PR Buzz Word #5: Cut-and-paste creativity

Watch out for this one. It could get you in a lot of trouble.

Cut-and-paste creativity

This term is said when someone else’s ideas are being stolen. 

It’s said there’s nothing new under the sun. PR is all about ideas generation and problem solving. This term is becoming popular, but don’t let it bite you on the bum. Credit ideas and sources if required and don’t take someone else’s work, otherwise this term is the least of your worries.

4 thoughts on “PR Buzz Word #5: Cut-and-paste creativity

  1. Hope you don’t mind me playing devil’s advocate but I’ve always thought the principle is that you can’t protect your ideas, only the way they are expressed. I guess it’s an ethical decision on whether you use other people’s ideas or not. In my experience though it’s the execution of the idea that is the hard part. :o)

    1. Hi Tom, Not at all – love alternative angles. I think it’s dependent on what the idea is. Patents exist for inventions and names etc. A picture should be credited to the person who took it. In an essay, sources must be cited.
      Wider concepts and ideas are harder to control, look at the legal battles over company ideas, growth etc. Social media channels are fighting over rights to an idea. Snapchat’s angry at Instagram (Facebook) for the recent addition of ‘stories’ a similar video feature. Miranda Kerr is very vocal over her finance’s (one of the owners of Snapchat) intellectual property, calling Instagram (Facebook) 0ut in the press all the time.

      Cut-and-paste creativity is a term used when things are directly copied, an obvious ‘copy’ of an idea without crediting its creator. In the work place this could be someone passing off your work as their own. You’d be really annoyed.
      Another great example of this would be if I used a model, like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs and renamed it Bex’s hierarchy of needs, without changing the model in any way, or building on/contributing to Maslow’s theories. That would be direct ‘theft’ of an idea.

      You could then argue Tom that the man who took and transformed the MacDonalds brothers fast food idea and restaurant and turned it into a work model and franchise. The MacDonalds brothers never got their royalties from the man that took their idea and ran with it by making it work in a way they couldn’t (he compromised on quality i.e. did powdered milkshakes not fresh ones to standardise and replicate the product). This supports your point, the MacDonald brothers couldn’t protect their idea, he stole the idea, and he never got reprimanded for it, he just got rich. It was his expression of their idea. (This story has recently been made into a film called The Founder.) But, I would also argue that this was theft of their idea.

      Anywho, my point is, you can always argue both points but it’s about being ethical and fair. Using (with permission or referencing where your idea or modification of an idea came from) and stealing are very different. In an essay you’d be done for plagiarism if you passed off someone else’s idea as your own and consequently shunned by your peers and kicked out of University for lying. It is about ethics. Treat others, and other people’s ideas how you’d like to be treated. How would you like it if an idea you made widely popular was stolen by someone else?

      A difficult topic, worthy of debate. Nice comment Tom.

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