Bert and Ernie
After watching Sesame Street for years with my children, you can imagine my surprise when I watched “It’s a Wonderful Life” for the first time: I heard the names, Bert and Ernie, spoken in the same sentence, in the same order as those Muppet friends we all know so well. What?!
It turns out that the Muppet Master himself, Jim Hanson, has no memory of naming his characters after the cop and the cabbie from that old movie. But then, he would say that, wouldn’t he?
This situation is not a new one: it’s called cryptomnesia. I consider it the bane of every creative person who has ever lived.
Ace Peter Carter and Agent Peggy Carter
While watching “Stairway to Heaven” I heard, during the ‘crash’ conversation with June in the tower, that the Lancaster bomber pilot’s name was Peter Carter. Being a great fan of the TV show “Agent Carter”, my ears immediately perked up. At the same time, I also recalled a similar conversation between that character and Captain America: was that coincidence or something else?
He’s So Fine and My Sweet Lord
Even musicians are not exempt from this unintentional plagiarism. George Harrison was sued by the owners of He’s So Fine for copyright infringement with his song My Sweet Lord.
The suit was successful, but George got the last laugh when he bought up the rights to Here’s So Fine, effectively defeating the need to pay out for ‘lost revenues’.
We think that our thoughts are original, but we forget that there is nothing new under the sun. In fact, we need to thoroughly research before claiming something as our own. Or, maybe, just maybe, we need to write it in such a way that no one could claim it as their own.
Picture credits: Bert and Ernie courtesy of WND.com
Bert & Ernie courtesy of commons.wikipedia.org
Agent Carter courtesy of google.com