“On the Rights of Molotov Man” addresses an issue that seems like it will never be fully solved: what is classified as plagiarism and copyright violation where art is involved? This issue can be broken down into several questions regarding copyright and appropriation, and is especially relevant in this era as technology, both current and that which is being developed, allows artists to easily manipulate current works in many ways. At what point in this manipulation does the original work of one artist become original work of a second artist?
Furthermore, is anything really original anymore? Who is to determine what is original and what has been “copied”? New art is generally inspired by other art, whether this inspiration was consciously observed by the artist or not should not make a difference; the new work of art has been developed from an old work nonetheless. If an artist pays homage to another artist by recreating their work, is this an infringement on the original artist’s rights, or should this be accepted as an original work of art?
There are countless questions that stem from this article that can be argued, and I don’t think that everyone will ever come to an agreement on any of them. When an artist creates something themselves, whether it is inspired by or based on another work of art, it is difficult to tell them that what they have produced is not original, since it is technically their creation. For now, we must rely on laws that are explicitly in place to solve artistic disputes, but also hope that artists realize that they are all alike in that they are simply trying to create.