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Copyrights and Ideas - advice needed

Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
One of my ambitions is to one day write a book or screenplay. For years I've had one particular idea which I have often thought about. Now I find that someone has beaten me to it and a film with a very similair story has been made.

I'm devastated but I guess this kind of thing is common and at least my is still unwritten but what would you do in this situation. Write it anyway and try and change details or scrap the idea and start again?

The idea of pitting in all that effort and being sued for copyright also concerns me.

Comments

  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    It really depends how close you are - if it's a relatively generic story then there's no reason it shouldn't be your talent for writing that brings it through rather than the core idea.

    However it will depend on how close it is - but really you should be fine as long as you don't actually nick anything. The hard thing will be if you start to alter your idea to reflect something that might be better in the other version...
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Also the risk is that if they're thing is popular you'll be seen as cashing in and producing a second-rate version (even if you're actually better, you always get extra points for being first)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    BlackArab wrote: »
    One of my ambitions is to one day write a book or screenplay. For years I've had one particular idea which I have often thought about. Now I find that someone has beaten me to it and a film with a very similair story has been made.

    I'm devastated but I guess this kind of thing is common and at least my is still unwritten but what would you do in this situation. Write it anyway and try and change details or scrap the idea and start again?

    The idea of pitting in all that effort and being sued for copyright also concerns me.
    Go for it would be my advice BA. You may have to alter the course and outcome of course ...to whatever degree.
    I know how hard it is writting. I first used this place to learn how to type ...i've gotten good enogh now. I have also used this place to bounce a few ideas about ...been very useful. Mine tyhough is almost my life story but ...it is a life story of half a dozen people realy. it's 90% true.
    I have been picking this thing up and dropping it over and over for nearly twenty years. I was actualy asked to write this stuff ...and encourasged by a number of proffesionals. I'm getting there.
    The hardest thing i would think would be for you to drop it and start something afresh. Ideas and inspiration can't just be turned on like a tap.
    Go for it ...making whatever changes you have to ...and those changes in themselves may inspire you.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    The basic idea was based around cellular memory hence my 'expert posts' in the organ donation posts in p&d. I was planning on a story in which someone receives a transplant from a donor who died in tragic circumstances, the main character starts to experience flashbacks/display characteristics of the donor leading them to try and right the wrong that caused the donors death.

    So far so good but then my research throws up this:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Eye_%282008_film%29

    which is essentially the same idea.

    I could make changes I suppose but I've been gutted since I discovered this film, as its a remake I'm also wondering whether I read a review of the original when it was released in 2002 and have kept the idea in my subconcious. I do admit I cannot remember where I first found out about cellular memory or even when.

    Does it actually even matter? They do say there are only a certain amount of original stories after all.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Mate - I could probably give you 20 examples of novels, short stories, comics and the like that have some link to the story of a donation affecting the donor - series three of league of gentlemen comes to mind.

    The point isn't to say you shouldn't do it - but to point out the idea is so generic that you've nothing to worry about - it's about the same as saying I saw a film with an assassination of the president, or zombies that come back alive.

    You want to do it, just do it well and own it and you're fine.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Jim V wrote: »
    Mate - I could probably give you 20 examples of novels, short stories, comics and the like that have some link to the story of a donation affecting the donor - series three of league of gentlemen comes to mind.

    The point isn't to say you shouldn't do it - but to point out the idea is so generic that you've nothing to worry about - it's about the same as saying I saw a film with an assassination of the president, or zombies that come back alive.

    You want to do it, just do it well and own it and you're fine.

    Thanks for the reassurance. I guess once you start looking at ideas its inevitable you are not the first. This is not the first time I've found this, I used to be a big fan of Sgt Rock comics as a kid, inspired by this and the XTC song, I used to daydream about being able to call on my comic heroes in times of trouble. Then I thought what a great idea for a story and then years later:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0107362/ :(
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Yeah - but Last Action Hero is much closer to the plot of Purple Rose of Cairo - it's a movie hero who steps through the screen. Being able to have Sgt. Rock crash through the office doors and help out with the photocopying would probably be quire different :)

    As I said, you want to write just plug away at it - even if it was really close to someone else's idea at least you'd have learnt and moved forward by the experience of writing it.
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Consider invited to the premiere :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    cool :)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    BlackArab wrote: »
    One of my ambitions is to one day write a book or screenplay. For years I've had one particular idea which I have often thought about. Now I find that someone has beaten me to it and a film with a very similair story has been made.

    I have been in the same position. I had thought out the plot and then, checking to see if the title I had come up with might already be out there, found a story that was very similar to mine - and with the same title!!! :mad: I suppose I could have rewritten it to be quite different, but it did knock the wind out of my sails.

    On a positive note, I am now developing a story for which NO book I can find exists on the characters I am creating (certainly not in English, Western literature).

    Perhaps we can swap invites for our respective premiers one day? ;)
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    Teagan wrote: »
    I have been in the same position. I had thought out the plot and then, checking to see if the title I had come up with might already be out there, found a story that was very similar to mine - and with the same title!!! :mad: I suppose I could have rewritten it to be quite different, but it did knock the wind out of my sails.

    On a positive note, I am now developing a story for which NO book I can find exists on the characters I am creating (certainly not in English, Western literature).

    Perhaps we can swap invites for our respective premiers one day? ;)

    Definitely! I'll have my agent talk to yours :thumb:
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I had this story about a boy magician, who went to a public school and fought an evil wizard.

    I was really pissed of when some blonde wrote it first...

    Honestly :D
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    I had this story about a boy magician, who went to a public school and fought an evil wizard.

    I was really pissed of when some blonde wrote it first...

    Honestly :D

    Don't worry, the story sounds weak, can't see it selling :p
  • Former MemberFormer Member Posts: 1,876,324 The Mix Honorary Guru
    On a more serious note - originality is overated. many stories have the same plots and the same stereotype characters because they work. An absolutely oriiginal idea may be an original idea because no-one has been able to get it to work. Lots of stories are based on common/themes situations and the originality comes from relatively minor variations
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