One of the aspects of why plagiarism is seen as wrong is because you're taking credit for someone else's work.
Sampling would be taking a short section of text and putting using in quotes, or otherwise acknowledging in your work that you are using something that someone else wrote.
I also think that a work that is very obviously built of "samples" needn't expressly say what is what. If you sample music to make your own song, you'd better credit properly and pay or else the original songwriter will end up owning your song. I still find it to be incredible BS...the real lesson is "music industry people will screw you
In the United States, since 1991, the date of Grand Upright Music, Ltd v. Warner Bros. Records Inc., music samples need to be cleared by the copyright holder. That's what seems to be the real distinction here- you cannot consider literary plagarism to be analogous to music sampling because in fact legal music sampling is nothing like plagarism- works are cited, permission is requested and granted and often a considerable sum of money or share of future earnings takes place.
Helene Hegemann took someone else's work and presented it as her own, which I find disingenuous. Had she come out when she released the book and said she "collaged" works for the book that would have been one thing. That concept would have made for an interesting critique on a different media for "mash-ups". In writing, one commonly samples other people's work using a moderately well-known process called "quoting". I'm mildly surprised she hasn't heard of it. There is a long-standing history of one artist performing works by another, adding their own touch to the music.
Who cares? Artists who sample should always give the original artist credit... When done wrong it is theft.
Perhaps she might have a legitimate point. The fact that she didn't acknowledge the sources makes the whole thing all the more egregious and shows that she really probably knew what she was doing was wrong. If not, she was so ignorant that it didn't occur to her that this might be a problem. Either way, it is deeply unimpressive. Have we entered a new era where plagiarism is not just tolerated, but seen as normal?
Foolishness! She is the Vanilla Ice of literature sampling then.
Artistic questions aside, can you argue that plagiarism damages the author of the plagiarized work if it increases sales?
The simple fact is that plagiarism does not exist. Only in the academic world does the concept exist. In the real world, plagiarism itself is perfectly legal, and at worst is a moral/ethical failing. Now this book in questions sounds like it has plagiarism if the source of borrowed ideas was not mentioned on an acknowledgments page or similar location. It might also be copyright infringement, regardless of any crediting, since specific expressions of ideas were re-used without permission. Only the latter is actually a problem. Crediting the idea sources would be nice, but the law does not require it.
I personally think this policy is ridiculous! Is someone going to make the freely downloadable opensource remix of her book? The law protects the rights of owners to maintain the freedom to make determinations on the use of their property. When an owner decides to sell some of those property rights, he has the right to determine at what price and under what conditions to do so, constrained only by other laws limiting his choice.