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Tuesday, January 17, 2006
creative plagiarism ... whats that? Home
Posted at 2:29 PM by Aditya

you would have heard about songs being copied, movies being 'influenced' from foreign stuff ... and for the techies, features being copied from various like softwares for eg: monad and spotlight ... mirror images of each other. there are people who complain, who rant and try to make the whole thing sound bad. bad enough to try and persuade people not to view/use the 'copied' material in question. now, whats the deal with that?

as a musician myself, i'd know how much it hurts or angers one to see your material being copied and used for profit ... but at the end of the day the moral battleground is the only place where such acts might make a difference, because all's fair in love and war! take for example, and this is a very old battle ... old enough that people might be getting tired of it, but still i'd like to use it here, the clashes between firefox and opera [i heard those groans!!! ]

the biggest complain among people is that firefox is nothing revolutionary, in the sense that most of the features such as tabbed browsing, mouse gestures have been there for a whole decade, invented and introduced by opera. and for that reason, people should look to opera because firefox is just a copycat, and its using features which are not its own, to market and sell as a superior browser! fair enough, you might say, but lets delve a little deeper into the conondrum. search for the stats, and search for all the reviews, and you'll see people still prefer firefox to opera. within a years time, firefox has achieved what opera couldn't in a decade - drill a 10% market share hole into IE's hold - and that is something to be proud of.

that should be reason enough for you to see that people really don't care if things are copied. what matters to them is how easily is something accessible. if they are getting all the features of opera in their favourite browser, and the one they have been using for a while, they will not switch on to the older one just because it had the same features first. its not a 'me first' approach that works in this world anymore. its the 'me better' line that kicks the socks off consumers. if you analyze firefox's marketing strategy, you'll see how brilliant their entire campaign has been. it should be a case study for marketing students. they'll learn a lot. by feeding innocent first timers to the concept of an alternative browser with facts that might be half-truths, and glamourising buzzwords that no one had heard of before, but sounded cool (like extensions), there was no way firefox could have failed! even today, there is a constant debate whether firefox's statistics are inflated, or they are true (however the debate ropes in opera's stats too).

the same goes for features which microsoft wants to incorporate in windows vista. people tout that they are ripoffs from apple's tiger. features like widgets and monad, are mirrors of dashboard and spotlight, no doubt. but why will people switch over to tiger, when the features are coming to them with an operating system they have been using forever? it offers the same familiarity, with added features which even though are not revolutionary or as new as they are told to be, still come to them with the microsoft logo that they have come to appreciate, use and trust. why will people switch over? microsoft has been there since forever, and the only reason they have managed to remove competition is because of their presence. they have been here long enough, and they know the people well enough ... as well as the market ... to know what will sell, and how much will it sell. it'll be hard, if not impossible, to come up with anything which might challenge already settled companies and features. that is the sole reason why i think opera is fighting a losing battle, and apple should concentrate on bettering their music department (although their new macs, in partnership with intel have been huge hits - which im sure is just an exception to the rule). the run for internet control between microsoft, yahoo and google will end up nowhere, because google saw the potential and with constant innovation after innovation, plus the added security and ease that they offer, people see that google really does work, and deliver. so as far as the internet goes, people will readily try anything with a google tag to it!

these are arguments that i've put forth from the tech world only, to keep this article short. but there are many other instances of movies being copied from foreign existing movies. how will it matter to people as long as they are getting to see a good movie and getting their money's worth? the one's who argue need to seek to understand the psyche of the consumer, and see where the fault lies and why such acts go without hurting much of the proceedings.

the rest is just theorising, and i don't follow the market that well to know who is doing well at what point of the day. so after this, its just into the realm of farcicial unprofitable talk ... so i shall leave it here! :)

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