Wednesday, April 30, 2008


I found it really interesting considering the outcry over stolen ad ideas to look at the controversy surrounding Uber-producer and hitman Timbaland.

Watching the numerous You Tube videos of tracks he has stolen from makes it pretty hard for him to deny any wrongdoing... yet he is doing just that.


Anonymous said...

This is a really interesting issue as ideas come from taking in your surroundings, analyzing and interpreting them in your own way. Where the line between an idea generated from things you have seen and theft lies is a difficult one, the Timberland one and the berocca ad seem a little but close to the original ideas to be classed as an original idea, but it is always down to personal opinion i guess, so the debate will continue.

Robert said...

You're back ...

Great post and a great discussion point - though it also opens up the debate regarding the use of sampling as well.

I've tried to write something for the last 10 mins and whilst I know what I want to say, I just don't know how to express it properly without getting myself into a twist.

I'll try and sort out my head and write what I mean but in general terms, I think some of the issues that allow people like Timberland to get away with blatant inspiration [but not duplication, oh no, cough cough] compared to someone like WCRS is the fact that ...

1. Musicians are probably perceived as having more cred as a 'creative' force than an ad agency so are judged differently by the masses.

2. Many musicians openly acknowledge their influences whereas too many in adland pretend everything they do is unique and brilliant

3 People view what a musician does as helping convey their 'creativity' whereas people know an agency is working on behalf of an external party so will do whatever they can to make a sale.

Actually they're rubbish aren't they! Bugger. Let me think about this - though the reality is that probably everyone acknowledges when some 'duplication' is going on, it's just those in the industry are more vocal about it because they like to pretend their originators when in reality they are just as bad as everyone else or just better at hiding their inspiration, ha!

Sorry for the long and completely pointless comment.

Helge Tennø said...

Michael Shermer, Director of the Sceptics Society, does a brilliant point out "priming" on his TED talk:

Saying that the brain gets primed to look for certain patterns when asked to do so, changing reality into what we want it to be.

Not saying that Timbaland haven't ripped off Janne Suni, just saying that when we are asked to look for copycats we tend to do so. :o)

Robert said...

Great point Helge - but sometimes we don't have to be looking for similarities when they are presented to us on a plate :)

Rob Mortimer (aka Famous Rob) said...

Helga - Good point, you can see it in this case, although most of these songs are irrefutably ripped off, there are a few cases of people trying to hard to find something stolen!