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May 4, 06 10:59 AM

Defense of Ganking.

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Opal Mehta is a patsy.

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I'm lucky to be in music, where we're allowed our link to an oral tradition, and can gank other artists' riffs with license. I do it all the time, and it's been done to me. (I still get emails about how I should get money from Ricky Martin, and believe me, I fantasized about big fat Sony checks, but I think that it's just part of the back and forth of my art form) The worst that can happen in music is that you get sued and you have to give up a portion of your songwriting money.

Not so in writing; it's shocking and repugnant to the literary types. At least ostensibly. But really, why bother with the moral stance? Why not just allow the art form to be enriched by artful ganking? Maybe the authors whose work got bitten are owed money. But to remove "Opal" from shelves is unnecessary drama.

The post James Frey world of books is pretty funny considering how aware the public seems to be that reality shows are thoroughly scripted.

In sixth grade, I used to write sci-fi short stories ripping off movies that for some reason I thought no one else saw: 2001, and Planet of the Apes, and others. None of my teachers busted me, and I think they did me a solid; it helped me learn to write.

I'm reminded of the kid in The Squid and the Whale, who played a Pink Floyd song at a talent show and pretended he wrote it. Heartbreaking; I identified with that kid.

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Posted by Mike at May 4, 2006 10:59 AM