Definition: Mosaic Plagiarism or Path Writing

Mosaic Plagiarism

Mosaic plagiarism occurs when a student borrows phrases from a source without using quotation marks, or finds synonyms for the author’s language while keeping to the same general language structure and meaning as found in the original.

Sometimes called “path writing,” this kind of plagiarism, whether intentional or not, is academically dishonest and punishable. Even if you footnote your source.

from QC Pages of CUNY

In plainer language, it’s basically copying by concept with key point level details rather than by word, sentence, or paragraph. You could think of it as using “Replace All” for all names, maybe a few common, often used, words, expressions, used in the text, then rewriting sentences or paragraphs at a time in your own words, as a fast way of doing this.

In another way of possibly doing this where the “path writing” name might have come from, think of the plot as a path from start to end. Along the way, you pass through key points along the path. If you work harder than the example I gave in the paragraph above, you’d then be writing a summary to identify all these key points, change some names, and basically write your way from point to point, with the points being not too far apart so as not to lose the integrity of the original story that might have made it appealing. That is, some level of details, just enough not to get sued easily for plagiarism.

Get an iPhone to Judge Coldplay versus Satriani Plagiarism

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Joe Satriani

Joe Satriani

Guitarist Joe Satriani and his lawyer are going to be serving Coldplay official legal notice of his intent to sue Coldplay over plagiarism at the Grammy Award weekend. Coldplay’s Viva La Vida supposedly has some close similarities to Satriani’s If I Could Fly. See videos at the end to see and hear for yourself. However, Satriani and his lawyer will not be serving the papers Grammy Awards night as had been previously reported. That would have been a brilliant move, I thought, even if very cold play, for lack of a better description.

What I want to know is why a judge is really needed for this court case?

Has anyone tried to see if the Apple iPhone’s Audio Recognition application could make the call? Please let me know if you have!

To me, the two songs have core parts to them so similar I’d bet the iPhone‘s Audio Recognition application could make the call if it had the two pieces of music and dates for which came first!

If someone is reading this with an iPhone and the conditions mentioned above for valid testing exists, please try it out and let me know! I’m dying to know!

Coldplay

Coldplay

But my point here is it’s a no brainer! I’m an amateur musician and an avid music listener. I know the nature of music well enough to make an informed decision on how close something might be for copyright infringement. Of course, that’s not always easy, but this one is… and you don’t need to be a musician to decide.

The first short video below makes the case pretty well to highlight the main passages. It’s only a short video because EMI, Coldplay’s record label, somehow managed to convince YouTube to pull other such comparison videos for comparison. Those videos had millions of views, apparently, to the mere 292K one below. But EMI, being a music distributor who’s had to face the power of the Internet for years now, was still too stupid to realize it could remove it all and keep it all off YouTube.

Even some groups of idiots never learn.

You go, Joe!!!

Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 8.2

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Joe Satriani vs Coldplay Controversy

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Joe Satriani – If I Could Fly

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Coldplay – Viva La Vida