This isn't about "How do I get away with plagiarism?" I don't want to get away with plagiarism. I want to know how far I can go with an allusion/reference before it crosses the thin line between "allusion" and "rip-off/plagiarism". I'm working on a science-fiction novel that needs some familiarity with the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical Evita to. You don't need to be familiar with the musical to know what is going on, but it does help to understand the references. In one scene, I have a reference to a song from the musical. Here's the scene in question. [Che, the young narrator, who's also a clone, is eavesdropping on a conversation between his owners while cleaning] Colonel Valverde pulled out a chair and sat down. Then he got up again and half-closed the door. “So you can do it? When, Eva?” She paused, got off the bed and pulled out her chair, then pushed it closer. “As soon as our Presidente Cabrera agrees to an interview, I think. Which should be on the 13th next month if Marina’s call this morning is any indication. She told me their secretary gave me a ten-o’clock slot. Place is wherever he decides, he told me so himself. But then you can never tell when something will turn up for them. There’s a charity benefit for Civil War veterans coming up on the 15th. She asked me if I was going to help her choose her dress for it. I said I would, of course.” “You realize that Cabrera might decide to suspend elections and just stay on for a third term? We need to take desperate measures.” ”I agree. So,” she said, “What do you think we should do, Juan? I think a coup might be a good idea. You have enough supporters, don’t you? I remember you said some of your friends want changes.” “They do. But the opposition in the army is strong. If I force Cabrera out ----“ “Even a junta might be better than this government of idiots unable to give us what we deserve.” she whispered. “But you as president would be far better. That bitch Marina made it clear what’s going to happen if her candidate doesn’t win -in that unlikely event, she said- and what her goals are when they win. She wants deregulation and privatization. She thinks strengthened alliances will help. By that she means big business. She’d encourage more business and development. If that goes ahead, our country will be totally under American control. The Yanquis will make us a puppet, but call us an ally. Think of it- you, President of the new Cuba!” “We have very few options. I don’t want foreigners dominating our industries any more than you do. But dice are rolling. The knives are out. There’re would-be presidents all around, who’d love to see us both six feet under and safely out of the way. Especially you. They think you have too much influence. Espinosa said ---” “Really?” she said sarcastically. ”I know what that cabrón probably said. “An actress should not be in politics.” So, my question is, is this sort of reference allowed? I wanted to slip in an allusion to Evita, as something the reader can either pick up on or not.