Plagiarism


Hi everyone,

I'm over here from the Ewan McGregor board. I saw both Parts and The Island, and I highly agree it's plagiarism (and so is Harry Potter, by the way). I am also a writer, and both of these obvious (to some people, anyway) cases of plagiarism are not only irritating and greedy, they're frightening. I have even had people tell me that it was the 'original author's fault for putting it out there in the first place', as if publication was free license for other people to steal your ideas. No matter what, no matter how slick, how much money it makes, etc, it's NOT ALL RIGHT for people to blatantly steal!! I boycotted the Island afterwards, although I am a fan of Mr. McGregor's; I can only hope he didn't realize what he was getting himself into. So I just wanted to say, I agree with these posts about plagiarism. In no way is it all right; whatever happened to copyright protection, anyway?

-lady

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Well, the directors are suing Dreamworks for The Island, as evidenced by the title of another thread in here.

By the way, how is Harry Potter plagiarism? I've never heard anything about this, it sounds interesting.

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Well, at the risk of being yelled at, this is how HP is plagiarism: Following generic storylines and characters in both Roald Dahl and Lord of the Rings is hinting enough. I was excited when I first heard about HP, because I love fantasy and all that. When I went to the theatre, I couldn't believe how bored I was, because I'd seen it all before, done better, by better people. Aside from the plagiarism, JK Rowling claimed she couldn't physically finish the first book unless the Scottish government gave her a huge grant. I think I speak for most writers, including myself, that no matter how poor you are or how many kids you have, you write if you're a writer, period. That made me a bit suspicious. I've read every book and seen every film (as long as it didn't cost me anything; I won't give a woman so obviously money-hungry any more cash). However, the most blatant ripoffs include Books of Magic, by Neil Gaiman, and the Worst Witch. Both were written by fairly obscure British authors prior to the release of Harry Potter. Combining both stories makes the Harry Potter story. I find it offensive. People can argue little points about it, but all in all, it's certainly plagiarism. Unfortunately, although Gaiman initially called it plagiarism, Warner Bros. bought the rights to both BOM and WW, so nobody can say anything anymore about how obvious a rip off it is. Besides, the authors themselves don't have to say it. I can see it myself, just by reading their books. I guarantee you the Books of Magic is a much better, more involving read than HP. I think it's incredibly sad that we live in a world where it's OK to steal other peoples' ideas, as long as you're richer or have a better advertising campaign than they do. Check it out on the Books of Magic or even Harry Potter boards- it's a raging debate, and I'm firmly on the 'she's a plagiarist' side. Even discounting BOM, there's enough other stuff she ripped off for me to feel unhappy about it. Even to the point of the names; 'Dumbledore' is from Tolkien's Lost Tales, 'James Henry Trotter' is the name of James in James & the Giant Peach (as opposed to Harry James Potter). Unfortunately, very few people care about plagiarism these days, as long as the plagiarized version is more slickly packaged and they can use the lame excuse 'At least it got kids reading again!' So do the back of cereal boxes, but I don't see anybody giving garlands to the authors of those.

-lady

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Well argued point - i agree with you - i saw the same points that you have raised - not only was HP a nightmare to sit through but it is terrible that plagirism means nothing now a days - i had not sat through the ISland but i had heard of it - as soon as i watched The Clonus Horror it was blatently obvoius to me what was going on.

HP was a terrible film and the books made me cry they were so bad and tehn for me to realsie that it was blatent plagerism made it worse - but trying to bring it to account even in my circle of friends is hard enough - they just will not accept the truth. because HP was so famous they think it ameks it better - it doesnt and it is high time that the criminals masquerading as authors paid for what they have done
All i want is everything

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Jukesgirl-

I know exactly how you feel. None of my friends, or in fact most people, will believe me. One person did, but that's because she was a Neil Gaiman fan above all things, and had never heard of Books of Magic (which, by the way, is absolutely BRILLIANT) until I told her about it. HP is just bad, bad, bad anyway- but like you said, people think that all you have to do is make a mint, and suddenly outright theft is OK.

-lady

www.pirateangel.com

Lookalike:
www.pirateangel.com/m.html

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and let's not forget about the computergame 'Simon the sorcerer'... hehe..

But i must admit that the HP films are entertaining movies (except the last one, it had too much cuts and should have been done as first was intented as 2 seperate movies), but I can't say much about the books as I haven't read any of them...

and about 'The Island', even though it's obviously a ripoff, but I must admit, it's one hell of a ripoff, as I really liked the movie..

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Harry Potter is not plagiarism.
And that Neil Gaiman called it plagiarism is a ballant lie. Check his blog or his Wikipedia page and you'll see what Gaiman said about Harry potter. I'll write it here but you can check.
Its been argued before but writers such as Neil Gaiman, Terry Prattchett and G. R. R. Martin have all said the same:
Harry Potter is made on common elements of myths and fantasy. Its well composed and easily readable and easy to like.
Mr. Gaiman also added "Its like having great stake and potato dinner. Its GREAT dinner, you love it, but no one will say "Oh my god, how original! Stake AND potatos!"

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[deleted]

On top of all this, ideas can't be copywrited. You want to write a story with a monastic order or mystical swordweilders taken to the brink of extinction by an evil empire, go for it. George Lucas can't do anything about it.

On top of this, there is a difference between being a Writer and a writer. Scribbling out bad internet fic isn't being a writer.

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I am so tired of people complaining about copyright infringement, etc. when they complain that someone must have "read their minds" because someone created a blockbuster movie about something that person was thinking about but never published or wrote a short story that has as part of the main idea that is the same but not fleshed out. There are dozens of stories about why a Twilight Zone episode (original series) was not rebroadcast on TV because someone somewhere wrote a story that had even an inkling of a similar idea. Look at Coming to America with Eddie Murphy and Arsenio Hall. I just think people are greedy - they want millions for something they did not create.

