem I ever published has absolutely no original material in it, and does not cite its sources. Were I to direct you to its sources, you would not find my poem there. How is this fraudulent?

  63. c2k

      It could be. It might not be. I don’t know. Which gets to your point above about being sincere (“if only there were more sincerity in the world…”). My question – perhaps rhetorical – is about intent.

  64. Chase

      he he, dear things

  65. c2k

      Doing what you’re describing could be unethical. But it gets back to the original question asked by the author of this post: what are the limits? I’m thinking it is mostly about intent, which is difficult – really impossible – to police, so I revert in my thinking back to a rigid copyright law, but then again the cries that “we live in a new age”, “copyright is anachronistic” etc….

  66. Shane Clements

      The problem with copyright law, in this case, is that none of the sources I used wrote my piece. I did. Even if none of the words are mine, the act of assemblage and presentation is the unique instance of that particular poem.

      Think of it like sampling. Nobody questions an artist like Girl Talk when he sews together 24723844 different songs, but apparently, when I do this I’m creating unethical, fraudulent works.

  67. c2k

      I did not state that you’re “creating unethical, fraudulent works.”

  68. Donald B

      wow, just stumbled across the news, I published an excerpt from that novel as a web exclusive in the Nov Rail, here is the link  

  69. Weh?

      Will you say more about this

  70. Shane Clements

      But you’re still suggesting it. Why? What’s the intent of musicians who sample? Why would the standard be any different for a writer? Why are my intents being met with suspicion, especially when I’ve been up front with the methods I used?

      Furthermore, why aren’t writers who only use “their words” being met with similar suspicion?

  71. c2k

      What’s the intent of musicians who sample?

      I have no idea. You know what, never you mind. Continue as you were. You don’t need my permission.

  72. Victor Schultz

      if i write mimetic fiction, and i have cars and careers and epiphanies and all those genre cliches, then i drop several pages of another author who has careers, cars, whatever carver hangover, it might be a conceptual work now, better than the genre.

  73. Nathan Huffstutter

      I like listening to Night Ripper in my car, but it’s not for nothing All Day was offered for free. The essential harmlessness of Girl Talk is that even a casual listener knows they haven’t stumbled on an amazing new individual who raps like Biggie and plays piano like Elton. You could argue that through the mashup he DOES rap like Biggie and play piano like Elton, but those who rap and those who play piano would likely disagree.

      Portishead laid down “original” tracks and then sampled those to create the scratchy, sample-rich sound on their first couple albums. Grace Krilanovich uses cut-up techniques but presumably turns the phrases she then goes on to cut up. Perhaps that makes a difference, perhaps not. A lot of hands went in to making a Rodin, he got all the credit but at least everyone else got paid.

      Putting words on the page takes work. When an artist uses “found” text, readers can legitimately ask whether the artist is using the best materials at their disposal or if they are skipping a laborious but doable first step. 

      As has been pointed at in this thread, a key distinction boils down to whether an audiences’ appreciation for a work will increase as they understand sources and referents, or whether their appreciation is likely to diminish as source material is revealed. Sticking with musical examples, I would say that Elastica’s “Connection” is a much more interesting song if you’ve never heard “3 Girl Rhumba.” The Strokes may rip off “American Girl,” but, meh, probably makes no difference. Emmy The Great’s “First Love” is far better song if you’re familiar with not only Leonard Cohen, but all the other covers of “Halleluah.”

      I read your poem on Monkey Puzzle. I liked the line “beneath me this awful city screams” and the flow of “progress holes lead to boring prose.” I don’t know if those lines “originated” somewhere else, and the only way I’d know if that mattered to me would be to actually stumble across those lines somewhere else. 

  74. Shane Clements

      See, I’m not sure the distinction matters. The work should speak for itself. It’s just as easy to collage two disparate sources together for ill effect as it is to write a really awkward line.

      While I’ll grant you that Girl Talk obviously doesn’t have the rapping credentials others do, I don’t think anyone is judging his work as if he were a rapper. It’s equally true that Biggie can’t mix and rearrange music like Girl talk. They’re different skills.

      This kind of appropriation is hardly new, anyway. Look at Ted Berrigan’s Sonnets. Sometimes he cites his sources, sometimes he doesn’t. Entire poems are mashups of Rimbaud, Ginsberg, Ashebry, et al. Knowing the source of those lines doesn’t tell the reader much except where the author has been.

  75. deadgod

      your comment’s epigraph:

      A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.

      –Joseph Roux

  76. deadgod

      John doesn’t say that he doesn’t ‘accept’ “theft”.

      Blake might be suggesting that diversity of acceptability of copying is, itself, an artistic good–meaning that transgression of a norm in this regard is (paradoxically) virtuous.

      If this transvaluation obtains, then it’d be ‘good’ for you to copy-without-attribution.

