Saturday, August 2, 2008

Newton's Third Law of Motion

A week has passed, and clearly the reaction to my blog posting Nothing like plagiarism... and IP rights ignored was very similar to Newton's Third Law of Motion: "Every action has an equal and opposite reaction."

As a result of that post, the "target of my diatribe" as Orest put it, was his blog called Ukrainian Musical Matters. Why was his blog a target? Simply because it stuck out like a sore thumb, like a red flag in front of a bull, one which broke the first two tenants of blogging of the Blogger's Code of Ethics:

  • Never plagiarize.
  • Identify and link to sources whenever feasible. The public is entitled to as much information as possible on sources' reliability.

While I never doubted what Orest's motivation for starting his blog were, and they were noble, time consuming and provided those interested in Ukrainian music a resource in English, he seemed to miss the point that no matter when you make a statement publicly there are bound to be those who quietly absorb the information provide, those who on occasion comment, and others who will be critical. How one interprets the criticism being thrown their way is totally up to them, also is their reaction.

Orest's reaction to close down his blog was his choice, however, he had a number of options:

  1. He could have simply ignored my blog post;
  2. He could have simply admitted he had made a mistake and began citing his sources;
  3. He could have rebutted, and clarified what the goal of blog and continued investing his time in providing information in English.

Orest himself stated: "I should have included attribution to the articles, but that was my mistake." See his comments on: "A small bump in the Koktebel" Yes, Orest it was your mistake! But your reaction was a little bit drastic! And while you never claimed that the articles were yours you still did plagiarize, if you accept one of the definitions as being: "use (another's production) without crediting the source". While you may have not plagiarized in the academic sense of the word, you never provided sources of your material.

Orest suggests that I do the following:

"Maybe you should head on over to:,,, These internet sites have massive archives of Ukrainian music available for download for FREE. I'm sure a few rights are being violated like copyright infringements, illegal distribution, unlawful storage..."

If the laws on IP and such had any teeth in this country, I would have done so long ago. However, this is not the case, but if Orest was aware of these sites then why had I never seen a post on his blog related to these issues. Problems are not resolved without open public discussion as well as discussion in which those involved at all levels participate in order to arrive at a solution.

The problem in the industry in Ukraine is that most musicians have their own agendas, if they are signed to a label, it usually mirror's the agenda of the label, whether they are aware of it or not.

The industry in fact is very anti-Ukrainian, as are radio stations and TV stations, when it comes to Ukrainian music. To them Ukrainian for the most part is that what they consider Ukrainian, music that they can label and ghettoize! Nonetheless, music flourishes in this country, with some bands better than other, some with a following and others without, and this they manage to do in a country that is completely lawless. But until, musicians here in this country start to work together in tackling infringement upon their intellectual property Ukraine will still be in the backwaters for years to come. But one way I see this happening is leading by example, the fact that Orest took material from band's websites with little complaint from them, is that they are not of the mindset to think about intellectual property, they are artists for the most part, and few even think of their music and creativity as a business.

The issue of putting Ukrainian culture in a ghetto is a topic I touched on in April of 2007 in my posts: The will of the people and Getting back on track..."They ask us, if we have a culture".

Now that Orest has more time to sit down and have an Obolon as he has closed down his blog, thanks to me, maybe it will provide him the time to have it settle in: there are many things we do that are thankless and under appreciated. Unfortunately, he reacted the way he did, but that was his personal choice!

1 comment:

  1. I think everyone feels like throwing in the towel from time to time. Certainly I have been tempted! But I'm always glad when I don't give in to the temptation.

    Invariably, I have found that even what seems like the harshest criticism often turns out to be a blessing. There is always something to be learned from other people, even when their opinions differ. I long ago learned not to take criticism personally, because as often as not, what I initially perceived as "criticism" has ended up saving my skin!

    Thanks for posting the link to that cyberjournalism site with the blogging protocols. While I already knew about only posting article excerpts (defined as "fair use") to avoid plagiarizing, and also to cite sources and provide links to them, there is always more to learn about this new craft of blogging. And that site is a goldmine!