Another plagiarism scandal broke last night, and – rather excitingly – those of us on Twitter were able to watch it unfold in real time. I was immediately instructed to blog about it for the VWC by our beloved chairman, so I sat down and produced this. I must admit to being totally baffled by this latest case – how did he hope to get away with it? I guess the unpalatable answer is that he clearly did get away with it for quite some time. Git.

Comments

2 Responses to “Men Behaving Badly Again”

  1. R Donald on October 25th, 2009 1:26 pm

    Loved the Groundhog Day stuff.

    And ideas can’t be copyrighted?

    So it’s down to ethics.

    How’s a person to know what’s right and what is wrong?

    Shit this is all so bloody murky. Didn’t you say somewhere you had got an idea for something you wrote from somewhere else?

    Give me an island to myself so I can just do what I want without the fear that in this litigious society I’ll be a thief instead of an artist!

  2. admin on October 26th, 2009 12:22 am

    Hi and thanks for dropping in. I don’t actually think it’s actually anything to do with being in a litigious society. It’s a question of protecting the artist from theft. But all you have to do to stay out of trouble is use your own characters and your own words – in other words, make it your own story.

    If, by coincidence, you come up with a similar plot or structure, then that’s fine (which is what I referred to in my other post on the subject). There are, after all, very few original plots – which is what the Groundhog Day case revolved around.

    If you simply take someone else’s work and tweak it a bit, then you’re in big trouble – that’s simple plagiarism.

    If, however, you are working with someone in a critique group, and they share some ideas with you in confidence, then you are entirely free to use those ideas in your own work. But don’t expect to be invited back.

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