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Plagarism here on SOL?????

seanski1969

I've just started reading this story Spirals by Lellan McLemore https://storiesonline.net/s/52022/spirals and I realized that the beginning (what I've read so far) has been copied from another author here on SOL. Can't remember the authors name and the story has been changed from an English to an American story.

Anyone know who the other author was or is it just the same author and different pen name? Just curious maybe I have it wrong but I think the other author has a series along this same story line or maybe it changes after the first page but the similarities are there if anyone reads the first page they will know.

Replies:   Marc Nobbs
sunseeker

I remember reading this a long time ago but can't say who the author was. It is dated 2007 lol.

Replies:   Reluctant_Sir
Reluctant_Sir

@sunseeker

I clicked the link and immediately recognized the story too!

Except...

I checked my local files and the I have the Lellan McLemore story I D/L'd 9/19/2016. :)

seanski1969

I'm still reading it but the other author's story was based on the town being in Great Britain on the eastern shore if I remember correctly and the MC antagonist was a semi-pro footballer (soccer for the US) and I remember the MC going on a trip to the US to get his mind better sometime at the end of the story or at the beginning of another book. I also seem to remember that maybe the author was going to write another book soon.

seanski1969

I have found the story. It is "A Good Man" by Marc Nobbs.

https://storiesonline.net/s/69435/a-good-man-tutelam-venit-book-one

If you go by posting date then it looks like Marc Nobbs plagiarized Lellan McLemore or are they the same with different pen names??

Should Lazeez be notified or ?

If you have any doubts read Chapter One of each authors stories and let me know. The similarities of the stories continue all the way through.

Reluctant_Sir

@seanski1969

I am going to go with Lellen... at least HE didn't create a bio where he talks about himself in the third person!

Unforgivable, really.

seanski1969

I would agree with that but Marc Nobbs has continued the storyline and it seems better written if that is a reason.

Replies:   Reluctant_Sir
Reluctant_Sir

@seanski1969

I have been joking around, but it is cool you found this and brought it up. If I were the author, I would be understandably upset if someone had the nerve to steal my story and post in back here under another name.

I did see the second story, and downloaded both from the Marc Nobbs section to read later.

Just a thought: I wonder if, considering the time difference, Marc asked for and received permission to rewrite the story? In any case, I will be watching to see what happens.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
seanski1969

I've since searched the Forums and it seems this has been discussed before.

Seems Lazeez believes that Marc Nobbs because he didn't write the same words isn't a plagiarist but I tend to disagree.

He tends ideas aren't copyrightable and I agree.

However the stories similarities are too close to identical to discount anyone confusing the fact that Marc Nobbs is a literary thief.

Too bad as I like his writings.

Replies:   REP  doctor_wing_nut
Crumbly Writer

@seanski1969

Should Lazeez be notified or ?

When in doubt, notify the site's admin. If it's the same author, they'll either know or can relatively quickly verify if it is, but it's better being safe than sorry. Too many people think that all it takes to become recognized as an author is to steal someone else's words.

Crumbly Writer

@Reluctant_Sir

Just a thought: I wonder if, considering the time difference, Marc asked for and received permission to rewrite the story? In any case, I will be watching to see what happens.

If he did, it's common courtesy to acknowledge the original author (since you ARE borrowing his work). That way, your story will benefit the original author, which will at least partially mollify them. But claiming that the entire story concept is yours, when you cut and paste entire passages into your own story, is nothing short of outright copyright theft.

madnige

@seanski1969

Should Lazeez be notified


I believe that merely using his name in a forum posting triggers a notification to him, pointing at the forum post presumably.

REP
Updated:

@seanski1969

I haven't read the stories yet, but I did glance at the first page or two of each stories opening chapter. The opening scenes seemed to be different. Your complaint seems to be Marc's plot and the events in his story are basically the same as those in Lellan's story.

If you look within any genre, you will find stories that have the same plot and the same types of events. You will find plots and scenes that follow the same basic outline. The difference between these stories is the words used to tell the story. In most genres, there are a finite number of plots. Therefore, the authors use the same basic plots to create their stories, so they are often very similar.

I don't know why Marc's story is so similar to Lellan's story. Maybe Marc read Lellan's story and the story stuck in his mind and he unconsciously wrote a very similar story. Maybe Marc liked the plot and scenes and decided to base his story on the same plot and scenario. Maybe he felt Lellan failed to develop the plot and characters to the extent that they should have been developed and believed he could do a better job of telling the story. Maybe something else.

