Why was there Plagiarism accusations against Honda’s Cog Advert?

2 Nov

I did some more research and found that soon after Cog was aired Honda,  Weiden and Kenedy were informed by letter that Peter Fischili and David Weiss were considering taking legal action against them. The letter stated that there were many similarities between their work and the Honda Cog. They claimed that the Cog was too similar to their film Der Lauf Der Dinge otherwise known as: The Way Things Go (1987). So I wanted to find out who are these two and why would they make these kind of claims against Honda? So I looked them up found and downloaded their film The Way Things Go and watched it.

I found out that they are an artist duo who have been working together since 1979. They are well-known in Switzerland which is where their from. Together they specialize in creating films about large contraptions of art formed of moving objects affected  by different types of energy like kinetic, chemical, and heat energy. I watched some of their film The Way Things Go. Their work looks very similar to large cleverly designed Rube Goldberg Machines(RGM’s).

There are similarities in the that they are complex works of art and mechanics that use a similar motion transferral pattern  relating to energy being conducted through objects to create constant motion. Then I could also ague that perhaps Antoine Bardou-Jacquet’s style of most of his previous works involves constant motion. Also that his RGM isn’t nearly as complex as the ones created Peter Fischili and David Weiss. Peter and David were pioneers at using RGMs to create artistic movies. They also used chemical and heat energy to facilitate their energy transferral in total they used two additional sources of energy that were not used at all in the Honda advert. The Honda advert only uses kinetic, gravity and electricity, Peter and David ever used electricity in The Way Things GO. I found the film the Way things go to be very different to the Cog because the pace is different, its much longer and its designed artistically instead of commercially motivated. So it doesn’t try and convey any messages or hidden meanings. They also used very different settings and materials to construct their RGMs. The part that is similar is the scene with the car tires going up the ramp which looks almost identical.  There is also a scene with a spanner hitting a cylinder to make it roll down the ramp which is also very similar to The Way Things Go

This is probably why Peter & David did not go through with the lawsuit or press any charges against media apart from making them aware that they did it first. They would probably have lost anyway facing up against the lawyers of a commercial giant like Honda with the argument that your advert is similar to our film in a few ways. In fact that might not have been their true intention in the first place. What if they just wanted Honda to realize that we are some of the pioneers of the best RGM designs.  Trying to convey we have been doing this since 1979 you should have gotten us to create your advert for you. I don’t think they have a very valid argument against Honda to start with considering how intertextuality is so pervasive in modern day media we can’t help but quote people sometimes.

To finish my post I would like to show you a music video I am going to create right now from the footage that I recorded while watching The Way Things Go. I am not going to edit it much just mix my own music in and show you what I’m talking about so that you can make your own comparisons between The Cog and the film.

I wrote all of this post myself and did not quote I but researched the info and just used it for historical evidence such as names and dates to create this post hence the lack of reference

To watch the video to better understand the points I am trying to make and to see footage of The Way Things Go please click here: http://heavenswrath.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/the-way-things-go/

Video: Pure footage of The Way Things Go by Peter Fischili and David Weiss from this location http://vimeo.com/4581265

Songs used: Every Curl of His Beard – Carrington, Yonderboi – track 4, Lupe Fiasco – Dumb it Down. These were the tracks that I was listening to while recording the footage that I thought would fit the sequence or that I like.




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