What did surprise and shock Hegemann's growing fan base was the allegations of plagiarism that surfaced within weeks of her novel's release. A blogger uncovered numerous passages in Axolotl Roadkill that were almost directly lifted from an earlier obscure novel called Strobo (Kulish, 2010), as well as pieces lifted from the blog of Strobo's author Airen.
Unrepentant, Hegemann defended her book in interview with the Berliner Morgenpost, insisting that the material was not stolen, but was simply not properly acknowledged (The Local, 2010). In another interview, Hegemann noted that her generation is used to using and adapting any information they find on the internet for their own creative expression (Paterson, 2010). As Hegemann said, "There is no such thing as originality anyway, there is just authenticity." (Paterson, 2010)
This case highlighted the deep rift between remix culture and the practices of the older media institutions in their divergent assumptions on intellectual ownership and copyright laws. I used this as a case study to examine the statement "Remix culture is fundamentally at odds with older media institutions and practices" through a series of images hosted on the Prezi platform. Though the assignment requested uploads to Flickr, I found Prezi allowed me more versatility in presenting my thoughts, while adhering to the image requirement. The file is public and open to copying, and can be viewed here.
Kulish, N. (February 11, 2010). Author, 17, says it's 'mixing', not plagiarism. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2010/02/12/world/europe/12germany.html
Paterson, T. (February 19, 2010). Publish and be damned: Young writer's ego dramatically punctured. The Independent. Retrieved from http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/books/news/publish-and-be-damned-young-writers-ego-dramatically-punctured-1904037.html
The Local (February 9, 2010). Young literary star Hegemann counters plagiarism claim. The Local. Retrieved from http://www.thelocal.de/society/20100209-25143.html
Wikipedia (n.d.). Helene Hegemann. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helene_Hegemann