Why You Might Accidentally Plagiarize Someone's Photos or Videos and What You Can Do About It

Imagine thinking you came up with with a great idea for a shoot, after which you put the concept together and shoot and edit it all, only to realize that not only had you accidentally plagiarized the idea, you plagiarized it from something you had seen before. Check out this fascinating video on the phenomenon.

Coming to you from Jamie Windsor, this interesting video talks about the theoretical implications of cryptomnesia and the very practical consequences it had on a project of his. Cryptomnesia is a misattribution memory bias in which a person recalls something that was previously forgotten but does not correctly recognize it as a memory, instead attributing it to original thought. It's not an unusual thing: we're inundated with media of all sorts day in and day out, and human memory is imperfect. I've written my fair share of passages only to later realize I had just lifted something from Ravel. In addition to Windsor's remedy, I've found it also helps to know the repertoire of your specialty as well as you can: the better you know all the prominent works, the more easily you can recognize when you're inadvertently lifting something. 

Lead image by Startup Stock Photos, used under Creative Commons.

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5 Comments

Just do what Amy Schumer does and deny it.

kinda like inception

Accidentally, you mean when you get caught and called out.

Kirk Darling's picture

I'm not so sefl-centered as to think I've come up with an absolutely unique idea. I realize where I've seen "my" concept before and then make a deliberate effort to move away from that.

david carnes's picture

hmmm