Writing a copycat story is not plagiarism and it is not being a literary thief. The writer of the copycat story may not have created the plot and general flow of the story, but he did generate his narrative and dialog and did his own character development. About the worst one can say about Marc is he didn't use his creativity to create a totally different plot.

Replies:   Grant  Crumbly Writer
doctor_wing_nut

@seanski1969

However the stories similarities are too close to identical to discount anyone confusing the fact that Marc Nobbs is a literary thief.


I can't compare the stories, since I'm not a premier member (although it seems to me I read A Good Man before, the descriptions for that and the sequel sound very familiar). However, by your logic, are ALL the Time-Travel-by-Alien-or-Deus-Ex-Machina stories stolen from cmsix (or whoever wrote the first one)? Surely they all share a similar genesis - does that make everyone a Literary Thief?

I have a hard time believing that both stories have co-existed on the site for seven years if one of them was stolen, especially since it appears this has been discussed before.

Personally, I have a bigger problem with some dead-tree authors that put their names on books primarily or entirely written by others, even if they were contracted to do so. But that's just me.

Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

@madnige

I believe that merely using his name in a forum posting triggers a notification to him, pointing at the forum post presumably.


I should have done that, but no. I just check the forum like a normal person. When in a hurry I use my browser's search function to find instances of my name.

Regarding the issue brought up by the OP, I've dealt with it seven years ago.

Marc Nobbs didn't use the original author's words. I did a text comparison and no full sentences were used. The plot's start is fairly the same, but I believe the stories have different treatments and different endings.

Copyright laws are about the words used. Maybe Marc Nobbs should have given credit to the original author and it would have been nice. He may be an ass, but he didn't do anything illegal, nor immoral. He read a story and he thought he could do better than the original author. Many do this, they rewrite stories that have a great plot (to them) and rework it into something they think is better.

Words can be copyrighted, plots can't. It's simple. We can argue about the issue endlessly. I'm sure as most of you reading this are authors, you fall on the extreme side of the copyright issue and you wish you have all the possible controls to protect your words and your plots. But the laws have compromises for good reason.

Replies:   Switch Blayde
Switch Blayde

@doctor_wing_nut

I have a bigger problem with some dead-tree authors that put their names on books primarily or entirely written by others, even if they were contracted to do so


James Petersen

Switch Blayde

@Lazeez Jiddan (Webmaster)

I just check the forum like a normal person


You're the first to call us "normal persons."

LonelyDad

I think we need to define some terms here. Plagiarism as it has been defined my multiple court cases is to copy another persons work product, usually modify it slightly, and claim it as your own. Whether that is a book, a scientific paper, a magazine article, or a play or screen play, in such a way that the act can be clearly determined. Most of the controversy about claims of plagiarism center around how much similarity there is between the two products in question.

I have read both stories, and while there are similar threads in each, there are significant differences as well. As an example, the first chapter already differs in that in Spirals the class difference centers around a single family, and most focused on one person. In A Good Man, the class difference is a divide across the whole local society. There are many others. Probably the most significant is that in A Good Man the girl the story revolves around dies.

Have you never heard of collaborations where three or more authors all start with the same basic premise and then go off to write their own story based on it? We have our own examples here with the Jake Rivers competitions that used to occur.

The OP even states that he has only read the first few chapters, so he can be forgiven for thinking same story - different words. I want to ask that after he reads the entire story if he still feels the same way.

LonelyDad

@doctor_wing_nut

Personally, I have a bigger problem with some dead-tree authors that put their names on books primarily or entirely written by others, even if they were contracted to do so. But that's just me.


You mean like that well know teen horror series of books that continue to appear on shelves long after the author has died?

AmigaClone

@LonelyDad

Have you never heard of collaborations where three or more authors all start with the same basic premise and then go off to write their own story based on it?


More recently, I remember oyster50 posting Overboard and two other authors (Friar Tuck and Handyman) writing much longer stories based on that flash story. I do recall oyster50 mentioning that they were doing that with permission on a blog

Switch Blayde

@LonelyDad

Plagiarism as it has been defined my multiple court cases


Court cases? I thought plagiarism was an academic term, not a legal one. I don't believe you can sue for plagiarism. You can sue for copyright infringement, and they might overlap.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
seanski1969
Updated:

@LonelyDad

As the original OP I still feel he stole a lot of his storyline. I can start and list them:

1: Breaks up fight on patio as waiter sitting minding his own business as new stepfather says who his step daughter is going to marry. Its identical if not word for word. (This is one of the easiest for all readers to read and debate as it is available for non-premium users. Read both Chapters 1 and on Marc Nobbs you must get to the bottom of the page to see the total similarities but they are plain if not word for word then he changed some of the dialogue but it is straight plagiarism)

2. Sister of MC runs catering company and MC is orphaned except for sister.

3. Female MC to inherit family business but stepfather is working on plot with football player(both US and UK) to steal company.

