Plagiarism? 1868.

The History of S. M. Kamakau.

Aloha no.—These past Saturdays I saw within Whitney’s newspaper [Pacific Commercial Advertiser] them calling the haole government paper [Hawaiian Gazette], a thief, because of the translation of the History of S. M. Kamakau, into the English language, and for inserting it within some past issues of that newspaper. In my opinion, those pebbles pelted in contempt are not right at all.

In an issue of the Gazette the translator says in English that he went in person to talk with Kamakau, and that he had no hesitation; and I saw a letter from Kamakau to Kapihe, pelting away (this was a week before the translation appeared in the Gazette), that his famous history will be printed, and that it will be a monument to him in the haole government newspapers. It states in Whitney’s newspaper that Kamakau did not agree that it be translated into English. Ha! the smoke rises; Kamakau boasts of the skill of the translation into English. Ha! who is the liar? Is it Whitney’s newspaper or is it Kamakau? One of the two is telling tales.

But thereafter Kamakau applied for Copyright (pono kope) from the Minister of the Interior, and he indeed received it. But getting that copyright did not stop the haole government paper. Because like I said earlier, translation, from one language to another, has nothing to do with plagiarism. Plagiarism of something that was published is only if you take it ad verbatim (word for word) and you say that it was you who wrote it. That is theft, and if Kamakau sued, there would be legal problems.

But from looking at the points brought up protesting the publication in the haole government newspaper, it seems that those thoughts do not come from Kamakau; but that it comes from some other person who opposes Kamakau, because of his patriotism and his aloha of the alii.

A. L.

(Au Okoa, 10/8/1868, p. 2)


Ke Au Okoa, Buke IV, Helu 25, Aoao 2. Okatoba 8, 1868.


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