  77. deadgod

      How will “the art […] remain” without institutions of reproduction and transmission (“money”; “technology”)? 

      Author is a pervasive political-economic and cultural institution; in what sense would “art” be made or exist without ‘authors’, ‘authority’, and so on?

  78. deadgod

      –so no lying or bullshitting or teasing, ever?  Or what:  it’s not ‘good’? it’s not real??

  79. anon

      Artist dies, object lives, if anything as artifact.

  80. Bradley Sands

      Yes, when a writer is open about using the writing of another, I do not consider it theft. When they are not, I do. I agreed with what John wrote, so I referred to his post. He clearly does not say that he ‘accepts’ “theft.”

  81. Bradley Sands

      I’ve always thought both House of Leaves and There Is No Year were heavily influenced by Ron Loewinsohn’s Magnetic Field(s), but I would need to ask Blake and Danielewski to find out if it were true.

  82. Shane Clements

      You can still lie, bullshit, and tease. Just mean it. 

  83. Leapsloth14


  84. deadgod

      John clearly does not say that he ‘accepts’ “theft” and clearly does not say that he does not ‘accept’ “theft”, because he clearly does not talk in terms of “acceptance” of “theft” or of “acceptance” of “appropriation”, but rather, makes a distinction between “theft” and “appropriation” clear.

      The value of that distinction to him, John does not clearly record. 

      What do you think?  –It’s a good rule:  don’t steal shit.  Is it ever constructive to break this rule?

  85. Guestagain

      ask The Chiffons. literary sampling? much appropriation is unchallenged in visual art and music, but in written work, it’s plagiarism. The limits of intellectual property (mentioned above) and reuse are very interesting but I am blank and going to get a fishburger

  86. Guestagain

      would come with Warning: may cause migraine or aneurysm

  87. deadgod

      Whatever objects like stones and dogs do, artifacts don’t “live” without the agency of “authors”.  Subtracting doer from deed is fine Nietzschean critique of metaphysics, but I don’t understand how, with respect to “art”, the “artifact” is anything at all without the “art[istry]” of an audience of “authors”.

  88. kb

      Things can just be/have References to other things (boring) or they can actually be lots of other things all at once (not boring). Lots of artists can’t tell the difference. Which is intuitional, maybe. But I can. And I am the judge. Because.

  89. Bradley Sands

      Writing more about John’s comment is “clearly” worthless.

      What do I think about stealing shit? Don’t do it. It is never constructive. If an author uses someone else’s text and attributes them, then I do not consider it theft (although the author whose work is being used, their publisher, and their legal representatives may feel otherwise).

  90. deadgod

      Same question:  so no not meaning it?  Is ‘meaning’ such a circumscription?

  91. c2k

      ALL CAPS.

  92. Shane Clements

      You can really mean not meaning it.

  93. BmrsMstD

      They just don’t want to be freakier around Prof. Ester

  94. deadgod

      Why, you cretinous little pill-mill operator.

  95. deadgod

      This, I agree with.

      –but you can’t know whether I “mean” it or not, just (a range of) what I – or the words – mean.  Do you see what I’m trying to indicate?

  96. bartleby_taco

      hey the pierre menard story: best borges story?? so maybe people should think about that huh !!! no one listens to borges !!! what the H !!!



  98. Ester

      Certainly possible, but wouldn’t explain why in one-on-one conferences they tend to let their freak-flag fly (more than I want to see sometimes) but in class, en masse, they group-think like (straight-laced) grannies.

      …Or perhaps I’m silly for responding in content. You may have just been trying to be insulting. In that case, um… Ouch. I bleed. (Ok?)

  99. Bradley Sands

      Agreed, I think the only reason a movie should be remade is if the original had potential to be great, but failed. Unfortunately, I cannot recall a movie like this. Perhaps there are a few long ago such as The Wizard of Oz and The Maltese Falcon. Hershell Gordon Lewis’s movie, The Wizard of Gore, had so much potential to be great, but it was a pretty bad movie. I thought it would have been the perfect movie to remake. And then someone did, with Crispin Glover as “the wizard.” So I thought it would be great, but it wasn’t. It was inferior to the original.

      A book that I wouldn’t mind seeing “remade” is Chuck Palahniuk’s “novel,” Haunted, which had such a great concept: Writers get locked into the writer’s colony from hell. They commit acts of violence and cannibalism against each other. The book contains stories that they write while their own story is occurring. And those stories were great, but they were all written exactly the same way, so the different characters obviously didn’t write them. Chuck Palahniuk did. And the framing device novella was really weak. So what could have been a great short story collection became a terrible novel. And a great concept for a novel was done poorly. Instead, Palahniuk should have written a better framing having narrative and served as an editor by recruiting other writers to write the stories so they wouldn’t all use the same voice. I can’t see a remake of that book ever being done, although I guess a similar version of it would be possible.