4. Mother demands that daughter breakup and go on dates that she arranges with "eligible " bachelors.

5. Both UK & US footballers beat up MC overgirl and are involved in raping members of towns.

I know there are more but tired of typing. Anyone else please expand on the similarities and let's "Call a Spade a Spade"; Marc Nobbs stole most of his storyline.

I haven't read "A Good Man" for a second time (since it went Premium) but from what I remember there are plenty more similar parts.

Replies:   LOAnnie
LOAnnie

@seanski1969

Except as pointed out, plot can't be considered the subject of copyright and or plagiarism. For example, Mean Machine is a British set version of The Longest Yard. Think about how many Harry Potter-esquire stuff comes out. Some procedural shows have the exact same thing happening every episode with only the names of things changed.

Pretty much every great plot that can be written has been, we just really mix it around

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969
Updated:

@LOAnnie

I stand by my point of plagiarism if you read both chapter 1s and compare the scene on the patio.

That isn't plot differences but theft IMHO and that is what I'm saying not Lazeez.

I however understand why he thinks Marc Nobbs is an "ass" for not crediting the original author but I just think he's an "ass" and a "thief" and it's wonderful that we can a have our own opinions.

I just am curious if I'm the only one who thinks Marc Nobbs a thief?

Grant

@REP

I don't know why Marc's story is so similar to Lellan's story.

It's the same story, it's just been re-written. It's not a cut & paste job.

At the time I read it several years ago it had the same plot, same situations, same events, same outcomes. Marc did a much better job on the story, but the fact there was no mention of it being based (the same story, just written by another person) on another story put me off reading anything else of his, no matter how well written.

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969
Updated:

@Grant

Thank you Grant and least someone understands that Marc Nobbs basically stole his story. I agree and it is wrong and now has put me off on reading anything from Marc Nobbs.

I did go to his Facebook page and asked why he stole from Lellan but haven't received a reply yet.

Crumbly Writer

@REP

I don't know why Marc's story is so similar to Lellan's story. Maybe Marc read Lellan's story and the story stuck in his mind and he unconsciously wrote a very similar story.

I suspect it's more than that, while also being less that discussed. Since the two worked together, he probably decided to 'modify' the opening scenes to provide a common reference point. There's probably common dialogue in key places throughout. While that's NOT a good idea generally, as long as he has permission, it's fine. As I said, it's generally good form to acknowledge an author you 'borrow from', but let's be kind and assume he doesn't know that.

Technically, someone's reputation can be ruined by 'borrowing' only a couple of paragraphs, as Melania can attest. But legally, there are limits on how much one can quote before 'borrowing' amounts to copyright theft, otherwise no one could ever print book excerpts for printing reviews. So I doubt there's really any legal danger here, even if someone objected, but it would have been wise to acknowledge he had authorization when he began posting it.

Replies:   seanski1969
Crumbly Writer

@doctor_wing_nut

Personally, I have a bigger problem with some dead-tree authors that put their names on books primarily or entirely written by others, even if they were contracted to do so. But that's just me.

Or certain Presidents, who I seriously doubt ever read any of the books their name is on. (Whatever your politics, you've got to admit the man is not a reader.)

Crumbly Writer

@Switch Blayde

Court cases? I thought plagiarism was an academic term, not a legal one. I don't believe you can sue for plagiarism. You can sue for copyright infringement, and they might overlap.

Plagiarism cases are interesting, as often the person the person copies the previous exams from were paid, so it's not technically a copyright violation, it's more a 'leasing' of text from a previous work. But they're clear violations of most school's honor code, and usually a reason for dismissal, depending on the severity.

seanski1969
Updated:

@Crumbly Writer


Since the two worked together, he probably decided to 'modify' the opening scenes to provide a common reference point.


I am curious now; are you saying they worked together? I have seen people question here whether they worked together and even Lazeez said he should have credited Lellan. If in fact you know they collaborated then I can forgive Marc but if it is conjecture then I stand by my original opinion.

And Yes the IDIOT in Charge can't read as its been attested to he has the attention span of a gnat. Only one page briefs and big text. LMFAO if I wasn't Crying and Blushing in Embarrassment for having to admit he's POTUS.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@seanski1969

I am curious now; are you saying they worked together? I have seen people question here whether they worked together and even Lazeez said he should have credited Lellan. If in fact you know they collaborated then I can forgive Marc but if it is conjecture then I stand by my original opinion.

