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Chan 1 Derek Chan Professor Collin Ludlow-Mattson English 114 16 November 2013

Viswanathan-Gate Malcolm Gladwell a New York author argues the true facts of plagiarizing intellectual property. His arguments benefit people who use the work of others to improve their own unique work. For example, a young Harvard student, Kaavya Viswanathan, was accused of plagiarism for using a small passage from another author and putting them in her debut novel. The passage was not copied word for word, but used the structure of it and used her own personalized work for her new piece. This incident was the cause many investigations of the young Harvard student and opened the ongoing controversy of plagiarism of intellectual property. Gladwell uses personal experiences to explain to his readers the truth and the irrelevance of this controversy in this particular issue. Malcolm Gladwell is also a young writer who is accustomed to the reality behind all types of writing creations. He especially understands the truth behind many fictional writing, and how they are generally concepts based on prior written concepts. With this being said Gladwell supports the fact that the young Harvard writer used content of another fictional writer to create her own unique intellectual property. Malcolm Gladwell explains to us the reality of which our world resides in and how the structures of writing for certain genres are bound to go through all types of plagiarism in its lifetime. With his experience behind the truth of our literature world it is very easy to understand where Kaavya Viswanathan is coming from when she is using the pre-existing work of another

Chan 2 writer, Megan McCafferty. I personally, believe that Viswanathan did no wrong in using the small passage from McCafferty. The use of McCaffertys passage was the opening door for Viswanathans own personal intellectual property. The work Viswanathan had created was a little novel on teen-literature. Teen-literature is fiction based work, and with this work the novel is bound to be using conventional uses of characters, plot, settings, and themes of pre-existing work. The way Viswanathan had used the pre-existing work from McCafferty showed many changes in work, but was only using the idea and structure behind McCaffertys work. The context of both texts were completely different but had the same idea and physical structure in the writing. When someone uses other peoples work while creating their own, I believe that a new type of intellectual property is created. Intellectual Property is defined as property (as an idea, invention, or process) that derives from the work of the mind or intellect; also: an application, right, or registration relating to this Merriam-Webster. When Viswanathan used her mind to create something new she created a new and unique intellectual property. The way that Viswanathan used her literature in her piece did not orchestrate any scholarly information. Malcolm Gladwell explains that scholarly information being used with no recognition is noted to be a type of plagiarism. But with Viswanathan she only used a piece of a fictional novel to create her work. She simply used a concept and idea that she found useful for her work and altered it in order for it to fit into the way she felt was necessary to create a new piece of work. The work isnt stolen intellectual property but is a personalized creation that Viswanathan made into her own intellectual property, therefore she is nowhere at fault for plagiarizing the work of McCafferty. The work is fiction based and with that type of genre of writing being used for Viswanthans work we understand that using the idea behind the pre-existing work and not the actual work itself is creating your own personal work. Malcolm Gladwell explains, When Doris Kearns Goodwin

Chan 3 borrowed, without attribution, from a history of the Kennedys for her history of the Kennedys, thats serious. Shes a scholar. And we have an expectation of scholarship that it is supposed to reflect original thought. We have no such expectation for genre novels, Harlequin romances, slasher films, pornor, or say, the diaries of teenagers. In our world, we have different perspectives on what we see as plagiarism. But when writing a teen fiction novel, we must consider that the work is bound to be pre-existing in another authors work. The work is not scholarly information and therefore is not deemed under the term of plagiarism. The concepts of plagiarism and copyright in this situation were greatly caused through our very digital world. When there are so many ways to access work of others it is inevitable that ones original work may be used for other peoples benefit. When there are so many ways to connect with others there are many ways we are able to view other peoples work and taking it into consideration for their own work. Viswanathan was greatly influenced by the work of McCafferty enough that she felt it was necessary to use her work in order to create a great piece of work of her own. The ideas Viswanthan used to create her personal intellectual property is from McCafferty, but no way at all did Viswanthan had the intent to steal the work of McCafferty to make it her own.

Chan 4 Work Cited Gladwell, Malcolm. "" '' N.p., 30 Apr. 2006. Web. 28 Oct. 2013. <>. "Intellectual Property." Merriam-Webster, n.d. Mon. 28 Oct. 2013. < property>.