Has the read/write web made academic definitions of authorship and originality irrelevant?

By Tim Dalton, for Introduction to Digital Environments for Learning, 2011

This essay can be read in two forms, one that contains no original text (so by the strict definition an act of plagiarism), and one that contains only what the current rulings (and plagiarism checking software) consider to be an original piece of work. The original version is correctly referenced, and the plagiarised contains links to what could be considered the plagiarised content- whether direct, or indirect. To aid reading the links are hidden, but hovering the mouse over text will display connections. You can choose to read one or the other, both in turn, or even both at once. The important question is are they different? What do we gain by insisting on originality?