I don't know whether they actually discussed it or not, though that was the indication from some of the topic's discussion, though it seems to have been refuted by the more recent posts. But I was largely talking of the larger issues (i.e. how authors should handle cases where they do work together, or when you (like here) base your story on someone else's. The least you can do is list the original work, so the original authors gets some credit and possibly a few additional readers.

Ernest Bywater

First, I don't know if there is any relationship or nor relationship between the authors in the original post. However, things are not always visible from the outside. Just look at my stories and a few other things.

1. Cazna and I worked together for a few years developing plots and stories. We made a decision that only his name would appear on certain stories we worked on together, and only my name would appear on certain stories he gave me advice on.

However, when he ceased writing Caz insisted I revise the stories and add my name on the copyright since they were all based on my ideas and I wrote the action scenes. That I did, and I've also done further revisions since then.

2. When I first wrote the Clan Amir series the publisher I was posting the books through insisted I use a different name to my own since he already had a few other stories by me and he wanted to keep them separate. I didn't like doing it that way, but I did. A few years later when he gave me permission to post some of the stories on SoL I did. When the exclusive period of the contract ran out I posted them all on SoL. During this time I also let people know that Ernest Edwards and Ernest Bywater were the same being.

More recently I amalgamated all of the stories under the one author name to make them easier to manage on SoL.

3. Mike Low, aka The Scot, aka Rod McLaren asked me to finish Shiloh for him some years ago. I did that and it's posted with both our names. In more recent times he asked me to review and revise his other stories as an editor. I did that, but since I had no creative input I've left them under his name.

To further cause confusion some years ago Mike sent me some notes to take over and write Apache Nation if he should decide he gave up writing and didn't get it done. At this point in time the notes are held in durance vile by the Gestapo. Should I get them back I'll work on that story. When I get time I'll also do a sequel to Shiloh. Once I do them they will be under my name.

..............................

Looking from the outside without the above knowledge people would wonder what the heck was going on with many of those stories. But it's all logical and all done with approvals.

As regards to the stories mentioned in the original post, we don't know what, if any, actions happened between the two authors. Heck, they may even be the same person. So there's no point in us speculating on any relationship between them.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@Ernest Bywater

As regards to the stories mentioned in the original post, we don't know what, if any, actions happened between the two authors. Heck, they may even be the same person. So there's no point in us speculating on any relationship between them.

If they were the same person, Lazeez would never have felt the need to review the stories to determine whether a copyright violation occurred, and if they were working together, surely they would have informed him if questioned about it.

Replies:   Ernest Bywater
Ernest Bywater

@Crumbly Writer

If they were the same person, Lazeez would never have felt the need to review the stories to determine whether a copyright violation occurred, and if they were working together, surely they would have informed him if questioned about it.


Those actions presume Lazeez knows them to be the same person or he contacted them about it. He didn't say either.

I was an infrequent reader of SoL for some years before I started posting stories here. I lost my log on ID and password in a system crash just before I started posting stories to SoL. I couldn't remember the password, and the email address I used when I first joined no longer existed at that point, so I was unable to resurrect the old ID, thus I created a new one and have maintained that since. The same could've happened to another author. I also know of an author who posted at SoL using different log on IDs instead of pen names within their one log on ID because they used different emails etc to keep their different pen names apart.

As I said, we don't know the details, so we're only guessing.

Marc Nobbs

@seanski1969

Hi all,

This thread was brought to my attention by Ryan Grimes and I thought it worth a response.

I thought this issue had been resolved in 2011, and certainly after the 2nd book in the series, A Tortured Soul was published, but it appears not.

I corresponded with Lellan about the similarities between A Good Man and Spirals back in 2011 and offered to acknowledge him in the book. He declined the offer after reading the whole thing (which I sent to him before it finished posting on the site) as he felt it diverged sufficiently away from the happy ending of Spirals.

Below is the text of a message I sent to Lellan on 12th October 2011 through the SoL system. The planned third book in the series is not yet finished. There is further correspondence but I do not feel it appropriate to share messages sent to me, only this first message from me

******

Lellan,

I came across your work through SOL's random story
suggestions a few years ago. "Taking the Road
Together" stuck in my mind, I enjoyed it, but I
read some of your other stories too.

One of those was "Spirals". Now, it seems that
"Spirals" stuck in my subconscious mind more than
I thought it did. Why do I say that?

