1. Block_Capitals
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    Block_Capitals New Member

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    Debunking something copyright

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Block_Capitals, Jul 27, 2009.

    OK, bit of a strange question here, however...

    If there is a book/documentary out and all of its claims can be proven false/lies/distorted truth....

    Would I be able to write a book debunking it without being sued for copyright by its creator?


    For example...(entirely hypothetical)

    Let's say Michael Palin made a documentary about wild hogs and stated 100 facts which were all wrong and the documentary was called "the collapse of pigs"
    would I then be able to write a book called 'the collapse of pigs-refuted' and go through the documentary step by step without getting financially shafted by a cactus?

    If I would be sued, how could I get around this little problem?

    please answer...the pigs need your help:D;)
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Ideas cannot be copyrighted.

    But if you follow the structure of someoine else's book, section by section, it can certainly be argued that your work is directly derived from the writing of that other author, and that would be a copyright violation.

    You should really be asking a literary attorney, not a bunch of strangers on a newsgroup.
     
  3. Block_Capitals
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    Block_Capitals New Member

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    i was hoping someone may have experienced this before hand, rather than writing the entire thing then having to remove half of it after being evaluated by a lawyer...
     
  4. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    It's an unwise idea, and hacking it down after the fact would not fix it. You are still deriving your writing directly from someone else's.
     
  5. sprirj
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    sprirj Contributing Member

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    I don't understand why you have to abuse copyright for this....can't you call the book 'the truth about pigs' and give a factual account. Why do you need to tear another author apart? You maybe should look up referencing, and see what you can get away with? If it is say 100 faked fakes about pigs, would anyone care? Or sell your scoop to a paper?
     
  6. NigeTheHat
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    NigeTheHat Contributing Member Contributor

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    As someone who works in publishing, I don't think the hypothetical Michael Palin would be able to get you for copyright. He would be able to get you for libel/slander if anything of what you said was wrong, and even if it wasn't he could still take the case to court and potentially leave you with a nasty legal bill.

    If you think there's a possibility that he would take offence then you would be advised to seek legal advice. The chance of publishing it is also pretty slim (even compared to the normal odds) if the publishers think it's going to come with a load of legal baggage trailing behind.

    Disclaimer: I've never dealt with a case like this, but I do deal with copyright-related matters fairly frequently.
     
  7. Gallowglass
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    Gallowglass Contributing Member Contributor

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    People here come from different countries with different legal systems. Any answer you get here isn't worth anything. Both the UK and the US, where most of our posters come from, have many different legal systems that need to be taken into account.
     
  8. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Copyright law, however is pretty uniform, by international agreement.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    all of which equals the fact that you really should consult an actual literary attorney on this issue and not people on a writing site... to not do so, before spending time and energy on such a project would be foolish in the extreme!
     
  10. Marcelo
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    Marcelo Contributing Member

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    Cool, I'm a stranger on a newsgroup. :D
    Uum, why would you break someone's work into sections so you can literally destroy it? If I was that author, I'll be angry 'bout that.
    Why don't you call the (hypothetical, of course) book "the ascension of pigs", and here you put 100 facts that the other author said that were wrong. You just put them as correct.

    Hope that it made any sense. Good luck with whatever you're actually doing, and I hope you don't get... financially shafted by a cactus. :p
     

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