The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.1761  Tuesday, 9 September 2003

From:           Anthony Burton <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:           Monday, 8 Sep 2003 11:28:21 -0400
Subject: 14.1754 Wood Controversy
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.1754 Wood Controversy

If the distinction between piracy and plagiarism has been forgotten, it
surely occurred recently.  Black's Law Dictionary confirms my own
memory, by including in the definition of piracy (beyond the Cap'n Kidd
variety) "The term is also applied to the illicit reprinting or
reproduction of a copyrighted book or print or to unlawful plagiarism
from it."  Plagiarism is defined as "The act of appropriating the
literary composition of another, or part or passages of his writings, or
the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product
of one's own mind."

It appears from the first definition that the meanings may overlap but,
my own sense of the matter is that this is an appearance only, and that
plagiarism is a wrong against the creator or maker of a work, and piracy
a wrong against the publisher or distributor (who may also be the
creator).  A rough and ready simplification is that the first protects
the creatives, the second protects the suits.  Or, as the Marxists among
us might imagine it, first the producers and then the exploiters.

My descent into the stormy teapot of scholarly discussion led me also to
a nearby dictionary entry I hope others will find as fascinating as I
do.  It is that for "Pimp-tenure," defined as "A very singular and
odious kind of tenure [i.e.,  the right to hold land under specified
conditions of duty to the lord granting it, TB] mentioned by the old
writers.<Wilhelmus Hoppeshort tenet dimidiam virgatam terrae per
servitium custodiendi sex damisella, scil. meretrices ad usum domini

Tony Burton

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