Thursday, May 11, 2006

More Da Vinci Code - what is plagarisation?

March 14

If Baigent and Leigh are successful in their claim, the film of the Da Vinci Code may have to be scrapped, since this would also be a plagarisation of their work. I thought the meaning of the term plagarisation was to pass someone else's work off as your own, but according to the Society of Authors, when I spoke to them recently about copyright issues, the term is much broader than that. Some writers have claimed plagarisation and won their cases on the basis of just a few lines, or even words. The key seems to be, do you rely on the skill of another in order to get the point across in your own work? I think to an extent all writers do, since we utilise other sources for reference material. The key seems to be how this is acknowledged and the way it which it is actually done. Like everything else, it is all in the wording, but then again that is what we writers do isn't it?

I don't think it is anything that I could be accused of, as when discussing these concepts in my own work I tend to use phrases like 'According to the Holy Blood and the Holy Grail etc'. This seems to be a good way of protecting yourself. One has to think of how you would feel if someone else were to copy copious text from your work and re-word it without acknowledgement.

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