Well, last spring I started work on a new novel,
the first of a planned series of three. It's taken
me until now to get it finished and edited to a
state that I was happy with to release it, but
release it I have, earlier this week.

Today, I had an email from a reader questioning my
open chapter's similarity to that of "Spirals".

I'll admit, the title itself didn't ring any
bells, but when I looked the story up, your name
did. As did the story itself when I skimmed
through it. And blow me if he was right - not just
about the first chapter, but about the
similarities of the plot in the early part of my
novel.

Now, at this point I need to say that I wrote "A
Good Man" some considerable time after reading
"Spirals" and I honestly didn't realise what I was
writing was so similar to your story. Yes, the
setting is different and the characters have
different traits, but the similarities are there
to be found if one cares to look. And you don't
have to look that hard.

Please take this as a compliment. It seems that
your story stuck with me enough at the back of my
mind that it clearly influenced the writing of my
story. A bit like Noel Gallagher having John
Lennon influence much of his body of work, I
guess.

Ultimately, these are clearly two different
stories, as will be evidenced as mine advances
(I'm posting it as a serial). But I thought it
polite to drop you a note about this - before
someone else does.

cheers

seanski1969

@Marc Nobbs

My apologies to Marc Nobbs.

I still think Marc should credit Lellan in his story here on SOL.

Only my opinion, so other readers won't come to the same conclusions I have.

Replies:   LOAnnie  mcguy101
LOAnnie

@seanski1969

But Lellan specifically declined that. Plus worst case, someone comes to the forum and looks it up and it will be found here...

seanski1969

@LOAnnie

I originally didn't search the forums for the first posts of this question. When I did and found the original post the conclusion of said post was that Lazeez determined that because "the words" were not identical there was no plagiarism.

I am curious to how many of the registered users even find the forums or read them. I'll admit that for the first 10 years or so that I had never been to the forum section.

So a credit to Lellan(desired or not) no way diminishes Marc's work, but does justly acknowledge an early influence of the author.

Replies:   Keet  Crumbly Writer
REP

@LOAnnie

But Lellan specifically declined that.


Lellan declining Marc's offer doesn't stop Marc from adding a comment about the similarities.

Since seanski1969 and at least one other reader commented on the similarities a brief statement could be added so future readers won't think Marc intentionally wrote a copy cat story.

Replies:   seanski1969  LOAnnie
seanski1969

@REP

And blow me if he was right - not just
about the first chapter, but about the
similarities of the plot in the early part of my
novel.


Even Marc Nobbs admits to the similarities so I agree with REP that a comment should be added. :)

Replies:   REP
Keet

@seanski1969

I am curious to how many of the registered users even find the forums or read them. I'll admit that for the first 10 years or so that I had never been to the forum section.

I'm almost at 10 years but it took more then 7 to start looking into the forums.

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969

@Keet

Thanks Keet at least I feel better that I wasn't the only one missing a valuable part of SOL. I may not always agree with the posts but at least it seems that the Forum here remains quite informative, civil and diverse in its posts.

I do hope that all readers will enjoy both "Spirals" and "A Good Man" as both are Very Good stories.

Replies:   Keet  LOAnnie
Keet
Updated:

@seanski1969

I may not always agree with the posts but at least it seems that the Forum here remains quite informative, civil and diverse in its posts.

I totally agree. I stay far away from the RSM (rubbish social media) but this is currently the only forum I visit and participate in.

LOAnnie

@REP

Sometimes people don't want to be credited. I know it's hard to believe but it does happen—think of uncredited roles in movies, rewrites, etc.

At that point crediting someone who has been asked and declined to be credited becomes rude and against wishes.

Replies:   REP  Crumbly Writer
LOAnnie

@seanski1969

Okay, so I'm the past before the forums what would you have done? 1). Lowvote the story
2) send a message to the author

You say you avoid social media but this thread is pure social media at its finest. You straight up attacked someone, accusing them of plagiarism multiple times and saying there's no way it's not despite multiple people explaining how it's not, and then when you find out the story and that it's been resolved before you knew of either story's existence, still insist that it should be handled in a different way than the author you thought was copied wanted.

It's settled between the authors, how is your insistence at this point that an unwanted crediting should happen any different than all the people who tell authors how their stories should go?

seanski1969

@LOAnnie

Okay, so I'm the past before the forums what would you have done? 1). Lowvote the story
2) send a message to the author

You say you avoid social media but this thread is pure social media at its finest.


