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Originality is the aspect of being or being distinguished from reproductions , clones, forges , or derivative works . citation needed ] An original work is one of the following. Citation needed ] . It is a work created with a unique style and substance. The term “originality” is often applied as a compliment to the creativity of artists , writers , and thinkers . quote needed ]The idea of ​​originality as we who? ] know it was invented by Romanticism , [1] with a notion that is often called romantic originality . [2] [3] [4]

The concept of originality is culturally contingent. It became an ideal in Western culture starting from the 18th century. [5] [6] In contrast, at the time of Shakespeare it was common to appreciate the similarity with an admired classical work, and Shakespeare himself avoided “the invention”. [5] [7] [8]

Originality in law

In law, originality HAS Become year major legal concept with respect to intellectual property , Where creativity and invention -have manifest as copyrightable works. clarification needed ] In the patent law of the United States and other countries, only original inventions are subject to protection. Inventions to be original, inventions submitted for a patent must also be useful and notobvious . quote needed ]

In United States copyright law and the law of many other states, copyright protection only original works of authorship, a property which has been historically and legally linked to a concept of ” creativity “. A work must pass on a threshold of originality in order to be copyrightable. [9]

In United Kingdom intellectual property law has derived work can Demonstrate originality, and must do so if it is to respect copyright. quote needed ]

Originality in science

Scientific literature regarded as primary must Contain original research , and Even review items Contain original analysis or interpretation . [10]

Original idea

An original idea is not thought up by another person beforehand. Sometimes, two or more people can come up with the same idea independently.

Original recording

An original painting , photographic negative , analog audio, or video recording, will be able to be difficult, or it may be impossible to copy in its full integrity. That can also apply for any other artifact .

That is why it is so necessary to preserve the original, in order to preserve its original integrity. The copy is made to preserve the original recording by saving the original from degenerating as it is being played, rather than replacing the original.

See also

  • Copyright protection of photographs in Switzerland – describes the criteria for the originality of photographs in Swiss law
  • Derivative work
  • Feist v. Rural and Bridgeman Art Library c. Corel Corp. (USA)
  • In fiction narratology , an original is the first-published installment of a series of works, thus having sequels , prequels , etc.
  • Ship of Theseus
  • Synonyms: archetype , prototype (the first draft of an original work), model, template , and pastiche (an imitation of an archetype or prototype in order to pay homage to the original creator)
  • Sweat of the brow


  1. Jump up^ Gregory (1997) pp. 12-13 quote:

    Modernist concerns with the origin of modernism and their relationship to romanticism, the romantics having invented the concept of originality as we know it.

  2. Jump up^ Smith (1924)
  3. Jump up^ Waterhouse (1926)
  4. Jump up^ Macfarlane (2007)
  5. ^ Jump up to:b Lynch, Jack (2002) The Perfectly Acceptable Practice of Literary Theft: Plagiarism, Copyright, and the Eighteenth Century , in Colonial Williamsburg: The Journal of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation 24, no. 4 (Winter 2002-3), pp. 51-54. Also available online since 2006 at Writing World .
  6. Jump up^ Young Edward(1759)Conjectures on Original Composition
  7. Jump up^ Royal Shakespeare Company(2007)The RSC Shakespeare – William Shakespeare Complete Works, Introduction to the Comedy of Errors, p. 215 quote:

    while we applaud difference, Shakespeare’s first audiences fovoured likeness: a work in the field of comedy meant by Terence or Plautus

  8. Jump up^ Lindey, Alexander (1952)Plagiarism and Originality
  9. Jump up^ Feist v. Rural
  10. Jump up^ Tobin, Martin J. (October 2003). “Writing a Review Article for AJRCCM”. American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine . 168 (7): 732-734. doi : 10.1164 / rccm.2306019 .


  • Gregory, Elizabeth (1997) Quotation and Modern American Poetry: Imaginary Gardens with Real Toads
  • Macfarlane, Robert (2007) `Romantic ‘Originality , in Original copy: Plagiarism and originality in nineteenth-century literature , March 2007, pp. 18-50 (33)
  • Smith, Logan Pearsall (1924) Four words: romantic, originality, creative, genius , Oxford, Clarendon Press
  • Waterhouse, Francis A. (1926) Romantic ‘Originality’ in The Sewanee Review , Vol. 34, No. 1 (Jan., 1926), pp. 40-49