Copy Cat Beyonce0 Monday October 17 2011 Written by Sandra
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Beyonce has allegedly been at it again. But I’m not talking about the “Is she? Or isn’t she pregnant” drama I’m on about the old plagiarism dirt the blond beauty never seems to wash off. We’ve been here before with the Single Ladies/Bob Fosse issue but this time the controversy surrounds similarities between the “Countdown” video and work from a Belgian choreographer Anne Teresa De Keersmaeker.
This is a tough one. Beyonce is not the only pop powerhouse who borrows from others. Collaborator Lady Gaga has also been accused of lacking originality, downright stealing ideas from fashion designers (meat/ bubble dresses) and has borrowed heavily from other artists like Madonna. Why aren’t other Stars called out as much as her?
Beyonce makes lots of pop culture references in Countdown from Audrey Hepburn to Andy Warhol nobody is accusing her of plagiarising those because the references are clear. It’s a great video so should we be upset she’s made Keersmaekers work accessible to the masses?
At the moment you cannot copyright single dance moves so this might be less about plagiarism and more about crediting living artists. I’m still not buying the “no idea is completely original so we should all get over it” argument. I’m sure this would have been resolved if Beyonce’s team called Keersmaeker prior to making the video instead of waiting until eagle eyed youtube viewers played spot the difference and subsequently admitting you were “inspired” by her.
This is going to happen more often now we have access to archives on tap. Those referencing skills we all learnt at Uni have never been more important. I know all you Flyprints readers are a creative bunch so how would you feel if a mainstream artist paid “homage” to your work? Would you be flattered or outraged?
If you think someone’s copied your work make sure you’re sure, especially if it isn’t that great. Sometimes it really is just a coincidence.