Now you have me confused. First I NEVER "1 Bomb" a story. Search your posts as I generally give all authors "10s" because I appreciate authors hard work and I HATE "1 Bombs" with a passion. If someone takes the time to create a story then no matter the squick code that usually results in a "1 Bomb" it is undeserved. I also was TEN BOMBING stories because of all the posts I read that a user "1 Bombed" a story because of a missing squick code.

Second I'm not the one who posted his disdain for social media. I second the thought of facebook trolls and only interact on it by business requirements. Most usually linkedin but even that is few and far between.

How would I handle it is exactly how I have. Messaged the author on his facebook page as that had the most recent activity. I also posted this in the forums. Then feeling that I should search forums and read the results contained.

After all that and with Marc's response a comment by him letting other readers know that the similarities exist between his and Lellan's stories is quite appropriate. Why do I say this? Multiple reasons: Marc is a commercial author, all authors on this site seem to complain about thefts of their works for sale on Amazon, Goodreads and other sites, even Marc acknowledges the similarities and unrecognized influence that "Spirals" had on his story so making that public will keep readers from making the same accusations that I did.

Replies:   LOAnnie
LOAnnie

@seanski1969

But now If anyone searches the forums about this, the most likely thing to pop up is this long thread calling him a plagiarist, and most might not read to the middle to find out the truth.

But if the other author has said "don't credit me" then you don't credit them. I see why you're saying he should, but I think respecting the other author's wishes is also important

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969

@LOAnnie

But if the other author has said "don't credit me" then you don't credit them. I see why you're saying he should, but I think respecting the other author's wishes is also important


This comes down to the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinions; you have yours and I have mine.

In regards to a search of the forums; trying searching "Spirals" which is what I did and you can see other threads which have differing conclusions.

LOAnnie

@seanski1969

Yes, but the opinions that should matter are those of the two authors directly involved. If they consider the matter settled and a moot issue, why do you become the gatekeeper of what should happen? Why intervene in this issue between other authors?

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969

@LOAnnie

I just questioned whether or not it was plagiarism. I'm done with this and I ask why you are also pushing your opinion as the only valid ones are the two authors.

I have said everyone is entitled to their own opinions, so I have mine and you have yours.

THE END

PotomacBob
Updated:

@seanski1969


This comes down to the fact that everyone is entitled to their own opinions;


You ARE entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own facts.

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969
Updated:

@PotomacBob


but you're not entitled to your own facts.


I thought this was dead and buried.

What "FACT" am I creating as my own?

I apologized to Marc Nobbs.

I disagreed with his decision to not acknowledge Lellan's influence on Marc Nobbs story.

I didn't ignore any fact but am voicing "MY OPINION" that Marc Nobbs comment that he was influenced unconsciously by Lelland's story "Spirals".

Replies:   PotomacBob
REP

@seanski1969

It is not what I think that matters. It's Marc's call.

REP

@LOAnnie

At that point crediting someone who has been asked and declined to be credited becomes rude and against wishes.


I didn't say give him credit. A comment can acknowledge the similarities without mentioning Lellan.

PotomacBob

@seanski1969

What "FACT" am I creating as my own?


You said:

I realized that the beginning (what I've read so far) has been copied from another author here on SOL


That is untrue. It was not copied. Marc's story may have been modeled after the earlier story, but was not copied.

Replies:   seanski1969
REP

The bottom line is let Lazeez know and handle it without airing it in the Forum.

Replies:   LOAnnie
LOAnnie

@REP

This, this was my point!

seanski1969

@PotomacBob

That is untrue. It was not copied. Marc's story may have been modeled after the earlier story, but was not copied.

cop·y
ˈkäpē/Submit
noun
1.
a thing made to be similar or identical to another.
"the problem is telling which is the original document and which the copy"
synonyms: duplicate, facsimile, photocopy; More
2.
a single specimen of a particular book, record, or other publication or issue.
"the record has sold more than a million copies"
verb
1.
make a similar or identical version of; reproduce.
"each form had to be copied and sent to a different department"
synonyms: duplicate, photocopy, xerox, run off, reproduce, replicate; More
2.
imitate the style or behaviour of.
"lifestyles that were copied from Miami and Fifth Avenue"
synonyms: imitate, reproduce, emulate, follow, echo, mirror, parrot, mimic, ape; MoreTg

Thats all from Google Definitions. Once Marc replied about his messaging with Lellan I APOLOGIZED.

In regards to REP; without this thread "We as in SOL Readers" would be unaware of Marc's contact with Lellan.

Lazeez only stated in original threads regarding these stories that he ran a text comparision program and it didn't contain matches.

