Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Originality is undetected plagiarism

William Ralph Inge said this first.


Funnily enough, I saw the quote again elsewhere, slightly different and attributed to Dean Inge. A son? A brother? Do I detect familial PLAGIARISM here? How ironic! Then I realised that William Ralph Inge WAS a dean, a clergyman in the Church of England. So that spoiled that.

I'm a Moderator on a wonderful site for screenplay writers called There, we have a monthly (and free) short script contest, each time with different requirements so it really tests creativity. The submissions are anonymous until the peer reviewing is over. There is no prize to the winner - just the joy and satisfaction. The benefit of participating is receiving constructive (mostly!) criticism so everyone has an opportunity to develop their craft.

Of course - this means that your work is there for the taking...

It also means that there's a whole community of writers WHO WILL NOTICE if the work appears elsewhere, under a different name.

Script theft has been discovered. A person from Belgrade called Oz Rudd has simply stolen many scripts and replaced the name of the writer with his own. [since I posted this, he appears to have changed his name to Bill Jong - Animator from Pyongyang, North Korea]

(much later - his real name is Stefan Simonovic)

A young and legitimate (and completely unaware) production company in Manchester is in pre-production with one of those scripts and one of our MoviePoet members (Well done, Khamanna!) noticed the resemblance and it was checked out. It seems Oz Rudd sent the director no fewer than TEN scripts he'd stolen...we are in the process of identifying the rightful owners. It's not difficult.

The good news? The production is going ahead with the REAL writer being credited. Oz Rudd's duplicity has been discovered. (I'm not sure what can happen beyond his name being utterly discredited in the world of film-makers...)

Most of all - yesterday, I witnessed the value of community.

I am proud to be part of it.

Oh, and originality is...originality. As simple as that.