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Cafe Doom  |  The Critique Crypt  |  General writing chat  |  Plagiarist doing the rounds
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Author Topic: Plagiarist doing the rounds  (Read 12609 times)

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Offline Dragoro

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2009, 11:08:13 AM »
King was accused of getting that idea from the Simpson's movie. King had to release an early manuscript of the book from 10 years ago to show that it was his own idea.
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Offline delboy

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2009, 11:44:58 AM »
Yeah, someone else pointed the Simpsons out to me today. Luckily mine involved Walls, not a dome...  ;)

You may aslo recall from an earlier thread about my story that the reason (or part of the reason) it didn't make the anthology was because there was another story with the same premise that had already been accepted...

Del

"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Geoff_N

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2009, 02:37:58 PM »
Michael Crichton pinched the premise for Jurassic Park from a manuscript of mine I'd sent to his publishers two years previous. Well, nearly. Mine didn't have any dinosaurs. JP doesn't have Cold War politics and mine did. Mine had eco-warriers and indestructable bindweed plants whereas JP doesn't. Mine wasn't set in the Tropics - Okay perhaps Crichton (RIP) didn't pinch my book, but I bet he read the MS ;)

Offline Dragoro

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2009, 02:46:56 PM »
" There’s another reason for publishing this on the website. Several Internet writers have speculated on a perceived similarity between Under the Dome and The Simpsons Movie, where, according to Wikipedia, Homer’s town of Springfield is isolated inside a large glass dome (probably because of that pesky nuclear power plant). I can’t speak personally to this, because I have never seen the movie, and the similarity came as a complete surprise to me…although I know, from personal experience, that the similarity will turn out to be casual. Unless there’s deliberate copying (sometimes known as “plagiarism”), stories can no more be alike than snowflakes. The reason is simple: no two human imaginations are exactly alike. For the doubters, this excerpt should demonstrate that I was thinking dome and isolation long before Homer, Marge, and their amusing brood came on the scene"  Stephen King   http://www.stephenking.com/stephens_messages.html
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Offline Ed

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2009, 04:43:57 PM »
Crazy. That's the problem when we're all affected by the same influences, from the media, to books, films and TV series, whatever war is going on at the time. We simply regurgitate translations of what we see and hear all around us, whether it's conscious or not.
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline delboy

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #20 on: October 03, 2009, 03:13:02 AM »
The thing that drove my story - although it's not apparant in that opening section beyond a couple of mentions of webcams - was surveillance. Here in the UK we're the most photographed people in the world. Cameras on every street corner, on motorway bridges, in police cars, in shops, on garage forecourts. Emails and phone calls being intercepted. Local officials having the powers and authority to snoop and to go through our official (bank, web, phone, medical records, dustbins...) for even the most minor civil infringement (i.e. putting our rubbish bin out on the wrong day!)etc etc. It feels to me that the government is terrified - totally paranoid - about not having control and knowledge about every single person. So I thought - what if I create a situation where all that control and power is taken away in a single hit? What would the government do - how far would they go - to get it back? So my Walls were merely a device to breakdown the ability of government to function. The story itself followed the small community in which the key to that refunctioning is discovered - and what happens next.

But I can guarantee, because of the oppressive nature of the aforementioned surviellance, there are probably ten thousand writers in the UK working on, intending working on, or having recently worked on, pieces with such a theme. They may not include Walls or domes, but the theme will be there. As Ed says, we're all influenced by the same stuff.

I'd like to think that nobody came up with my unique take on the idea, though - that mixture of fishing, SAS raids, toy steam engines, and squirrels, that I so lovingly crafted!  ;)

The original disappointment over the coincidence wasn't so much that King has written a story about domes and I've written one about Walls, so I can't use mine - but because the blurb that his publicity people have come up with mirrored my opening so closely, in imagery and order - planes falling out of the sky in flames, limbs being severed out of the blue, cars smashing into invisible walls. I guess I should be happy that I elected to use the same ideas in the same order. Maybe I'm starting to learn something about the art! Having said that, it was my opening that the editor of the anthology didn't like... so maybe I could simply cut it, get straight to the squirrel and the steam engine, and still have a submit-able tale.

Hey ho - I'm off to write something about cowboys!

Del

"If you want to write, write it. That's the first rule. And send it in, and send it in to someone who can publish it or get it published. Don't send it to me. Don't show it to your spouse, or your significant other, or your parents, or somebody. They're not going to publish it."
 
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Offline Ed

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #21 on: October 03, 2009, 05:52:40 AM »
Yee-haw! Go gittem, Tex :afro:
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline Geoff_N

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #22 on: October 03, 2009, 06:53:51 AM »
It sounds trivial - folk putting their bins out on the wrong day (Del's post above) but a lady in our street used to do that so much that our urban fox and cats regularly clawed open her plastic bags - garbage everywhere for up to two days. Then the binmen wouldn't pick up all the crap -how could they? It encouraged rats and mice too. Our street were pleased when she was served with a caution - now her garbage is put out on the morning of collectioin - hooray.

As for the Simpsons, a major  part of their appeal for adults is the spot-the-film an episode parodies. Does parody = plagiarism? No, it glorifies the original.


Offline Ed

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #23 on: October 03, 2009, 07:44:49 AM »
The great thing about parody is that humour is exempt from libel and AFAIK copyright issues, too.
Planning is an unnatural process - it is much more fun to do something.  The nicest thing about not planning is that failure comes as a complete surprise, rather than being preceded by a period of worry and depression. [Sir John Harvey-Jones]

Offline Dragoro

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #24 on: October 03, 2009, 09:37:06 AM »
Yeah, but in this case the simpsons movie wasnt a paradoy, it was just mere coincidence, and King doesnt seem to have a problem with it at all.
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Offline Mercedes

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Re: Plagiarist doing the rounds
« Reply #25 on: October 10, 2009, 01:17:45 PM »
Yay!  That very first post linked to my blog!  Dude, I can't even begin to tell you what the conversations sounded like behind the scenes at Shock Totem.  Just...utter shock.  Everybody was livid.  Then Ken discovered that Ridyard had ripped off somebody that we personally knew, and that really brought it home, you know?  King is kind of untouchable, and can take care of himself.  Then there are the rest of us who are just starting out.  This business is tough enough without yet another roadblock in the way.  I shake my fist at you, sir.

Del, I think your story sounds fantastic.  And yes, it's similar to something that King just put out, but it's your story.  You'll tell it differently and it will be unique to you.  We can debate the "originality is dead" argument until the stars fall from the sky, but I think what makes stories so amazing is that they come from different writers.  That's why anthologies can give everybody a theme and still end up with twenty completely different stories.  You start with something similar but they branch out.  If you still have the fire to write it, write it.  It won't be King's tale.

I mean, how many Cinderella or Romeo and Juliet stories have we seen?  But some of them are so earth-shatteringly good that they feel completely fresh.

Besides, I totally dig this kind of tale, so I hope you'll publish it so I can read it.  >>

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