My original question on this thread was is this not plagiarism because of the similarities and I voiced my opinion that it was. Having heard from Marc Nobbs; I have since apologized to him earlier in this thread.

If someone wants a more specific apology then here it is along with my opinion.

Dear Marc Nobbs,

I apologize for calling you a thief and a plagiarist for your story, "A Good Man"'s obvious similarity to Lelland McLemore's story "Spirals". If you had bothered to include a comment that there were similarities between your story here and another authors on SOL and the other author was aware and unconcerned we wouldn't have had this thread at all. You don't have to "credit" anyone by name, but a "comment" in MY Opinion should have been done.

Once again I'm sorry for the words I used.

Sean

Replies:   Wheezer
Ernest Bywater

@Marc Nobbs

maybe an end note or a notation on this matter in the story comments section could save future issues from happening. I was around back in 2011 and I don't remember this being discussed back then.

Wheezer

@seanski1969

but a "comment" in MY Opinion should have been done.


Your opinion does not matter when the author of "Spirals" has stated that he does not want the acknowledgement & link to "A Good Man" being made. It's not that Mark didn't bother to note the similarities -

I corresponded with Lellan about the similarities between A Good Man and Spirals back in 2011 and offered to acknowledge him in the book. He declined the offer...

End of story.
Old Saying: Opinions are like assholes. They all stink but mine & yours, and I have my doubts about yours.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@Wheezer

Your opinion does not matter when the author of "Spirals" has stated that he does not want the acknowledgement & link to "A Good Man" being made.


Playing the part of devil's advocate, didn't one of the Amazon thieves claim they had permission to publish the books they had stolen?

We've only had one side of the story, and even that is open to interpretation. Did Lellan say he didn't want acknowledgement or that it wasn't necessary?

Without a complete picture, all we can do is speculate.

AJ

Replies:   LOAnnie
LOAnnie

@awnlee jawking

Except this isn't just straight copying someone else's work. Sure, similar plot lines, but if that were the case all the Harry Potter like clones wouldn't have been published, anything with a romantic tragedy wouldn't be published, etc. the Bible wouldn't be published...

Plot lines aren't subject to copyright, that's the main thing to consider. The words themselves are but th plots aren't. If I want to try and publish a story about a magical girl orphan with a moon shaped scar on her cheek who finds out she's a witch from a giant, I'm legally allowed to.

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@LOAnnie

Plot lines aren't subject to copyright, that's the main thing to consider.


That's what I've always thought, but there have been a number of high-profile court cases where authors have been sued because their plots are too similar to an existing work. I can't remember a case being successful but I'm not sure why. Is it because of the law (in which case, why did lawyers agree to represent the plaintiffs) or because the plots weren't similar enough for the complaint to succeed?

AJ

Replies:   LOAnnie
LOAnnie

@awnlee jawking

A lot of them might also be trademark complaints as opposed to copyright complaints. And remember, in America you can sue for anything even without grounds. Said attorney's could also be willing to just take the money—look at the whole #cockygate issue recently, where an author got a generic trademark that was supposed to only apply to a series of books (can't trademark a singular book) and sent C&D letters to anyone who used the word, series or not. Granted she did half her shit without the attorney and is having to surrender the trademarks, but still, she tried even with no grounds and even in that case she's the victim

Look to movies for inspiration (White House Down and Olympus has Fallen at the same time, Armageddon and Deep Impact, two volcano movies at the same summer, etc)

Replies:   awnlee jawking
awnlee jawking

@LOAnnie

I have to admit my understanding of the situation is poor. There was widespread surprise in the media that the case against Dan Brown failed because in 'The Da Vinci Code' he even swiped character names from the plaintiff's work.

AJ

Replies:   Dominions Son
mcguy101

@seanski1969

I still think Marc should credit Lellan in his story here on SOL.


Agreed. First of all, I haven't read either story and what Marc did was not illegal. Still, if the works are as similar as people suggest, he should have credited the other author for the inspiration.

Again, not a requirement, but it seems rather intellectually dishonest to make a reader think that your work is somewhat original, when in reality, the plot and characters you base your story on are really another person's creative effort. JMO.

Replies:   REP
Dominions Son

@awnlee jawking

There was widespread surprise in the media that the case against Dan Brown failed because in 'The Da Vinci Code' he even swiped character names from the plaintiff's work.


"The Media" has little to no understanding of how "intellectual property" law works.

"Intellectual property" is an umbrella term that covers three distinct areas of law, copyright, trademarks, and patents, each with it's own requirements and types of protections.

