Wednesday, July 16, 2008

NDP 2008 MTV

Someone commented that our NDP 2008 MTV is very similar to a Japanese TVC. Judge for yourself:



Email said:
"if you notice something, our NDP video this year is a rip off from a Japanese TVC about this child thinking differently drawing a whale while our NDP version is tis girl drawing a star! what a shame!
First we have a MDA rap, next our NDP video actually rip off from another country's TV. How embarrassing."

My response was rather fervent:
"Rip-off? Spread the shame? I think that's quite an unfair statement to make. Having been involved in planning for NDP 04 during my NS days, I can tell you that original ideas are hard to come by. Instead, the effort is made to scour the globe for ideas that can help meet the objectives. If you look at the entire NDP 08 video, the classroom scene is just a small part of the whole thing.

To say that it's a rip-off, I think, is an insult to the effort that the Committee has put in to celebrating the nation's birthday.

My suggestion is that, instead of sitting in your armchair and commenting, get off your seat and contribute to NDP in a more constructive way. Then, perhaps, will you appreciate the thankless task that is NDP planning.

Please put yourself in the person's shoes before passing off callous, thoughtless statements, and think about the value it will add in people's lives before you click Forward.

Aaron Wong
MCM '03
NDP '04 Show Committee, PA to Chairman Show"

Some alumni replied with sensible responses, meaning I had to retract my words. Among their salient points, the fact that there is nothing truly orignal in the world anymore, merely adaptations and modifications, and that the NDP 08 people were merely (to use an MCM example), changing every third word to avoid plagiarism because three words in sequence is plagiarism. It's no crime by the letter of the law, but it goes against the principle of it:
"I really don't know guys. It was a tough day at work, and I guess my response was a little too fervent. Apologies there, Chee Kaur.

In any case, there may have been factors we were not aware of and will never know. Basically with something as big as NDP, I'm assuming the Chairman would not have allowed it if he knew it were plagiarised. He must have been kept in the dark somehow.

In my opinion, they found a good idea, used it, and probably hoped no one would find out. Pretty naive perhaps, but they could have gotten away with it if not for FMS-ers snooping around. =]

The thing I'd have done differently is probably cite the source of inspiration somewhere and make relevant changes to it so as to protect myself. I guess now they need to face the music, if only for taking someone's great idea, and perhaps passing it off as their own. Sounds familiar?

Lastly, I'm not a journalist, but perhaps still think like one. =]"

My final response:
"I think they found a really good idea. I'd use it too, if it was the best I could come up with. Most people are concerned only about the end result anyway, and don't care how you do it, as long as you get it done. That's work, guys. But the lack of citation was quite dishonest, and they should be accountable for that."

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