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  1. Felix Gallus
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    Felix Gallus New Member

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    Copyright when does it become plagiarism?

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Felix Gallus, Apr 14, 2016.

    Hi guys,

    My question is this:

    I like the idea of using something from a Max Brooks book, he had the idea of creating an order XXXVIII which was distributed to all Roman Legions to counter zombies. If I use the order in my book in that context is that plagiarism?

    The reason I ask is if you look at science fiction a lot of people refer to warp drives for fast travelling and this seems to be accepted.
     
  2. loonypapa
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    loonypapa Member

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    I think referencing a warp drive is something that's been baked into sci-fi writing for generations. The Roman Legion device you speak about may not qualify technically as plagiarism, but I think it sits squarely in the box labeled "stealing an idea."
     
  3. Steerpike
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    Steerpike Felis amatus Supporter Contributor

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    The idea of having an order in place for them to use if they encounter zombies isn't really protectable, and that's general enough that I wouldn't have a problem using it. I wouldn't call it by the same order # though, unless you're making an allusion to the Brooks work itself.
     
  4. Felix Gallus
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    Felix Gallus New Member

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    thanks for the replies, I think I'll keep the idea but not the name as you say Steerpike, Brooks does mention an attack in Scotland around the time of the building of Hadrians Wall which is again the area and time I want to use but for a specific reason, in his book the whole section is no longer the 2 pages and is added as a filler not a key point.
     
  5. NobodySpecial
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    NobodySpecial Active Member

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    Using and expanding on an idea is one thing, making something new and different of something old is the way life goes. Westside Story was done to the basic plot and theme of Romeo and Juliet; Jerome Robbins was never accused of plagerism.

    Taking an idea and doing the exact same thing is not only boring but when you can't see any real change or improvement, then you start looking at plagerism.
     
  6. Felix Gallus
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    Felix Gallus New Member

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    Thanks Nobody Special, I just like the idea that Hadrians Wall was built to repel zombies and would like to make a historically accurate, zombies excluded, story based on the accounts and research around the time period.
     

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