Let’s say no to pla­gia­rism, fakes

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

A bite of China: Episode of in­stant noo­dles, a video film made by sev­eral col­lege stu­dents, has gone vi­ral on the In­ter­net. The mak­ers of the video no doubt feel proud of their “work”, yet the pla­gia­rism on the pre­text of “honor­ing the orig­i­nal” will only harm the orig­i­nal work’s rep­u­ta­tion, says an ar­ti­cle on gmw.cn. Ex­cerpts:

The sec­ond sea­son of A Bite of China, a doc­u­men­tary on Chi­nese cui­sine, was ac­cused of pla­gia­rism af­ter its first episode was tele­cast. Now sev­eral col­lege stu­dents, by copy­ing its nar­ra­tions, back­ground mu­sic and sto­ries and re­plac­ing the dishes with in­stant noo­dles, have gained huge on­line pop­u­lar­ity, which is rather ironic. If the stu­dents in­deed wanted to “honor” the orig­i­nal doc­u­men­tary, they should have at least done so cre­atively.

Other col­lege stu­dents have in­dulged in sim­i­lar ac­tiv­i­ties, which can­not be seen as mat­ters of sim­ple en­ter­tain­ment once lo­cal govern­ment de­part­ments or com­pa­nies get in­volved. For ex­am­ple, the replica of the Sphinx built in Shi­ji­azhuang, He­bei prov­ince, has trig­gered a bit­ter dis­pute.

To the ut­ter em­bar­rass­ment of the Chi­nese govern­ment, Egypt has lodged a com­plaint with theUN against the Sphinx replica. If the replica of the Sphinx has to be de­mol­ished be­cause of the Egyp­tian govern­ment’s protest, who should be held re­spon­si­ble for wast­ing huge amounts of pub­lic re­sources on the im­i­ta­tion struc­ture?

The video and replica cases es­sen­tially re­flect the lack of in­no­va­tion among Chi­nese people, which is some­thing to be wor­ried about. No one can say for sure that the stu­dents, who made the video and sud­denly be­came “fa­mous” and even made some money in the process, will not make more knock-off prod­ucts af­ter their grad­u­a­tion.

How­can one gen­er­a­tion pass on the spirit of in­no­va­tion to an­other if no one feels ashamed of be­ing copy­cats? This in­deed is amat­ter of great con­cern.

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