1. Chaos Inc.
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    Chaos Inc. Active Member

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    Copyright worries?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Chaos Inc., Aug 19, 2014.

    Do people really worry a lot about this? There's been a couple threads in the past few weeks on the matter and I'm curious where this concern comes from. Do people assume they're going be published and thus don't want to do something that's been done before?
     
  2. daemon
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    daemon Contributing Member Contributor

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    Skirting copyright law can feel like tiptoeing past a sleeping bear. The government has sent us the message that speech is a privilege, not a right, and that there are greedy, powerful people who will make us suffer for exercising that privilege if they can profit from doing that. In response, some people are paranoid about exercising their privilege because they do not want to make themselves targets of greed.
     
  3. Link the Writer
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    Link the Writer Flipping Out For A Good Story. Contributor

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    A few reason why new writers worry:

    + They want to be original; to not retell a story that had been done before. Haunted hotels, magical children in schools, etc. They don't want to look online and read something like, "This new author is a hack, the book is a blatant rip-off of [insert name of well-known story]." They want to look online and read about how wonderfully original they are, how so unlike any other book their story is. I would not want people thinking my fantasy is just a chopped-up version of The Elder Scrolls video game series with bits of Avatar: The Last Airbender thrown in. Yeah, I know one's a video game series and the other's a TV show, but you can accidentally plagiarize from other forms of media as well. Eragon by Paolini was accused of being a blatant rip-off of Star Wars with a few choice details tweaked.

    + They don't want to start off their career with a lawsuit! Imagine if you wrote a book about a haunted hotel, then get a letter in the mail that said to the effect that Stephen King is suing you for plagiarizing his The Shining. I'd just about throw myself off a bridge if that ever happened to me. D:

    + Copyright is both vague and specific at the same time. It's...so complicated and so confusing that it would make sense for new writers to want to know what is and isn't acceptable. Should they have a character named Oliver Twist in their story, even if their Oliver is a black kid going to college? What if they made a mention that one of their characters is obsessed with Harry Potter and would pretend to sort his/her friends and enemies in the respective houses? Are there things that are trademarked, and thus should not go into their books? It's...yeah, as a new writer, they want to get it all nailed down into nice little boxes of 'Acceptable' and 'Unacceptable'.
     

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