1. Rumwriter
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    Rumwriter Active Member

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    Plagiarism?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Rumwriter, Dec 11, 2011.

    I know what plagiarism is, but I was looking at the rules for a contest that said "Plagiarism, which includes the use of third-party poetry, song lyrics, characters or another person's universe, without written permission will result in disqualification."

    I'm writing a ST where one of my characters likes the book Of Mice and Men, and he compares his feelings to George. I assume that doesn't count as plagiarism, as I'm not developing the characters as if they are my own, I am simply alluding to a book that is very real and the characters within said book.

    Is this correct? Or is mentioning another author's books/characters not okay?
     
  2. lostinwebspace
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    lostinwebspace Active Member

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    What the contest is probably referring to is you stealing parts of someone else's manuscript . What you're describing isn't plagiarism. You can still get into some legal trouble by referencing something or including some of the work even if it's cited, but if it's just a mention without defamation like what you're describing above, you'll be okay.

    I'd say it would be hard to prove that you're plagiarizing when you take another person's universe unless it's a blatant ripoff with identical naming since you can't copywrite an idea, though. A lot of these ideas are repeated in tons of other works, anyway. For instance, you and everyone else can have a world of androids almost identical to Blade Runner, but if you called them replicants or andies, you might get into trouble. Direct reference would be the giveaway.
     
  3. hazelallen
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    hazelallen New Member

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    Plagiarism is just when someone takes someone else's work and publishes or writes it under their own name without citing or crediting the source of the info.
     
  4. Banzai
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    Banzai One-time Mod, but on the road to recovery Contributor

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    Strictly (and legally) speaking, I wouldn't have had classed this as plagiarism. Such references to other books should be fine. But if you're worried, check with the people running the contest.
     
  5. Velocity
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    Velocity New Member

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    I'm writing a comic book and I was thinking about referring to things from the 90's like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

    Could I get away with mentioning them?

    What about drawing them?
     
  6. cruciFICTION
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    cruciFICTION Contributing Member Contributor

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    I don't think you could get away with drawing them unless your work is free on the internet and comes with a disclaimer. If you plan on making any money off the comic, you'd need to pay a royalty fee to whoever it is is responsible for TMNT. (I'm pretty sure most agents usually sort that stuff out).
     
  7. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    there's no problem with mentioning them... but drawing them is another thing altogether, as their images are copyright protected and you'd have to have permission of the copyright owner and probably have to pay a royalty fee to use their images...
     
  8. Froggy
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    Froggy Member

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    Mentioning a book or movie should be fine. Citing is another can of worms.
    Just make sure you know the book well enough so as not to make a fool of yourself. If your character misinterprets it, it has to be the characters mistake (with reason), not your ignorance.
     
  9. Velocity
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    Velocity New Member

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    Cheers guys!
     

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