As an Elementary Teacher who is soon to be an Elementary Librarian, one of the major issues I am currently facing is how to teach my students international copyright laws, when copyright laws are usually not followed in Asia. Many Asian cultures believe in a collective society and not in individual ownership. Asia is known for taking an idea and making it better (just look at the automobile industry).
Until recently plagiarism has not really been discussed in Asia. A few high profile cases in Korea have caught my attention over the past few years:
Two years ago a very famous K-Pop star, Hyo-ri, admitted to plagiarizing 6 of her songs.
Last year famous K-Pop Star, Rain, was accused of plagiarizing his songs ‘Busan Woman’.
The most famous case in South Korea happened 10 years ago:
“By far the most shocking case of Asian-style academic plagiarism, however, took place in South Korea, where the country’s education minister, Song Ja, was forced to quit his job after a citizens’ group revealed that an entire book he published, in 1982, was virtually identical to a book written 14 years earlier by two American scholars.Dr Song, formerly the president of Yonsei University, a prestigious institution in Seoul, originally came to prominence in South Korea for his outspoken views on the need for greater originality of thought in Korean education. In the preface to his 1982 book, which he titled Managerial Accounting Principles, Dr Song acknowledged having been influenced by the writings of other international academics, but, using the standard disclaimer made by writers of original work, he went on to assume authorial responsibility for the book’s content. He wrote that he hoped his book would help improve the quality of accounting education in South Korea.”
However, many Asian children don’t even know what plagiarism is until they go to college. They are taught using the method of rote learning, which doesn’t really open up the idea to discussions of original thinking.
In the many Asian countries I have been lucky enough to visit, I see blatant rip offs of company names, signs, symbols and merchandise. How do you teach students that plagiarism is wrong when it is all around them? How do you go against their cultures way of thinking and impose Western ideas? I honestly have no idea. I plan to continue to help them see why it is wrong to steal someone else’s idea and call it yours and to show them the proper ways to give credit when credit is due. Whether or not they choose to follow that advice is up to them. Hopefully by starting with them at such a young age they will understand, but it is hard when you hear one thing and see another.
Crate & Barrel or Wheel & Barrow?
KFC or KLC?
Pizza Hut or Pizza Huh?
Starbucks or Bucksstar?