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Old Jan 19 2008, 08:37 AM   #41
Cheryl
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Default Re: Thoughts on plagiarism

Yes Anareth, and there are now some very cute ferret t-shirts cropping up with text "ferrets against plagiarism".

Hans, the point is we won't turn on a specific search of that author + plagiarism.

There are a lot of interesting plagiarism cases out there, indeed, and none so cut-and-dry as this one. More typically they involve the re-use of plot outlines, characterizations, or other story elements that are re-woven into a story in the author's own voice. It's definitely hard in those cases to determine theft of ideas versus an original spin on an older idea. In the Da Vinci case, I think because he fully acknowledged the other book as giving him the idea for his, and then developed the idea in his own way, the courts ruled in his favor.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 08:39 AM   #42
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Default Re: Thoughts on plagiarism

While I abhor plagiarism, what, exactly constitutes it?
The Sword of Shannara was already mentioned. I recognize as would most everyone here that Terry Brooks ... erm ... got his inspiration from J.R.R. Tolkien.

Heck, the reason I read it when it first came out was because it was another epic fantasy that had a mixed company of beings - elves, dwarves, humans, whatever.

It's also the whole reason I read the Dragonlance books - Dragons of Autumn whatever, Dragons of Winter Night and Dragons of Spring Dawning.

These, too, were basically inspired by LoTR.

But where does inspiration end and plagiarism begin?

For that matter - I don't know the name of the book, but I remember reading something shortly after TWD came out ... maybe before ... or whatever.

The planet's name was "Pesm"
There were telepathic somethings, but I can't remember what. The telepathy wasn't shown by italics, though. It was shown by ::this is a telepathic thought::.

That's all I can remember. I think the humans were chosen for their ESP, and sometimes they were called their names with ESP in front of them. I remember one character being called " ESPrandra"

But was that a plagiarism of Pern?

So, I just would like to know the distinction.

And, being nosy, I would like to know what author y'all are talking about, so if someone can PM me...
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Old Jan 19 2008, 08:48 AM   #43
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Default Re: Thoughts on plagiarism

Then there are those books that are retakes on other things. -Shrugs-

To be fair, even Shakespeare 'took' ideas for quite a lot of his works. 'King Lear' especially, I believe, was written a good 300 or so years -before- Shakespeare and was merely entitled 'King Leir' or something like that. Does it make the Bard any less influential nowadays? Nope.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 04:43 PM   #44
Anareth
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Default Re: Thoughts on plagiarism

Actually the original Dragonlance stuff was based off the authors' roleplaying campagins...but D&D was certainly influenced by Tolkien.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 04:53 PM   #45
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Default Re: Thoughts on plagiarism

I guess that at least proves that I remember the odd thing or two from what I read in the press

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Anneli, you've got the details correct so you indeed must have read about it last week.
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Old Jan 19 2008, 04:58 PM   #46
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Default Re: Thoughts on plagiarism

Shalyn, I would if I could, but I genuinely didn't register the name Maybe Cheryl or Hans could do the honours?

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And, being nosy, I would like to know what author y'all are talking about, so if someone can PM me...
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Old Jan 21 2008, 09:58 PM   #47
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Default Re: Thoughts on plagiarism

I can't really comment on the person under discussion, since I'm not familiar with the background of the matter at all--& chances are, even if Cheryl PMs it to me, I don't know if I'd bother if the author or story didn't interrest me. I'm just commenting upon the situation as Cheryl presented the problem in her first post. Certainly, if the material is "public domain", then I don't much see what the use of such filler is a problem.

My take on fiction vs academia in regards to plagiarism:

I think there's very little is "original" with academia, what with all the sources, notes, & data not personally gathered by the author--usually, only the conclusion is the author's own original material--plagiarism usually results when you have material and don't cite the source, or even if the author independently develops the same conclusion as someone else who did similar research. (for example: after writing up a thesis on gravity, how many ways can you come up with a conclusion that "Gravity Sucks" without unintentionally "copying" someone else?)

In fiction, however, getting "facts" for filler is usually not the problem--the normal problem with fiction writing is how "original" is the general theme, organization, action, & characters, etc. Not surprisingly, it's very tough to actually come up with an idea that hasn't been touched upon in some manner by some other fiction writer.

For example: in Naomi Novik's case, there are factual sources she needs to rely upon for describing sailing ships, or historical figures of the Napoleonic War--there's going to be very little personal experience she's likely to have with rigging out a three-masted Man-o-War, or have any first-hand knowledge of just when & where, or even IF, Napoleon met such&such while marching through the Prussian countryside--yet, I don't know of any one getting much in arms over her lack of superscirpted numbers and a book-long list of encyclopedia articles and CSForrester titles she's read.

How Novik weaves those "factual materials" into her story is a matter of her style. How any other author might, say cut&paste of a description of rebuilding an engine block while their characters are at the Indy500, is that person's style (or lack thereof)
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