It is very difficult to actually get individual character names protected under copyright. To get such protection the names would have to be extremely distinctive. A common or semi-common first and/or last name in a real world setting would likely not be protect-able under copyright.

Trademarks could be used to protect character names, but unlike copyright, trademarks are not automatic. A trademark must be registered.

Common terms (and names) can not be trademarked.

Trademarks are only protected within a given field (specified in the registration application).

In the US, the registration process includes public notice by the Patent & Trademark Office and the opportunity for others in the field to oppose the registration.

REP

@mcguy101

he should have credited the other author for the inspiration.


You are assuming he consciously recognized that Lellan's story was the source of his inspiration when he wrote the story.

When he became aware of Lellan being the source of his inspiration, Lellan said he didn't want to be recognized as the source. Marc was absolved of the obligation to give Lellan credit. Although I think Marc should have acknowledged being inspired by another story without stating which story. JMO

Replies:   seanski1969
seanski1969

@REP

Lellan said he didn't want to be recognized as the source.


I know I said I was done with this thread but people keep making unverified statements. We only have Marc Nobbs word that Lellan said this. I'm not making accusations but am curious if Lellan would respond and fill us in. I wrote him an email through SOL and still haven't heard back. Just saying.

Replies:   REP  PotomacBob
REP

@seanski1969

I am not saying you did anything improper.

PotomacBob

@seanski1969

At this point, it is Marc Nobbs'undisputed word. And in any event, SOL determined 7 years ago that the story has a similar plot but uses different words. Many story tellers do that. "Pretty Woman," the movie, was similar to "Cinderella." "Pinocchio" had scenes similar to the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. Just saying.

Replies:   Grant
Grant

@PotomacBob

"Pretty Woman," the movie, was similar to "Cinderella." "Pinocchio" had scenes similar to the Biblical story of Jonah and the Whale. Just saying.

Similar scenes in a different story, and the same storyline with the same scenes (with some minor differences), are not the same thing.
Just saying.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@LOAnnie


But Lellan specifically declined that. Plus worst case, someone comes to the forum and looks it up and it will be found here...


Except, most readers never come to the forum. Many don't even read author blogs or prologues. I agree with seanski1969. Although it's not needed, I'd mention it in order to avoid people thinking it was plagiarized. It should be okay to include it in the blog, as even if each individual doesn't read it, it'll come up in conversations. But the permission and credit, if publishing, are acknowledged in the "Acknowledgement" section (which doesn't exist on SOL) or the End-of-Story notes on SOL where you typically list editors or anyone else who helped with the story. They're two different things.

Crumbly Writer

@seanski1969

I am curious to how many of the registered users even find the forums or read them. I'll admit that for the first 10 years or so that I had never been to the forum section.

For the first ten years or so, the forums didn't exist ON SOL, they were hosted as a Google Forum (once Lazeez set them up), and thus not quite as obvious to casual readers. Thus they were more dedicated to author discussions.

Crumbly Writer
Updated:

@LOAnnie


Sometimes people don't want to be credited. I know it's hard to believe but it does happen—think of uncredited roles in movies, rewrites, etc.

At that point crediting someone who has been asked and declined to be credited becomes rude and against wishes.


That's valid, and I have a couple of authors who've requested that I not list them on SOL, but for something like this, you could easily add an "An authorized Spirals spin-off" to the description or even in the blog where it isn't as noticeable.

It isn't specifically mentioning the author that's important, it's acknowledging the link so readers are encouraged to seek out Lellan's story. That way, you both benefit without crediting him as a source.

Crumbly Writer

@LOAnnie

It's settled between the authors, how is your insistence at this point that an unwanted crediting should happen any different than all the people who tell authors how their stories should go?

Both authorized and unauthorized acknowledgments are a well-known part of the publishing industry. While few here on SOL would be expected to understand the 'common accepted' industry actions, these issues have been being handled in a similar manner for hundreds of years. If he doesn't want to be acknowledged, it means you don't mention him by name, but once again, listing the common link alleviate worries while boosting both authors' reader bases.

More than anything else, that's a nice way of saying 'thank you for allowing me to borrow elements of your story'.

Crumbly Writer

@seanski1969

In regards to a search of the forums; trying searching "Spirals" which is what I did and you can see other threads which have differing conclusions.

You'll note, if you review the thread, that several of us suggested hearing that there was 'an agreement' between the two authors, but we couldn't validate the claim, not recalling where we heard it. There's a difference between 'I think' and 'here's the proof'.

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