Sunday, May 21, 2017

Ben Franklin, creative borrower …

… Do As Poor Richard Says, Not As He Does – The Awl. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

 As a citizen of a British colony, [Franklin]took immense pride in the comedic sensibilities of his motherland. More importantly, as an eighteenth-century publisher, he considered the inclusion of unattributed knowledge well within the bounds of fair use. “Writers [back then] didn’t have the modern sense of plagiarism that today’s professors pound into the heads of our students,” says George Boudreau, history professor at La Salle University. “There was certainly no shame in lifting someone else’s words or ideas, whether it was for a personal letter, a newspaper article, or a government document.”

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