1. punchthedamnkeys
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    punchthedamnkeys Member

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    i'll admit that it's considered plagiarism, but how do you deal with...

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by punchthedamnkeys, Mar 3, 2013.

    borrowing a very famous quote from someone else, or maybe twisting the wordings around.

    do you do it or not? i just love the quote so much, i feel like i can't leave it out of my novel...
     
  2. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    It's not plagiarism is you quote and attribute properly.
     
  3. punchthedamnkeys
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    punchthedamnkeys Member

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    you mean you would quote those words in the novel even though it was just part of a sentence? by attribute the quote, you mean like citate it in the back of the book or something? i don't think i've ever read a novel that's done that...
     
  4. GhostWolfe
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    GhostWolfe Member

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    Plagiarism or homage? One of my stories includes a description of someone turning "a whiter shade of pale" in a nod to the song.
     
  5. punchthedamnkeys
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    punchthedamnkeys Member

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    i have two quotes i want to use, one is definitely a homage.

    the other, is just using a four word description i've seen in a movie before.. "like tears in rain", from the movie blade runner..
     
  6. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    If you say it in a manner clearly attributing it to the original author then it is not plagiarism. IF you say for example, "As Bernard Shaw said 'A government that robs Peter to pay Paul, can always count on the support of Paul'", then you are not plagiarizing. If you use the quote and imply it is your own creation though then it is.

    For the second quote you mention i don't think you will have a problem using it as it is, without mentioning the movie. It is not original to the movie anyway.
     
  7. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    Saying a title, like Procul Harem's a whiter shade of pale is not plagiarism if it's clear you are giving the song's name, but having one of your characters sing the song, and quoting it, or writing: "The room was humming harder, and it felt like the ceiling was flying away. We called out for another drink, and the waiter brought a tray" would be lifting copyrighted lyrics, or plagiarising the lyrics from the song with very thinly-veiled paraphrasing. As I understand it, the phrase itself is something that was coined by the writers of the song.
     
  8. captain kate
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    captain kate Active Member

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    Unfortunately, unless you've copied the SCENE itself, it's hard to be hit with plagiarism for one line. Most lines, unless they're so individualized that they've become linked to a particular story, aren't original anyway.

    for example:

    DR WHO: THE ASYLUM OF THE DALEKS

    DONNA VAN CARLSON: They say you can help.

    THE DOCTOR: Do they? I wish they'd stop.

    Let's say you used to the Doctor's two lines in a story, does that mean you've plagiarized Stephen Moffatt? It's a generic enough phrase that anyone could use it. Now if you used this line of the Doctor's:

    Skaaro, original home of the Daleks. Hell of a meeting place.

    Now you've put yourself in position. However, most phrases are generic.
     
  9. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    It's not plagiarism (taking someone's work without attributing them) but it could in theory still be copyright violation (taking someone's copyrighted work without permission.)
     
  10. Xatron
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    Xatron Contributing Member

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    You can't copyright "like tears in rain". If you could, i would copyright "and then", "he said", "she said", "Finally", and i would retire on my private island while collecting money from others using these phrases in their work.
     
  11. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    Quoting song lyrics are not a good idea unless you have a good relationship with the publisher. Those actually have to be licensed, and that costs money.
     
  12. ChickenFreak
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    ChickenFreak Contributing Member Contributor

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    Unlike those phrases, "like tears in rain" seems like a pretty distinctive phrase; I'm not sure how likely it is for multiple people to come up with it spontaneously. And it's pretty famous. I wouldn't feel safe using it.
     
  13. psychotick
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    psychotick Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hi,

    Why not use only a fraction of the line to make it more generic, e.g. "The girl wept in vain; tears in the rain."

    Cheers, Greg.
     
  14. GhostWolfe
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    GhostWolfe Member

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    Yes, & I'm paying homage to the line "turned a whiter shade of pale" by referring to it in my own work.

    Not even then. Quoting song lyrics requires a license & a portion of all sales gets paid back to the artist as royalties. I believe it was Neil Gaiman, in his forward on the "Author's Preferred Text" of American Gods, who was describing how first-time authors are frequently asked to remove things like opening quotes on the grounds that the publisher isn't willing to take the risk on getting the returns to cover the royalties & turn a profit.
     
  15. jwideman
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    jwideman Senior Member

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    That's why I said "good relationship with the publisher." One doesn't have this before their first book, usually.
     
  16. madhoca
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    madhoca Contributing Member Contributor

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    ^^ avoid the problem by using quotes that are in the public domain (not held by copyright law because time has expired, e.g. Shakespeare, folk songs etc)
     
  17. Max Sanders
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    Max Sanders New Member

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    I think use quotes it's not exactly plagiarism. If examine its from the side of Plagiarism detector we are no doubt getting into plagiarism but on the other hand using quotes it's fairly common case. That's why dont worry just use it
     
  18. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    that is very bad advice, max... and can get a writer into very bad legal trouble... plagiarism is taken very seriously here on the site and out in the cold, cruel writing/publishing world...

    so please don't go handing out legal advice when you don't have either the knowledge or experience to know the ins and outs of the legal ramifications of using another writer's words without their permission...

    madhoca's advice is the best offered in this thread so far...

    punch...
    the bottom line is, when in doubt, consult a literary attorney, don't rely on the advice of lay people on a writing site, no matter how well-meaning they may be...
     
  19. iWant iStrive
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    iWant iStrive Member

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    I think like tears in rain will be fine
     

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