You're quite welcome! Your article was one the first in the google search! I could feel that frustrated and angry tone, but that isn't a bad thing. Most people, perhaps those who view art, rather than create it, don't understand the idea of concept plagiarism or copyright infringement. It sucks you had to experience relationships where people disrespected your friends or other artists by taking their work. That's the reason I started the article with the Sketch/ Tattoo Fixer's example, because tattooing is an artform where artists often site the excuse for stealing as "everyone's done this tattoo before, so it doesn't matter." When in reality claiming someone's custom designs as your own is plagiarism.
I report the plagiarism I see online, especially since it can make supportive environments for art sharing and teaching, like deviantArt, quite toxic. There is actually an example of plagiarism, from two years ago, right here on deviantArt. I didn't use that in my article, because I wanted to avoid backlash. But it also pisses me off. I'd rather maintain my integrity a an artist/photographer/cosplayer than stand by and ignore when other artist's work is being copied.
It's an important issue for me, since I am inspired/influenced by writers such as Rowling and Tolkien. Or when I attempt to emulate a poet I greatly admire. Emulation is another gray-area, wherein it's absolutely necessary, in my opinion, to disclaim up front that I've based the structure and cadence of a poem from a specific source. That way I keep my integrity and the audience understands that what they are reading'/viewing is something that contains/samples another person's work. The music industry is another good example of sampling: the direct copying of lyrics or compositions to create a transformed piece of music. Without that essential disclaimer that become stealing and plagiarism - and even current icons like Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry, and even Nirvana have been accused of plagiarizing another musician's work.
There are so many examples to base this discussion off of. That is one main reason, aside from being an English Major, that I take extra care in citing sources. It's important to indicate whose concepts and ideas you are agreeing with. I suppose my essays/opinions would be more well-rounded if I took into account the opposing view. But, I have such strong feelings about plagiarism and copyright infringement that the other argument holds no water to me.
I haven't thought much about transformative pieces, but I will definitely look into it as a follow up to the first article. I think that's an important distinction to consider. Especially since that's much more obvious in terms of music and photography. If the definition of plagiarism is: 50% or more of the work has been appropriated or taken from the original concept or piece in it's entirety" - than the definition of Transformative would need to negate that. As transformative works, perhaps Cosplay fits under this, take 100% of a concept and "transform" it into 100% that person's interpretation of the original work. This is quite an intriguing branch-off from the original conversation. I will definitely makes sure to read more on this!
I'm quite flattered that my thoughts are received so well. I think that maybe this topic even fits in with my previous Critical Thinking post: Serving a Purpose as Artists, which was more geared toward an artist's responsibility to their viewers rather than to each other. Which would be an interesting conversation. What responsibility do we, as artists, have towards our colleagues and those who have come before us?