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Project nachonaco
08-14-2007, 06:42 AM
Is it considered stealing if I write a scene describing a fight scene (but the witty banter not taken verbatim). Just the actions? Different places, different peeps, different words?

Still stealing?

Shady Lane
08-14-2007, 06:47 AM
This is a fight scene from another book? Movie?

Project nachonaco
08-14-2007, 06:50 AM
TV show.

The way I plan it (as in, why I want to base my own fight scene) is for the readers who are fans to go "Hey! I remember that! Cool!"

JoNightshade
08-14-2007, 06:51 AM
If you're taking it from a book, NO, not cool. If you're just watching a movie and you're using that as a visual for describing the fight, I think you're probably okay.

But make up your own witty dialogue. Honestly.

Project nachonaco
08-14-2007, 06:52 AM
Of course I would. :D

How could I call myself a writer if I weren't at least 50% original?

(I jest, I jest)

Shady Lane
08-14-2007, 06:52 AM
Yeah, I'm going to go with Jo here (what else is new) but I really wouldn't recommend this.

herdon
08-14-2007, 09:27 AM
If its so close that it is obvious to people that you are writing a scene from a television show then its probably pretty close to copyright infringement.

Well, let me restate that: What you are doing is copyright infringement. And if you make it to people, you might be making it obvious to a judge.

Forbidden Snowflake
08-14-2007, 09:33 AM
Yes, stealing, bad person you are.

No, seriously, if you just take the choreography of a fight, different places, differen people, different time, different dialogue, then how would anyone sue you? They can't prove you got it off their show, there are only so many ways a fight can go and most go similar ;) I'm sure there's two or three things in that fight that make the people go, oh I remember this, pick those, place them, use the fight as an inspiration don't copy it 1:1 and you'll be fine.

Willowmound
08-14-2007, 04:04 PM
TV show.

The way I plan it (as in, why I want to base my own fight scene) is for the readers who are fans to go "Hey! I remember that! Cool!"

Are you writing fanfic?

Popeyesays
08-14-2007, 04:19 PM
George MacDonald Fraser wrote Royal Flash with the clear statement that his main character was the basis for the romantic novel Prisoner of Zenda.

But the similarity was the political scene, not the action of the novel.

His main character was a rogue with the reputation of a great soldier in Victorian England. He was really a coward, a cad, and a bounde3r, but that's why he kept his memoirs hidden during his lifetime.

Regards,
Scott

Azraelsbane
08-14-2007, 04:49 PM
Of course I would. :D

How could I call myself a writer if I weren't at least 50% original?

(I jest, I jest)

50% original? Most stories don't even come close to that much originality. (I jest you not). ;)

Namatu
08-14-2007, 05:04 PM
No, seriously, if you just take the choreography of a fight, different places, differen people, different time, different dialogue, then how would anyone sue you? They can't prove you got it off their show, there are only so many ways a fight can go and most go similar ;) I'm sure there's two or three things in that fight that make the people go, oh I remember this, pick those, place them, use the fight as an inspiration don't copy it 1:1 and you'll be fine.
I agree. Use the fight scene to provide inspiration (use a kick here, that uppercut, that backflip), but don't use it verbatim, so to speak. Personally, I love writing fight scenes and have no problem coming up with a variety of ways to punch, kick, and otherwise maim my characters so it's difficult for me to figure out why you'd want to make yours so derivative that readers identify it with a TV show. As Willowmound asked, is this fanfic?

benbradley
08-14-2007, 05:24 PM
I was about to say IMHO, IANAL, etc, that this is probably okay, until I saw this word:


Yes, stealing, bad person you are.

No, seriously, if you just take the choreography of a fight, different places, differen people, different time, different dialogue, then how would anyone sue you? They can't prove you got it off their show, there are only so many ways a fight can go and most go similar ;) I'm sure there's two or three things in that fight that make the people go, oh I remember this, pick those, place them, use the fight as an inspiration don't copy it 1:1 and you'll be fine.
I do recall that choreography (as in a sequence of dance moves, but presumably of any kind of human movement) is covered under copyright.

katiemac
08-14-2007, 05:30 PM
Remember, too, that the choreography might not translate well into text.

You may be better off describing the energy and emotion from that particular scene, not the play-by-play kicks and punches.

Azraelsbane
08-14-2007, 05:31 PM
I was about to say IMHO, IANAL, etc, that this is probably okay, until I saw this word:


I do recall that choreography (as in a sequence of dance moves, but presumably of any kind of human movement) is covered under copyright.

Yup, but the problem with that would be proving that it is exactly the same in a novel. Writing leaves a lot open to interpretation. The author may see it as the same choreography, but the reader may not. There's a difference between copying acts and plagiarizing the words that created said act. Same choreography, different wording, and it'd be almost impossible to pin someone legally.

