Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Plagiarism and tendonitis

Tendonitis sucks.
I have it in my right elbow. And I was doing so well in golf, lol.
Well, a few weeks rest and it should be fine. (And pills and an elbow sleeve...)
What does that have to do with plagiarism? (Well - it sucks...)
When I was at my doctor's office, he said, "You write, don't you?"
I said I did; He said, "I have another patient who is a writer - Regine Desforges."
I may have to change doctors.
You have no idea how livid I was when I read one of that woman's books. She copied the first 70 pages of Gone with the Wind nearly workd for word, substituting her own characters' names and transposing the action to WWII. The estate for Margaret Mitchell sued - and lost the case. Now, how in the HELL could they lose that case? Well, after the first 70 pages the book takes a slightly different turn and becomes a sprawling, uncorodinated saga about as interesting as watching slime grow. So the argument went that although Ms. Desforges did use Gone with the Wind as her inspiration - the fact that she changed the story after the first 70 pages made her Not a plagiarist.
I can just see someone writing a story about a young boy who lives under the stairs in a closet, who finds out his parents were killed by he who shall not be named, and who turns out to be a wizard and goes off to a special school - Oh, but then the story changes so that the young boy and his two friends (a red haired boy and a girl with brains) do something different than Harry Potter (Well, who did you think I was talking about?) Only he's called Jeffrey Nobbs and he lives in some Other magic world and...
I think if that happened Ms. Rowlings lawyers would have that author strung up by his typewriter ribbon.
Unfortunately (or fortunately) Ms. Mitchell wasn't around to go balistic and have Ms. Desforges
drawn and quartered by her literary lawyers.
But I honestly can't stand the woman.
She lives nearby me. (Well, a few villages away)
The movie they made out of her book was a flop. (OK, that makes me happy, I'll admit.)
But she is what I consider a plagiarist, and I think I'm going to have to change doctors.
As it is, I simply looked blank when he mentioned her name.
"Never heard of her," I said. Huh. Don't I wish.


Shelley Munro said...

The tendonitis sounds horrid. Hopefully it clears up soon. Can't have the golf suffering ;-)
I hadn't heard about this plagiarism case. I would have thought copying the first 70 pages was grounds enough to prosecute.

Still waiting for Zombie Jack...

December/Stacia said...

Ah, yes. The Blue Bicycle. I thought the Mitchell estate won, though?

I hate plagiarists with a passion. I think of myself, terrified to even use a metaphor that someone might have used before somewhere, and how careful I am and how I live in fear that I may have somehow, someway, written something remotely similar to a book I don't even remember reading...and I see people who just don't care and will happily crib just about anything. Makes me sick.

Bernita said...

That's the thing, Sam, I understand how you feel. One feels that plagiarism taints us all and we don't want to be associated with anyone who commits it by even the most remote coincidence.

John Nez said...

I've got an ongoing case of 'shoulder-itis'. Who gave my shoulder permission to start behaving so thoughtlessly and cause me chronic pain like that?!

I'm sure 3 months at Club Med would clear it up though...

No golf for me either! But then I'd have to share the green with Republicans if I golfed, so I'll stick to bike riding I guess.


Gabriele C. said...

Sam, if you want to watch a plagiarism trainwreck just happening before our eyes, read this. But make sure the dogs are fed and you have enough tea/coffee/popcorn handy. :)

Rosie said...

Sam, tendonitis certainly does suck. And I would imagine be extremely inconvenient.

I have to admit I got a chuckle out of your reaction to Ms. Desforges. Not because I think plagiarism is funny. Not at all, but because you are one of the sweetest and kindest people I read on the 'net. Rock on chicky! Although changing doctors has to suck too.

Sam said...

Hi Shelley - Zombie Jack is coming in time for Halloween!!

December - The Mitchell estate won the first case, then lost in appeals. Honestly!

Bernita - It's just that Gone with the Wind is such a Favorite of mine!

John - OUch for the shoulder! Golf is a very liberal game here in France, lol!

Gabriele - I wish I did have enough time - but after the first couple posts I had to stop or be sucked in forever and ever, lol.

Rosie - thank you!!! LOL - I told my husband you said I was sweet - he rolled his eyes & said you obviously didn't know me. I beaned him with my pillow.

Erin the Innocent said...

I hope the tendinitis goes away soon! (and it sucks about the Dr's other patient - I can't call her a writer/author though if all she's able to produce is plagiarized. And yes, I agree it's plagiarism.)

Verilion said...

Well I've never heard of Ms Desforges, but I certainly won't be going out of my way to read her. I think I have tendonitis in my knee, so I'm seriously sympathising with you.