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Copying plots

redlion75

I recently read 2 stories that were almost the same, I don't the were do over,time travel genre the same.i mean the plot and reason behind the plot were identical only names and ending were changed a little.how much of a story can be "borrowed" before it becomes a stolen story?

Switch Blayde

@redlion75

how much of a story can be "borrowed" before it becomes a stolen story?


You can't copyright an idea (plot). If the plot is the same, but the wording is different, it's perfectly fine.

Dominions Son

@redlion75

Copyright protects words, not ideas. The plot is an idea. You can copy ideas as much as you want legally as long as you write your own words to implement it.

In order to be a copyright violation, there would have to be a whole lot of similarity in the actual text.

Care to name the actual stories?

guyver2010

@redlion75

I know of one case where a story was abandoned, someone else took it and finished it, then the original author came back and finished it. Im wondering if thats the one you are talking about. Overboard and overboard too.

Replies:   JohnBobMead
awnlee jawking

@redlion75

This is a topic of great interest to me. I keep an eye out for news reports of potential plagiarisation cases. It seems to me that cases involving songs and screenplays are much more likely to succeed than cases involving novels. Dan Brown's Da Vinci Code looked like a slam dunk case of plagiarism, even down to character names, but he got away with it.

I've noticed a number of scenes and plot artifices in recent SOL stories which seem to have been borrowed from other stories, even a couple from mine (and one of them has a higher score than my version - grrrr). On the other hand I was shocked to read a scene in someone else's story that was very similar to an upcoming scene in my WIP. My own version was written before I read the other version, which in turn was written before mine, so similarities can be a complete coincidence.

I too would like to know the two stories you're referring to, although naming them in open forum is probably not a good idea for several reasons. Please could you e-mail the titles to me. There's an e-mail address on my author page if you don't want to use SOL mail.

Thanks,

AJ

Replies:   Switch Blayde
JohnBobMead

@guyver2010

No. The original author did not continue the story, two different authors continued the story.

Oyster50 wrote the beginning of Overboard, then decided it didn't ring his bell.

Coaster2, with his permission, then set out to complete the story. Overboard. Coaster2 didn't say this is what he was doing, so I was thrown when he first started posting, because I knew I'd read that opening chapter before.

Shortly afterward, Friar Tuck, again with Oyster50's permission, also did a continuation of the story. Overboard Too! Friat Tuck did let you know what was going on, that he was joining in with another angle on the story.

They head off in rather different directions. Very different worldviews between Coaster2 and Friar Tuck.

Replies:   Capt. Zapp
Switch Blayde
Updated:

@awnlee jawking


I've noticed a number of scenes and plot artifices in recent SOL stories which seem to have been borrowed from other stories,


My SOL story "Matilda and the Assassin" was inspired by (borrowed from) the movie "The Professional." The beginning is similar, but the story is quite different. Isn't West Side Story a modernized Romeo and Juliet put to music?

Replies:   joyR
joyR

@Switch Blayde

Isn't West Side Story a modernized Romeo and Juliet put to music?


Yes it was, but then again, Shakespeare did not invent the story of Romeo and Juliet. He probably heard it via a poem: Romeus and Juliet (1562) written by a poet called Arthur Brooks. It was 'a long and plodding poem', but 'many of the details of Shakespeare's plot are lifted directly from Brooks's poem, including the meeting at the ball, the secret marriage, Romeo's fight with Tybalt, the sleeping potion, and the lovers' eventual suicides.' Such taking from other stories is typical of Shakespeare, who often wrote plays based on well-known stories. But Shakespeare made it more exciting by adding the character of Mercutio, and by fitting the story into four frantic days.
Shakespeare may also have known of the Italian version Giulietta e Romeo (1530) by Luigi da Porto who set the tale of Romeo and Juliet in Verona in Italy.

StarFleet Carl

@redlion75

My 'Legacy of a Legend' uses the plot of The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, as it's basis. I included a disclaimer that the world belonged to Bethesda, I simply played and wrote there. I think Aquea has done the same thing with her Dragon Age novels.

Capt. Zapp

@JohnBobMead

Shortly afterward, Friar Tuck, again with Oyster50's permission, also did a continuation of the story. Overboard Too! Friat Tuck did let you know what was going on, that he was joining in with another angle on the story.


