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A New Angle to CassieGate and Other Plagiarism Scandals
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2478

PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

to Kass: I've discovered that there was no lawsuit in the MacDonald/Gat thingio. MacDonald took the matter to Avon, Gat's publisher. Gat and Avon agreed to recall the 60,000 books by Gat; Gat agreed to write a letter of apology. The book by Gat , called "Nevsky's Demon," was very closely derived from MacDonald's. The characters were named differently; the events and plot were the same. The words were different. MacDonald, in fact, considered Gat a good writer.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 03, 2008 4:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
The website for the government copyright office states that copyright gives the original owners the right to allow "derivative" works.

Exactly. The problem comes in when someone doesn't ask the original copyright owner.

Or, in the case of movies, owners. There are often multiple layers of copyright ownership. There was a segment on NPR about an independent movie maker who ended up having to pay $5000 for a 30-second ringtone. She'd asked the original artist and the music licensing organizations for permission to use the ringtone, but she didn't ask the phone company, which also had a level of copyright in the ringtone itself.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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Location: minneapolis

PostPosted: Mon Aug 04, 2008 8:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IIRC, Dodd did not start using words like "tribute" or "homage" nor did she mention Sabrina or The Sound of Music until reviewers pointed out the eerie similarities.

**************************************************
I don't recall any announcement of a tribute either Diana.


Then there's her Lost in Your Arms which bore uncanny resemblance in plot and detail to Linda Howard's 1988 category White Lies. Having read both Dodd's and Howard's books, it was my belief at the time that Dodd ripped off Howard. I never understood why Dodd got a free pass when any author of lesser status or one not backed up by a major publisher would have been flogged to death by alert bloggers. Here's what the AAR review had to say about it: http://www.likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=3436[/quote]


******************************************
I DO remember reading White Lies and right after finishing I happened to pick up Lost In Your Arms. I was new to the genre and thought...possibly the two authors knew one another and maybe were having a joke on the readers. The resemblance was more than uncanny...it was the exact same story only set in different times. Blogging wasn't popular back then. I wonder what a fuss they would make of it today. I can just picture their little blog heading....head on a platter I bet. hmmm.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to Kass: But wasn't it your contention that copyright infringement doesn't cover too great a similarity in plots and character selection? If it doesn't, why would authors of derivatives need permission?
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Tue Aug 05, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
to Kass: But wasn't it your contention that copyright infringement doesn't cover too great a similarity in plots and character selection? If it doesn't, why would authors of derivatives need permission?


I'm no professional on this, but I do know that when it comes to licensing derivatives (making a movie from a book or stage play; writing a story based on song lyrics, etc.), part of the applicable law comes from trademarking rather than copyright. But, basically, a derivative is the same item in a different format, with the same characters -- not just a similar plot -- even when there's something added (music, for example, when a dramatic play is turned into a musical).
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Diana



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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Location: Washington DC

PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 8:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

xina wrote:


******************************************
I DO remember reading White Lies and right after finishing I happened to pick up Lost In Your Arms. I was new to the genre and thought...possibly the two authors knew one another and maybe were having a joke on the readers. The resemblance was more than uncanny...it was the exact same story only set in different times. Blogging wasn't popular back then. I wonder what a fuss they would make of it today. I can just picture their little blog heading....head on a platter I bet. hmmm.


Now that I think about it, I would be surprised to see anyone take on Dodd and Avon. The blog reports from RWA seemed awfully cozy and fan-like IMO.
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xina



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Now that I think about it, I would be surprised to see anyone take on Dodd and Avon. The blog reports from RWA seemed awfully cozy and fan-like IMO.[/quote]


Well, to tell the truth, I don't know if I'd want them to take on Dodd anyway. She's a favorite of mine and always will be. They lambasted Edwards, but they hated her before the plagiarism rap anyway. I don't think they'd be so quick to attack Dodd. Just my thought and always has been but that scene was a bit like picking on the unpopular girl on the playground. At least it seemed that way to me.
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 06, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But wasn't it your contention that copyright infringement doesn't cover too great a similarity in plots and character selection?

--Um, no. I'd say I was trying to explain to you that basic plots can't be copyrighted under the law, or we'd only have one copyrighted romance available at all, and gave you some examples that I'd hoped would make that clear. I suppose I wasn't doing as good a job as I thought I was at that.

Quote:
why would authors of derivatives need permission?

--One of the many rights that copyright holders have IS the right to make derivative works. So if, say, Linda Howard wanted to make her own film version of Mr. Perfect, she has that right. However, most authors not being experienced film directors, they are usually willing to grant that right to someone else to make that work, with some portion of the profits of said derivative being paid back to them.
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bbmedos



Joined: 26 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FYI from RWA Panel on Plagiarism if anyone is interested.
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dick



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 2478

PostPosted: Tue Aug 12, 2008 9:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

to Kass: So can Dodds' novel be considered a derivative of the movie Sabrina, and thus require permission?
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Kass



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 13, 2008 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dick wrote:
to Kass: So can Dodds' novel be considered a derivative of the movie Sabrina, and thus require permission?

Maybe. As far as I know, Sabrina would still be under copyright protection. But of course, I am not familiar with any particulars of any case that could be brought, and for all I know Ms. Dodd or her publisher have already gotten permission to make her derivative work.
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