I don't care if someone makes 10 movies about the same idea or subject - they could be better or worse, etc. I mean look at some of the B space movies that used the music of Star Trek and no one said anything. Maybe they changed one note to not get sued but sure sounded like Star Trek fanfares to me.

However, I cannot believe that the makers of a child's toy, a doll called Kimberly in the early 80's, had to put on their packaging that "Kimberly" was copyright by the Kimberly Clark Corporation, the makers of Kleenex and Tampax, etc. Can you believe it? I mean, it isn't like that the Kimberly Clark Corp. made toys! How can someone own a common first name?

Also, there was that suit by Spike Lee when The Nashville Network TV station a.k.a. TNN changed their name to Spike. He finally said, "OK" I guess since I don't think they paid him anything but did go ahead with the name change. Are you kidding?

If someone uses a book of magic in a story or movie then no one else can???

Let us all decide by ourselves if something is good or not, similar or not, etc.

By the way, I loved The Island, have seen Coma when it was first broadcast on TV (not the same) and have just purchased Clonus (original name -- reissued as Parts - The Clonus Horror in the USA) as it sounds interesting. I remember when Clonus came out there were so many movies about the same subject - not just one or two.

No one wants their story or book to be plagiarized but no one owns all of the ideas in the world either. How an idea is fleshed out in the creation process is going to be different and not all are going to successful or commercial.

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The Sorting Hat, for example, was directly and blatantly lifted from Terry Pratchett's Sourcery. It's tasteless and wrong. Rowling does not deserve one iota of the cash she's made.

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LadyDautevielle:

Another person who doesn't understand the difference between an idea and the execution of that idea... Okay, the idea of a person's journey to becoming a wizard (or whatever) is not copyrightable. Anybody can write a story using that idea, and as long as they treat the idea in their own way, they are not stealing. Using your standards, you might as well boycott Shakespeare, because none of the stories he wrote originated with him. Sheesh!

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[deleted]

1) I'm not sure that it is relevant/reasonable to conflate the book and the film if you propose to make a viable argument. They are separate - although related - artistic endeavours.

2) When Rowling received her £8,000 arts grant, she'd earned a mere £1,500 advance on the first HP book which, incidentally, she HAD finished. Once she began making money she gave MILLIONS to charity and paid MILLIONS in taxes thereby more than "paying back" her grant.

3) If you read more books you'd probably appreciate that there are only a few basic plots:
http://www.digitalcinemapictures.com/writing/plots.htm
Thus an accusation that "C" plagiarises "B" is pretty meaningless, especially given that there is almost certainly an "A" that you've not considered but which was written years earlier and which the writers of neither "B" nor "C" had read either.

4) Gaiman never said that he'd been plagiarised. He actually said the opposite. Please spend a second researching and read his own words regarding this "easily disproven creepy nonsense":
http://journal.neilgaiman.com/2008/04/fair-use-and-other-things.html

5) James Henry Trotter = Harry James Potter? PLEASE!!!

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Ten years in, do you still stand by all this?

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I don't know alot about lawsuits of this kind. Could this possibly fall under the catagory of public domain? But, what ever. When I first saw the Island I noticed how much it resembled the Clonus Horror...which I really loved in spite of the bad acting and just generally bad everything...but I loved it anyway. We could just consider the Island as a much better Clonus Horror and relax and enjoy it.

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I think it's okay to rip the plot off a B movie and make it into an A-list movie If I were Fiveson I wouldnt care I'd be happy that someone wanted to do it again and make it grander.

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[deleted]

i see your point but part of me thinks that clonus was an absolute festering turd of a movie although the idea for the story was good, i just cant see why the producers of clonus deserve 7 figures, they should have been rounded up and shot for this joke of film

i got rid of my teeth at a young age coz im straight teeth are for gay people - Master Shake

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"they should have been rounded up and shot for this joke of film"

No, but maybe you should have been shot for this joke of a comment...

The truth is the truth hurts
Don't you agree?

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why yjodry? were you one of the producers?

i got rid of my teeth at a young age coz im straight teeth are for gay people - Master Shake

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So because there are similarities it's plagiarism? What a moronic conclusion just because somethig has been done before or because two films have a similar premise or plot does not mean they plagiarized another work. From a musical standpoint look at Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax all are insanely similar but are they plagiarizing each other? NO they just have similar style's. From a film standpoint look at slasher films they are repeatitive but that doesn't mean they are all plagiarizing off each other. Look at any subgenre of film and you will see glaring similarities and scenes that resemble each other drug movies, vampire movies, slasher movies, mobster movies, westerns, super hero movies, chinese Wu Xia movies, the list goes on. Do The Island and Clonus have a ton of similarities...yes they do but two people are allowed to share the same thought or concept. By this logic Clonus plagiarized Logans Run, The Running Man plagiarized Logans Run, Death Race, The Condemned, and Gamer plagiarized Running Man, The Island plagiarized The Giver it's ridiculous people seriously.

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I thought Death Race was a remake of 1975's Death Race 2000.

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'i see your point but part of me thinks that clonus was an absolute festering turd of a movie although the idea for the story was good, i just cant see why the producers of clonus deserve 7 figures, they should have been rounded up and shot for this joke of film'

So, if a writer pens a good script but the movie sucks then it’s fair game to plagiarise the story?


You can't palm off a second-rater on me. You gotta remember I was in the pink!

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The Island is no more a ripoff of Clonus than the Schwarzenegger flick "6th Day".


Death solves all problems. - Stalin

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