Thursday, July 18, 2019

Hey buddy, you deserve your ads to be plagiarized!

"He who does not speak about the right is a silent devil"
Artwork by Tarek Chemaly
In Arabic there is a saying: "He who does not speak about the right is a silent devil". And how true that is! In a campaign that was run lately, there was a line/concept which was identical to another campaign which appeared more than a decade ago (both are civic awareness campaigns). I had the original in my archives, did a composite of the two one on top of the other - it would take an idiot or a unethical person  not to notice they one and the same.
By sheer chance, the person who did the original ad saw the composite image and told me it was him who had done it on a freelance basis and specifically told me that the person who copycatted his ad was aware of its existence.
I naturally suggested he should confront the person who copycatted his ad, because otherwise he would be complicit in the theft on an ethical standpoint. A heated exchange followed and he said he could not do it because the person who copycatted him was his "friend". With friends like these who needs enemies? And to subvert the known saying "keep your enemies close and your friends closer",
Indeed, now the person who was copycatted is part of the theft because he knew about it, but did not have the balls to say anything about it. Again to go back to Arabic sayings, there is a nice one that goes "ya antar leich inta antar? Antared w maha raddne" (Butch, why are you so Butch? I got Butch and no one stopped me). So the person stealing all these ads is running rampant  because those who can (and have the moral right) to confront him are not doing so.
There is a brilliant article in The Guardian about poetry plagiarism, just the title is itself is wonderful: "Plagiarists never do it once" which is a quote from Ira Lightman. You don't want to stop plagiarists who steal you because you got no guts? Don't worry, I will.
Oh and in this case, yes buddy - you deserve to have your ad plagirized.

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