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Penguin Sues but Myer Does Not

Yeah, I know: it's been a quiet week.

Firstly, have a look at this article: it's a brief rundown on a set of lawsuits brought by Penguin Books to get money back out of authors who failed to deliver books, or the books that they were contracted to do so. In the case of Herman Rosenblat, he simply lied about the truth of meeting his wife, and after Oprah promoted him, got caught out. The advances for the books are pretty solid, though some more than others, but I can only imagine that soon publishers will be suing the authors they have found in fanfic circles.

Occasionally, I wonder how it is that Fifty Shades of Grey hasn't been brought to court over intellectual theft. If you don't know, the series originally became as Twilight erotica, but was changed later to be what it is now. Anyhow: what always struck me was that considering how open the original influential point was, and how that basically argues that certain properties of the end product were lifts... then how does that keep it safe from an argument of plagiarism and intellectual theft? Stephanie Myers, the author of Twilight does not seem to have any real issue with it, but it becomes interesting when you start opening doors and thinking, well, what if I took this popular character and book here and just wrote my own version, skipping on a lot of the intellectual realisation process that is part of writing? Obviously, I have no idea how this plays in a court of law, and it makes an interesting discussion, since a lot of art is theft, to one degree or another, but very rarely as direct as it was in this case.

That was a bit random, wasn't it?

Anyhow: back to working.

Comments

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clairemckenna
Sep. 28th, 2012 09:30 am (UTC)
Check out the Fanfic section in chillingeffects.org, it's very informative.

I'm sure the lawyers have been all over 50 Shades of Grey - it gets a pass in "what" is being appropriated (character types, story structure) but nothing trademarkable, not recognisable names, not vampiric themes, not story set in high school. If not for the connectedness of a fanfic, 50 Shades would share with Twilight about as much in common as Eragon vs Star Wars. Which is the same story... but then Star Wars ripped of Dune, which ripped off (etc to infinity).
benpeek
Sep. 28th, 2012 09:48 am (UTC)
i thought star wars ripped off kurasawa's film, the hidden fortress? though in fairness, there was also a lot of other inlfuences...

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