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Aphra
February 2nd, 2007, 04:20 PM
Can someone please tell me if there is any protection here from people taking and using our ideas? This may be a stupid comment as there may already be information about this on the site but for amateur writers, how can we prevent people from using our ideas on the internet? Are there any rules here, or is it trust alone?

Aphra

Jacquin
February 2nd, 2007, 04:37 PM
There are no rules I'm afraid, there could be no workable rules on this. If you have some work or simply an idea that you wish to remain private the best idea is not to post it on a public forum.

I recently came across a novel that had the same story as the first short story I wrote and posted up on the net. It even had the same title. Probably a coincidence but who can tell. Did someone steal my idea or was it simply chance? In all honesty I don't really care one way or another. I am full of ideas, it's the writing 100,000 readable words that throws me...

J

MrBF1V3
February 2nd, 2007, 05:09 PM
There may not be rules, but there is common courtesy and common sense. Don't put anything on the forum or in the stories which you hope to publish, and have some idea of how you could prove it's yours. I tend to put my 2nd and 3rd drafts here, get some pretty good feedback, and improve what I have. I don't put final drafts here.

Even if someone steals one of my ideas, they still have to be able to write it.

B5

Expendable
February 2nd, 2007, 10:12 PM
The Berne Convention (http://www.law.cornell.edu/treaties/berne/overview.html) grants you automatic personal copyright on anything you create but it won't stop someone from trying, I'm afraid.

Ideas are kinda funny. Do you know how many people have invented the lightbulb? 22. Edison won out eventually because he came up with a complete system of lighting.

You think ideas are unique and special, really they're a dime a dozen. Smart writers always carry something to write on so they can record their latest ideas. What's important is how you use that idea, how you give it your personal twist.

In the end, what we write is our attempt to share that idea with our readers. And someone, somewhere will take that idea you've shared with them and give it a little personal twist....

Michael B
February 3rd, 2007, 01:31 AM
There may not be rules, but there is common courtesy and common sense. Don't put anything on the forum or in the stories which you hope to publish, and have some idea of how you could prove it's yours.
I once read of a case where an author had a whole novel ripped off because they discussed the details of it with the wrong person. Result: one year's work down the drain


In the end, what we write is our attempt to share that idea with our readers. And someone, somewhere will take that idea you've shared with them and give it a little personal twist....
I have done that it in the past on more than one occasion. The usual twist is to change one event so the diametric opposite occurs then run from there. However on another occasion, I realised that the author had not gone far enough so I did a re-write from scratch changing everything from names to the magic system used along with adding my twist.

Holbrook
February 3rd, 2007, 03:07 AM
Ideas you can't protect, like Ex said. Whole manuscripts/stories to be honest why would folks bother stealing such from an unpublished, trying hard to be writer. They certainly would have as hard a time selling it as the writer. For kicks and to claim it is theirs on other web sites *shrugs shoulders* I suppose so. But that is more likely to happen if your work has been published in a Web zine.

You put anything on the web you run the risk of the idea and even the text being copied.

Mine are normally first or second drafts and never the manuscripts that are eventually sent out (short stories that is) Novels ditto, but only ever sections or a couple of chapters.

MrBF1V3
February 3rd, 2007, 11:15 PM
I have done that it in the past on more than one occasion. The usual twist is to change one event so the diametric opposite occurs then run from there. However on another occasion, I realised that the author had not gone far enough so I did a re-write from scratch changing everything from names to the magic system used along with adding my twist.

Strange, I borrowed an idea from a folk tale, put it in a new setting, changed most of what happened, changed the relationship of the characters and changed the ending, and I would still hesitate to publish it in any premium setting. Go figure.

B5

Mock
February 22nd, 2007, 06:37 PM
Ideas are kinda funny. Do you know how many people have invented the lightbulb? 22. Edison won out eventually because he came up with a complete system of lighting.

Genius statement.

AgentRustyBones
February 25th, 2007, 11:46 AM
...'borrowing' ideas, characters, settings, and plots from each other for as long as more than one human being knew how to read and write.

It is highly unlikely that you have any ideas that haven't also been thought of by other writer's before you. It is probable that someone has already published something along the lines of whatever idea you want to write about, and there is a good chance that someone has, or will, take your ideas (published professionally or on the net) and improve them.

The key is to write the best story you can. If you need to post it here for people help you critique and improve it, then you certainly risk sparking someone elses imagination (most likely) or inspiring them to take your work and make it their own (called plagarism--and is less likely since there will be a record of who pub lsihed it here first and they open themeselves to lawsuits and such).

Shakespeare stole from his contemporaries and his contemporaries (and the many thousands who followed after he died) stole from him.

Good luck!

Doug
aka Agent Rusty Bones

Michael B
February 26th, 2007, 01:37 PM
Shakespeare stole from his contemporaries and his contemporaries (and the many thousands who followed after he died) stole from him

Interesting point about Shakespeare, but nothing to do with above. The Bard is reputed to have had a vocabulary of at least 33,000 words, the average person today a vocabulary of 26,500 and certain elements of our society a mere 12,500. ;)