      Back to the writer who got caught: I think there’s a huge difference between this douchebag who writes commercial fiction and got caught plagiarizing and someone like a flarf poet or Kathy Acker. If someone plagiarizes, then they’re a plagiarist. But there isn’t necessarily anything wrong with that if the motivation behind it is anything besides laziness.

      Here’s an article about a notorious plagiarist involved in the small press world of horror fiction (although he’s also plagiarized more prominent horror authors:

      Another example of a douchebag, but one who isn’t published by one of the big guys. And he has done it again and again and again. And no one knows why. Maybe he doesn’t know either.

  100. alex crowley

      thanks man! I was really pretty sure nobody read them but I like making them anyway.

  101. Ester

      Nice. I’d never come across that quote before. I can’t stop myself from picturing the wit’s hands being stong enough to squeeze a coal pebble into a diamond. Wits are known for having Hulk hands, eh? 

  102. anon

      Sorry to hear you don’t «don’t understand how, with respect to “art”, the “artifact” is anything at all without the “art[istry]” of an audience of “authors”.» Maybe spend less time trolling HTML Giant comments & you might understand.

  103. Shane Clements

      Yes and I agree. I would pose it as the following question: how can you not mean to not mean something? Or, if you encounter a piece of art, you assume that the artist meant for it to be encountered at that state of completion. Often, the line between a work-in-progress and the finished product is the decision to release it into the world.

      Still, this is all presumptuous. We can never truly know, so all reading is an act of faith.

  104. Guestagain
  105. deadgod

      “I don’t understand” is sometimes (including here) a polite way of saying ‘you didn’t explain well’ (here:  ‘you re-mouth your trivialization of an idea’).  Maybe spend less time fumbling at your troll-jitsu and you might be less sorry.

  106. deadgod

      QUOTATION, n.  The art of repeating erroneously the words of another.  The words erroneously repeated.

      –Ambrose Bierce

  107. deadgod

      Why, you scrofulous little niche-vermin.

  108. mimi

      don’t shoot your load before Mean Week

  109. Leapsloth14

      Do visual artist site every source?

  110. deadgod

      Why, you panicky little Tardy Tammy.

  111. deadgod

      They do in the medium/a in and through which they’re constituted. 

      One way that words are a different kind of image than wordless images is how they refer generally (including by ‘citation’)–I think, differently enough that how words are used to cite sources is not fruitfully comparable to how, say, a building or an actor’s gesture resembles a referent.

      Do you think there’s no such thing as “written plagiarism”?

  112. NLY

      I’m too lazy to check and see if all these posts have been plagiarized from the last time HTMLG had this conversation.

  113. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      If you rephrase this to the tune of “I have better things to do than check and see if all these posts…”, you sound a lot cooler.

  114. NLY


  115. Joseph Young

      i would like all of you to steal my words for financial gain because i would like to see how those words could cause financial gain.

  116. Frank Tas, the Raptor

      I would if I wasn’t so busy trying to make my own words do the same thing!

  117. Ester

      Ah…The Devil’s Plagiarist. Indeedy.

  118. Leapsloth14

      I like collage.

  119. mimi

      panicky? moi?  

  120. mimi
  121. deadgod

      Maybe a movie studio could steal some pages of writing from you and give them to a person whom the California State Supreme Court would call a “creative genius”, which “genius” would forget where and even that she or he had seen those pages, like this: .

      You might even get to see the vacation of unconscionability, which you might have the temperament to call an act of “creative genius”.

  122. deadgod

      Here is Thomas’s semi-famous argument on the possibility that stealing is ever legitimate: .  Let me remind you that Thomas always begins with the best argument(s) – here, “objections” – he can think of against the position(s) he will ultimately defend, before developing his position(s) by attacking those arguments.  Let me also say that this web page is justly representative of Thomas’s characteristically fantastic subtlety in his direct and even simple philosophizing.

  123. deadgod

      Let me add that Thomas’s argument, in article 7, should be called, by a critic of political economy, revolutionary.

  124. deadgod

      don’t shoot your load before

      Why, you who-me? little Debbie Denial.

  125. mimi

      little Debbie Denial ! ?  

      Who ? ! ?    

      Me ? ? ?    

  126. mimi
  127. mimi


      i think that might count as Little Debbie denial.

  128. Guestagain

      instead of “cause” financial gain, “create” financial gain would be the more useful mode of thinking, creation begets creation

  129. Ronee

      there is such a thing as honor among thieves

  130. Joseph Young

      very true, was just going for a more sniggering tone.

  131. Guestagain

      sniggering tone achieved, I’m just interested in seeing artists take these things into their own hands instead of the parasites