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Visual Plagiarism

Visual (or art) plagiarism is discussed and tools for teaching students to avoid it are shared.

Cathy Tanasse

on 5 October 2018

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Transcript of Visual Plagiarism

Visual Plagiarism

This is a Scholastic Arts regional award winning student artwork which includes a picture copied from Google images.
Simple Definition of Plagiarism:
the act of using another person's words or ideas without giving credit to that person : the act of plagiarizing something
Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary
Shepard Fairey created the 2008 Barack Obama campaign “HOPE” poster. It was based on an AP photo of Obama taken by former Associated Press freelance photographer Mannie Garcia.
Fairey didn’t credit the photographer and was required to pay the Associated Press $1.15 million. He was also on probation two years and served 300 hours of community service.
In the student entry form, there were discrepancies in the source of the artwork images. Scholastic learned that the goat had been copied. However they believed that the student did not intentially try to cheat. The student artist was given a second chance to purchase the rights to use the image (under $50) which s/he did. Otherwise the art would be disqualified. It didn't win any additional awards.
One of my students copied a lot of art from the Deviant Art site, including the examples shown. Fortunately other students told me about it, so I didn't enter any plagiarized art into competitions. After being punished for plagiarism, s/he was only allowed to turn in observational work.
An earlier Scholastic Arts visual plagiarism example is illustrated below. "Selfish,” left, is a 2006 painting by artist Wenqing Yan, 20, of Monrovia, Calif., (www.yuumei.deviantart.com). "Stolen Wings," on the right is Kasey Bowman’s submission to Scholastic which won a national gold key, before the plagiarism discovery.
As a result, Scholastic posted a statement. “Contrary to information posted online by commenters on various sites, this student received no monetary prize from our program.”
There are many educational tools available to teach students to avoid plagiarism.
In addition to the Scholastic Art and Writing website, several schools, including Boise State University and Academy of Art University, have tools to teach students to avoid plagiarism.
• When is a visual concept "borrowed" and when is it "stolen"?
• Do you think it's okay to "borrow" as long as you change the original design?
• If you were the original artist, would you be angry over these obvious rip-offs?

There are many reverse image search options, but I haven't had much luck with them. Perhaps they work better for photography than art.
Having a system to purposefully search for usable images helps.

You can use Creative Commons, Flickr or Google (to name a few) and set up parameters for images that are copyright free.
In this presentation:
1. Visual plagiarism examples and consequences
2. Copyright free image search
3. Creative idea development resources
4. Quiz --using QR codes. If you dont have a QR scan app--take a moment for a free upload.
I would rather teach for creative idea development and documentation than check student art for originality. I'm just not that smart and dont have the time. It helps that my students check for plagiarism and notify me if work is copied. Once they realize that visual plagiarism is wrong, most students want to do what is right.
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