Author Topic: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?  (Read 2905 times)

Offline BlorkTheOrk

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What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« on: April 23, 2023, 11:09:35 pm »
If I want to make a story about postapoc post alien invasion post alien leaving world with hot mutant super babes as a separate nation, what is plagiarism and what is "inspired by" would it be for you. In case you stumble upon such game at Steam or other such places?

Offline Interdictor

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2023, 11:31:50 pm »
Ages ago I read sci-fi fiction book which was literally nothing than text description of regular X-Com game campaign. And this even was published, I mean printed as a book with real ink and paper and being sold in book stores. So whatever it called it's worked at least once already.

Offline BlorkTheOrk

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2023, 12:53:22 am »
@Interdictor By any chance "Враг Неведом"(Enemy Unknown) by Vladimir Vasylyev?

I believe, you still can do such things in Russia, and probably in Japan. In Russia because in Soviet Union they pay writers for words in text, so copyright law was and probably is still weird in Russia. While I don't know why it works in Japan, but third party artists can go pretty far with definitly copyprotectable material.

In Western ethics it must be different. 

EDIT: P.S.: There was SO much stuff that was just faithfull fan fiction in Russian in 90s. I remember a decent fantasy writer just made Middle-earth part of his multiverse. He just wrote LOTR 4,5 and 6 and later on included it in his further books. There was Master Of Orion novelization, and so on and so forth.
« Last Edit: April 24, 2023, 01:00:00 am by BlorkTheOrk »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2023, 11:50:53 am »
EDIT: P.S.: There was SO much stuff that was just faithfull fan fiction in Russian in 90s. I remember a decent fantasy writer just made Middle-earth part of his multiverse. He just wrote LOTR 4,5 and 6 and later on included it in his further books. There was Master Of Orion novelization, and so on and so forth.

The LOTR guy is probably Nic Perumov. His books are the equivalent of an entertaining B movie.
The Master Of Orion novelization was written by Sergei Lukanienko. Couldn't chew through it, it was needlessly grim and annoyingly juvenile at the same time.

Offline Berestow

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #4 on: April 26, 2023, 03:13:25 pm »
@Interdictor By any chance "Враг Неведом"(Enemy Unknown) by Vladimir Vasylyev?

I believe, you still can do such things in Russia, and probably in Japan. In Russia because in Soviet Union they pay writers for words in text, so copyright law was and probably is still weird in Russia. While I don't know why it works in Japan, but third party artists can go pretty far with definitly copyprotectable material.

In Western ethics it must be different. 


Yeah, sure.
X-COM: UFO Defense - A Novel by Diane Duane never existed.
And whole "Novelization" thing never existed in "western ethics", sure.

Offline Juku121

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #5 on: April 26, 2023, 05:57:11 pm »
Ethics has nothing to do with it, copyright lawyers do. I'm pretty sure Diane Duane had the blessing of the TM-fairies since her abomination was published by Prima, the same guys who did the Official Strategy Guide.

No idea about Vasilyev and copyright. As said, Russian book market has its own rules. In original X-Com's heyday, the games themselves were pirated to hell and back there.

Most novelisations are contract work for the IP holder (and tend to suck for that reason, among others). There is also fan fiction (and, yes, original X-Com still gets some even today). The issue arises when these two overlap, i.e. the fanfiction author wants to sell their work, usually without paying for the right to do so.

Offline alexander steel wolf

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #6 on: April 28, 2023, 12:22:49 am »
This topic is very interesting...

The truth is that human beings mix all the elements that we have at our disposal. We already copied nature and now we do it with our own achievements. In the specific case of literature, it can be verified, through literary theory, that all types of stories are already classified (including tropes and archetypes, among other things, that influence). Thus, more than the what, what matters is the how (a story is told).

In the end, the barrier between inspiration and plagiarism will be determined by whoever pays (as it happens with the arts and with everything),that's why no one can imitate mickey mouse ears at all and then there are cheeks that just want to make easy money. Besides, copying is easy, but knowing how to copy is very, very complex. You only need to see the Terminator 2 movie (Bruno Mattei's, the Italian one) and the original. One was a complete success and another was a failure (cult, yes).

So, regardless of legal considerations, it's best not to "feel bad" and write as much as you can. If you have a minimum of self-esteem for your work and enough patience to do something decent, you will end up having your own style. I myself started with a fanfic and in the end I encouraged myself with a saga.

Greetings!

Offline Alex_D

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #7 on: April 28, 2023, 08:11:14 pm »
I cannot speak for literature. I never published a novel book. However I wrote scientific papers and a couple of theses. Inspiration is all over the place. References are used so work can be quoted and research can move forward. Otherwise it's plagiarism. In this case, the most typical plagiarism example is to write a paragraph verbatim from another work without any reference or quotation mark.

As per literature I assume it can be considered plagiarism if it quotes verbatim media from the original source. Like if in a written novel, somebody writes word for word a portion of one of the many lore texts that Piratez is so rich with.