From a tv show, unless you were being so specific that you were shoving the similarities down the readers throat, I'd also imagine it wouldn't be a problem, and even if it were, I'd guess more of an issue with the reader being flung from the story by the lacking originality than anything else.

*sorry if that was garbled, I haven't had my caffeine

Birol
08-14-2007, 06:58 PM
Same choreography, different wording, and it'd be almost impossible to pin someone legally.

This sounds like you're saying that if you can get away with something, then it's alright.

Personally, I think if your conscious is bothering you about the potential legality of a situation, you should look beyond the legality and into the ethics and morality of your actions.

Inspired by is different than copying.

icerose
08-14-2007, 07:11 PM
My standpoint is if you have to ask then you already know your answer.

I have a short I wrote but it was on specifics to another person's series as it was a submission to an ongoing story to a magazine.

I would LOVE to turn it into a movie. Problem is, it's still their story. Yeah, I wrote it, but the foundation is their's. I can't do it.

Azraelsbane
08-14-2007, 07:18 PM
This sounds like you're saying that if you can get away with something, then it's alright.

Personally, I think if your conscious is bothering you about the potential legality of a situation, you should look beyond the legality and into the ethics and morality of your actions.

Inspired by is different than copying.

I'm not saying it as if it's alright. I'm being reasonable and giving an honest answer. It's basically the same concept as formula writing. Similar plot, different city, different characters. Changing the characters and scenery doesn't make it anymore original, but it (for the most part) keeps you out of court.

Personally I think it would be harder to copy a fight move by move from television, than just improvise your own. I can't imagine the scene would really include every action in a play by play, but maybe a specifically interesting move that one of the characters pulls off. In this case, it is nowhere near illegal.

ChunkyC
08-14-2007, 08:43 PM
Is it considered stealing if I write a scene describing a fight scene (but the witty banter not taken verbatim). Just the actions? Different places, different peeps, different words?

Still stealing?


TV show.

The way I plan it (as in, why I want to base my own fight scene) is for the readers who are fans to go "Hey! I remember that! Cool!"
If this is the only reason for doing it, why bother treading so close to copyright infringement? Ask yourself how necessary this is. If it's purely to make a reader who has seen the TV show notice you copied the fight choreography, and not to serve the needs of your story, then it's kind of pointless, imho. As others have said, you'd be better off letting the TV show inspire you.

Again, just my opinion.

Willowmound
08-14-2007, 09:34 PM
Again I ask, are you writing fan fiction? Because if you are not, your readers recognising your copying a TV show is unlikely to draw a "wow cool!" More likely a double-ewe tee eff.

Sheryl Nantus
08-14-2007, 09:43 PM
if it's what I think it is... don't.

do not annoy the Mouse.

aadams73
08-14-2007, 09:48 PM
I'm with the "If you have to ask..." crowd. If you're any kind of writer, use your imagination and make up your own stuff. Don't get into the habit of copying others.

JimmyB27
08-14-2007, 11:01 PM
George MacDonald Fraser wrote Royal Flash with the clear statement that his main character was the basis for the romantic novel Prisoner of Zenda.

But the similarity was the political scene, not the action of the novel.

His main character was a rogue with the reputation of a great soldier in Victorian England. He was really a coward, a cad, and a bounde3r, but that's why he kept his memoirs hidden during his lifetime.

Regards,
Scott

But the main character is actually lifted from Tom Brown's Schooldays

Birol
08-14-2007, 11:50 PM
I'm not saying it as if it's alright. I'm being reasonable and giving an honest answer. It's basically the same concept as formula writing. Similar plot, different city, different characters. Changing the characters and scenery doesn't make it anymore original, but it (for the most part) keeps you out of court.

Most writers who engage in so-called formula writing are writing from their own formula, their own set patterns, their own story. Not someone else's. That's a huge difference.

Forbidden Snowflake
08-15-2007, 04:00 AM
I was about to say IMHO, IANAL, etc, that this is probably okay, until I saw this word:


I do recall that choreography (as in a sequence of dance moves, but presumably of any kind of human movement) is covered under copyright.

I tried to explain that I mean take a few key things from the choreography and use them, inspiration, not copy the choreography.. sorry if it came across wrong.

Project nachonaco
08-15-2007, 05:15 AM
Well, figured out a new technique. (Thanks to Ann Rittenberg and Laura Whitcomb!)

They suggest taking a book passage and rewriting it over and over again until you have something completely original.

Maybe I'll try that :D

Edit: Sheryl....You're good. :D

Willowmound
08-15-2007, 03:27 PM
juses wept