In my personal opinion as an author, there is no comparison. D.J.’s are an accepted part of the music industry. The primary purpose of a DJ is to give artists exposure to the listening public. Artists actively seek out D.J.’s to get their music played by them. The simple act of having an artist’s music played by some D.J.’s can make their career.
Plagiarism on the other hand is not done out in the public eye. It is done in the dark of the night. It is not celebrated or hailed it is vilified as the theft that it truly is. If this “mixing” of hers is something that she is proud of then why did she hide the truth about it until someone exposed her. If it is truly part of her style then she should have been open and up front about it. When someone gets caught with their hand in the cookie jar, they often try to weasel their way out of it. As far as I’m, concerned plagiarism is plagiarism. Her line about there not being any originality is complete and utter crap. True writers may draw ideas from others that have come before them, but when it comes down to writing their own work they create it from their own heart and minds.
I thought I’d give you what I personally believe is okay to copy and what is not okay to copy. Ideas and concepts are okay to copy as long as you put your own personal take on them. What I mean is that you need to add in your own personal flair and truly make it your own. If you do this right then no one will ever realize that you are copying someone else. You will have taken their concept or idea and made it into something truly unique and all your own.
An example of writers failing to truly make a concept or idea their own is the recent string of made for TV science fiction movies. These movies are knock offs of big budget Hollywood movies. Examples would be, ‘The Day the Earth Stopped.’ The title alone tells you that it’s a knock off of the recent remake of, ‘The Day the Earth Stood Still.’ Another is the movie, ‘American Warships.’ This movie was forced to change its name because the original title, ‘American Battleships,’ was too close to the big budget movie ‘Battleship.’ I could give several other examples, but you probably already get my point.
Words use and phrases are also okay to copy. How many times have you heard the phrase like ‘To be or not to be’ used as direct quotes or paraphrased in movies or books. This phrases and others like it are instantly recognized as coming from writers of the past such as William Shakespeare. Using these phrases is not a bad thing. We as writers are paying homage to those that have gone before. But, even paying homage has a time and a place, too much and you fall off the edge onto a slippery slope. Any kind of homage has to have a context in the text that you are writing, not simply because you can.
What I believe is not okay is the outright copying of whole sentences, pages, chapters and even whole novels. These kinds of acts can get a writer into serious trouble. It can even destroy your career. A writer that is know to plagiarize will gain a reputation for doing just that and once a reputation has been forged in the mind of the reading public. It is there forever. My advice is choose wisely the path that you take. Plagiarizing might seem like the easy path in the beginning, but in the long road it will lead you to ruin. But, that is just my personal opinion.