Jennifer Marchini asks:
In a generation where lawsuits for plagiarism are rampant one must begin to ponder is it the lack of creativity that causes one to borrow from others or is it the fear of borrowing that hinders creativity? Whatever the case it is undoubtedly true that the complexities behind music have increased; in an era where we are so aware of rights and giving credit to those who originally derived the idea, often time is spent getting approval rather then manipulating/combining old techniques to create a new one. Having said that, is the lack of a new breaking musician or music genre due simply to such constraints or is it because we lack a creative genius?However, there is one other major consideration in modern day and that is the transition to digital music. In a day where getting known is simply clicks away, it makes music diverse and therefore fans bases tend to be smaller, since music exists for all. So maybe it is this alone, but whatever the case it is safe to say that we are in need of a new music phenomenon!
I don't think songwriters sit down and worry about who they may be "borrowing" from as they write. Most copyright infringements are probably accidental. Since all the songs exist in the collective consciousness one may remember a melody they have heard previously and identify it as his own original material. In a finite realm such as music where there are only so many notes and so many chords duplication is inevitable. The plagerism of exact lyrics is a little easier to contest. Where sampling occurs that is indisputable. In a world where everybody fancies himself an "artist" it is easy to participate.. Microsoft even has a program that writes the song for you. The Internet makes it easy to present your material but with millions of songs posted it is still hard to find anything good on the world wide web. It takes 10,000 hours of practice to become proficient at anything so few will actually emerge as ubiquitous stars. There is definitely a lack of creative genius but some day a great talent will rise and shock everyone.