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Why steal?

Uther_Pendragon

Another thread brought this to mind.

Back when I was trying to sell my stories, I submitted "Little Swimmers." They found another version, and questioned my authorship. (Weirdly, neither they nor I found the copy I had on SOL. I removed it much later.)

The other version took more than half my story word-for-word, and then fit it into the "author's" standard story-frame. My story, however, was of a married couple deciding to start a baby; the guy's standard story-frame involved uncle-niece incest.

So the stolen parts fit very poorly. If the guy could write the other half, why couldn't he write the entire thing?

Bondi Beach

@Uther_Pendragon

So the stolen parts fit very poorly. If the guy could write the other half, why couldn't he write the entire thing?


The thief wanted his own ending but made a hash of the job, which explains why he didn't start at the beginning, perhaps.

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Michael Loucks

@Uther_Pendragon

So the stolen parts fit very poorly. If the guy could write the other half, why couldn't he write the entire thing?


Perhaps he has trouble developing characters and chose to borrow some?

Crumbly Writer

@Michael Loucks

Perhaps he has trouble developing characters and chose to borrow some?

The hardest part in any story is creating characters that people can relate to, and establishing motives which drive the characters. If you can't do that, it's much easier to simply steal the entire character creation part, and just jump to the 'what happened after that' phase.

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Crumbly Writer

steal the entire character creation part, and just jump to the 'what happened after that' phase.

Sounds a lot like "fan fiction".

Replies:   blurred
Uther_Pendragon

@Michael Loucks

He borrowed actions, but he didn't really borrow my characters. My characters were a married couple of -- though unstated -- nearly equal ages. He had a much older man and a young woman -- incest, and not married.

blurred

@richardshagrin

Isn't that exactly what fan fiction is?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@blurred

Isn't that exactly what fan fiction is?

Fan fiction is hardly legal, instead it's allowed, in many instances, mainly because it's SO difficult to stop. In general, as long as you don't spoil the author's revenue stream by spoiling his next book, you can generally get away with it, but you need to check the specific author to see whether they're the more litigious sorts. Certain genres are more likely to support fan fiction than others, for instance.

Replies:   Dominions Son
Dominions Son

@Crumbly Writer

but you need to check the specific author to see whether they're the more litigious sorts.


You also need to check the publisher. Disney is very protective of it's image as a purveyor of children's/family entertainment. They have thrown chicken fits over "adult" fan fiction stories based on their animated films.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@Dominions Son


You also need to check the publisher. Disney is very protective of it's image as a purveyor of children's/family entertainment. They have thrown chicken fits over "adult" fan fiction stories based on their animated films.


You're right, of course. I should have said "copyright holder", as often, the original author frequently gets shafted sooner or later.

P.S. As someone who had many SOHO artist friends while living in Manhattan, I can tell you quite a few terrifying stories regarding Disney's baseless attacks against artists in general. The law in definitely on the artists side, but Disney's approach is to throw twenty suits for a single work, so the artist has no choice but to comply before it ever reaches a decision (which will only affect a single case).

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