Tuesday, September 04, 2012


"For I am proverb'd with a grandsire phrase"
- Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, Act I, Sc. 4

Image:  http://www.wpclipart.com/ 

These days, with freely available information from millions of sources only a click away and a "copy and paste" button to enable us to share it with whom we will, there is, justifiably, much discussion about copyright, intellectual property and attribution.  A young man from Milan has learnt about attribution the hard way and, if not exactly "proverbed", he and his fiancée are certainly experiencing [if not enjoying] their "fifteen minutes of fame".

The 38-year-old man had just arrived at Milano Centrale railway station after a seven-hour train journey and was longing to be reunited with his 23-year-old fiancée.  To tell her so, he sent her a text message, quoting some lines from Romeo and Juliet but without citing his source.  The young lady interpreted the message as a suicide note and immediately called the police, who rushed to the station, quickly identified our romantic hero  - who was calmly strolling along minding his own business - from his fiancée's description and surrounded him.  

It was soon apparent to the police that the young man was not in a melancholy frame of mind and he, although shocked, thanked and apologised to the police, then ran off to be with his fiancée and calm her.

We do not know exactly which lines he had used but I think we can guess, don't you?  In any case, the moral is clear: always cite your sources!

My source for this story is Corriere della Sera.


Jenny Woolf said...

Haha! definitely shows the limitations of texting. :)

Claude said...

Fascinating story! Not only should we give credit where it's due, we should make sure to give it to the right person. It was funny to read on Facebook what Lincoln thought of the Internet! :)

Whispering Walls said...

LOL - at least her life has been enriched!

LindyLouMac said...

Absolutely very important to give credit where it is due. Also to be careful if you use photos that are not yours that you are not infringing copyright. I read recently of a blogger who got into big trouble for doing just this!!!

James Higham said...

Plagiarism with a real life denouement.

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Jenny. It does! Hi, Claude. I hadn't seen that but will look for it. Glad you liked the story. That's true, WW! Hi, LindyLouMac. Yes, I'm always very careful about photos. Hi, James. Yes - we don't often hear of that, do we?


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