Wow, I had to go and check that. I have the story in my archive as written by brertuck I wasn't aware that Friar Tuck had changed his nom de plume. Guess I need to keep a closer eye on the Blog posts. :)

Replies:   Vlad_Inhaler
redlion75

I have seen stories written by heyall on litereotica then seen the same stories on sexstories under a different name. I tried to ask heyall if they were the same person but got no answer. I maybe be a porn reader but i don't think it's right for others to steal a good story to claim it as their own. Atleast oyster agreed to the new writers doing it.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Vlad_Inhaler

@Capt. Zapp

Copyright© 2013 by Friar Tuck

Copyright© 2013 by Oyster50 & Brertuck


I wonder when he changed his "name". Oh:

Changed my pen name from Brertuck
March 9, 2017
Posted at 5:02 pm
Updated: March 10, 2017 - 8:12 pm


... back to Friar Tuck, one I've used in the past. You can find my stories under my new pen name. Hope I didn't cause any confusion!

Replies:   richardshagrin
richardshagrin

@Vlad_Inhaler

Friar Tuck

Dyslexic readers see Triar Fuck. (Triar pronounced Try our.)
And assume a much sex or stroke story.

Crumbly Writer

@redlion75

I have seen stories written by heyall on litereotica then seen the same stories on sexstories under a different name. I tried to ask heyall if they were the same person but got no answer. I maybe be a porn reader but i don't think it's right for others to steal a good story to claim it as their own. Atleast oyster agreed to the new writers doing it.

You never ask a thief if they stole something, you ask the shopkeeper. The same is true with fiction. You ask the original author whether he's aware someone else is publishing his work. Anti-plagiarism software is now so prevalent, virtually anyone can check a document to see if it's legitimate or not.

Replies:   PotomacBob  redlion75
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

What's the name of anti-plagiarism software?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
sejintenej

@redlion75

I recently read 2 stories that were almost the same, I don't the were do over,...... genre the same.i mean the plot and reason behind the plot were identical only names and ending were changed a little

I have also seen this recently on SOL but considered it not only boring but improper and simply stopped reading. I no longer have the story name and don't want to know it

redlion75

@Crumbly Writer

The reason I asked Heyall was because the stories was released under that name first

Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

What's the name of anti-plagiarism software?

There's a wide variety. I publish using Bowker, to purchase ISBNs. Part of what they offer is definitive proof that your work is yours (you can upload the written story, so it can be offered in proof during a trial).

I don't run the anti-plagiarism because of the high false-negatives, and it's obvious when someone steals your work, as they publish it using your exact text, your cover art, and often market it to the same places you're already publishing too. The software is mostly used by school teachers and colleges to catch cheating students too lazy to write their own term papers, where they're primarily looking for a paper written for you, by someone else, which is something else entirely.

Grammarly, which many here use, offers an anti-plagiarism component. Here's a list of the top 10 FREE plagiarism software packages, though again, these are mostly for teachers, rather than for authors.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

Thanks, I'll have a look.
Does the software look at two things at a time. Or compare one thing to the whole universe of what has been written since the beginning of time?

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

Does the software look at two things at a time. Or compare one thing to the whole universe of what has been written since the beginning of time?

It varies, as the 'school' tools typically looks only at coursework term papers, but it's essentially the second. They search for other works which the one piece may have originated from. There are some more advanced tools, used mainly for legal challenges, which breaks down two pieces of writing, pointing out similarities in styles and documenting just how different two writing samples are.

However, I've never actually used any of these, so aside from some general knowledge, I have no real experience with any of these tools. As I stated earlier, most times, when someone steals your work, it's obviously it's stolen, as they make no bones about it at all. They typically leave my name emblazoned across my cover, while claiming to 'own' the work while using another name and email address.

Replies:   PotomacBob
PotomacBob

@Crumbly Writer

Thanks. They must have huge databases of previously written material.

Replies:   Crumbly Writer
Crumbly Writer

@PotomacBob

Thanks. They must have huge databases of previously written material.

Not really, they do online searches. In the case of the students, although there are a TON of reports turned in each year, it's definitely not as large as the ENTIRE internet.

Again, I'm not sure, but I suspect they run analysis in the background, selecting 'problematic' samples which they then look for in the submitted work (i.e. examples of 'bad actors').

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