ardent99 writes "According to the NY Times today, Helene Hegemann's first book has been moving up the best-seller list in Germany and is a finalist for a major book prize. While originally this was notable because Hegemann is only 17 and this is her first book, and so earned praise as a prodigy, what's interesting now about this story is that she has been caught plagiarizing many passages in the book. Amazingly, she has not denied it, but instead claims there is nothing wrong with it. She claims that she is part of a new generation that has grown up with mixing and sampling in all media, including music and art, and this is legitimate in modern culture. Have we entered a new era where plagiarism is not just tolerated, but seen as normal? Is this the ultimate in cynicism, or is it simply a brash attempt to get away with something now that she's been caught? Is her claim to legitimacy compromised by the fact that she only admitted it after it was discovered by someone else? And finally, if 'sampling' is not acceptable in literature, is this reason to rethink the legitimacy of musical sampling?"