Of course all bets are off when you ask an AI to write a novelle (or short story) for you  :)

Offline Dioxine

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #8 on: May 07, 2023, 10:10:30 pm »
If I want to make a story about postapoc post alien invasion post alien leaving world with hot mutant super babes as a separate nation, what is plagiarism and what is "inspired by" would it be for you. In case you stumble upon such game at Steam or other such places?

Kato stole my setting and title of the mod for his commercial book, used all the basic lore but changed whatever he wanted, not ashamed at all. It might be ethically questionable to many people, of course, and for a good reason, but personally, privately, I don't mind. Art must flow, and I don't feel threatened at all by such plagiarism. I'm unique enough to treat it as advertisement.

Short story is, your idea is nowhere near as brazen. Just be sure to credit.
« Last Edit: May 07, 2023, 10:13:34 pm by Dioxine »

Offline kevL

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #9 on: May 07, 2023, 10:40:00 pm »
In university i thought about this a lot. In academic papers, if you're expressing someone else's original ideas or research, always reference it. But over time many ideas gradually enter the common parlance and then I'd reference where i learned them only until I was confident that i had "made them mine".

In much earlier days of the Internet I posted several of my poems to Usenet. One was plagiarized 3 times. One was satire, one was heavily inspired by, and one merely had some words changed. After getting over being stung to the quick for about a week, I came to Dioxine's conclusion: it's culture, get over it.


regardless,
Definitely give credit where credit is due. That's a part of culture as well,

Offline Kato

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2023, 09:59:34 am »
Kato stole my setting and title of the mod for his commercial book, used all the basic lore but changed whatever he wanted, not ashamed at all. It might be ethically questionable to many people, of course, and for a good reason, but personally, privately, I don't mind. Art must flow, and I don't feel threatened at all by such plagiarism. I'm unique enough to treat it as advertisement.

Final words there.

Since I don't read this forum, I don't know what "nice" words people here say when they mention me. It is unfortunate to know that a man whose game I was a fan of, decided without any reason to slander my name. Thanks to the guys who showed me this toxic post overwhelmed with slander.
1. "Commercial book" - that book never supposed to be commercial. It is just a fanfiction for me and my friends which I started making long time ago, in middle-2010s.
2. "Stole the setting" - slandering again. Maybe some people can't see the difference between inspiration and thievery. And yes, there ARE credits for XPZ and its author and always been. The proof link is this VK post: https://vk.com/photo-171527256_456239583 - please pay attention to the date and carefully read the texts in the picture.
3. "Plagiarism" - really nice signal for anyone who want to make a fanfiction on anything. Be prepared to be called a plagiarist for no reason.
4. The author of XPZ knew that I was writing non-commercial fanfiction based on his game, long time ago. But he never said that I was doing something bad.

Of course, even if I say "stop shitting on me for no reason, please" - that won't stop anyone in the Internet. So, have a good time everyone! And take care.
Sincerely, Ivan "Kato" Evseev - common guy who loved XPZ and wanted to make cool stuff for it.

Offline Yankes

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2023, 08:06:40 pm »
Final words there.

Since I don't read this forum, I don't know what "nice" words people here say when they mention me. It is unfortunate to know that a man whose game I was a fan of, decided without any reason to slander my name. Thanks to the guys who showed me this toxic post overwhelmed with slander.
1. "Commercial book" - that book never supposed to be commercial. It is just a fanfiction for me and my friends which I started making long time ago, in middle-2010s.
2. "Stole the setting" - slandering again. Maybe some people can't see the difference between inspiration and thievery. And yes, there ARE credits for XPZ and its author and always been. The proof link is this VK post: https://vk.com/photo-171527256_456239583 - please pay attention to the date and carefully read the texts in the picture.
3. "Plagiarism" - really nice signal for anyone who want to make a fanfiction on anything. Be prepared to be called a plagiarist for no reason.
4. The author of XPZ knew that I was writing non-commercial fanfiction based on his game, long time ago. But he never said that I was doing something bad.

Of course, even if I say "stop shitting on me for no reason, please" - that won't stop anyone in the Internet. So, have a good time everyone! And take care.
Sincerely, Ivan "Kato" Evseev - common guy who loved XPZ and wanted to make cool stuff for it.
You did not read closely what Dio said, he use strong words only to emphases that he is fine with what you did.
All his quote can be reduced to: "I don't mind. Art must flow".

Offline Dioxine

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Re: What is the border between plagiarism and inspiration?
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2023, 04:00:41 am »
@Kato: yes, I knew, I said I don't mind, and I wrote as much here. From what I remember, you said the project was commercial; if I misremember, sorry (but you told me privately you don't care about my apologies anyway.)

Just please dont call it 'fan fiction' because fanfiction doesn't aim to completely rewrite the lore.

Since you credit me and add that the lore is completely changed, I'm 100% okay with it, privately. But not everyone would be, which I intended to point out; many people would indeed call it plagiarism or theft.

And the whole point of it was to answer the OP that what he is doing, is super benign compared to what you did, and I'm still OK with what you did.