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 Oh bloody hell (WAS: Blatant Plagiarism)
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CavemanJoe
 Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 06:10 PM UTC (Read 2623 times)  
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Copy-pasting, 'cause I didn't mean to delete the whole thread:

Anonymous: Aaron
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:24 AM BST (Read 137 times)





"Improbable Island is a free multiplayer text-adventure game that you play in your browser. It's all about a machine that generates Improbability. Since the machine has ... started to generate Improbability in highly improbable ways, it must be stopped before it turns the world into a lemon."

From the game site's description.

At least cite Douglas Adams for the idea if you're going to completely rip off his intellectual property. Mention him somewhere. You're stealing his idea; give him some f*cking credit for it.



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Anonymous: IEatNwbz4Brekfst
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:34 AM BST


[flirty]




[this is the bit I actually meant to delete]



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Rosin
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:38 AM BST

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Pardon me Mr.Eatsnewbsforbreakfast, but I'm afraid that sort of behavior will not be tolerated and shall lead to a swift blow to the head from the business end of the Ban Hammer.

Also, don't freak out about references to Douglas Adams or any other author. They're mostly for comedy, and should not be seen as Dan taking the piss with someone else's work.


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Anonymous: Anonymous
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:40 AM BST





How can you support the plagiarism of one of the best pieces of writing ever to emerge from an author's pen (or typewriter, computer, whatever)? Douglas Adams used his intellect to create that passage, and you simply use your copy-paste shortcut to appropriate his hard work for your own uses. Despicable.



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Anonymous: Ra
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:41 AM BST





Yeah..... I kind of doubt that you eat "nwbz" for breakfast.....
But anyway, as to Mr. Aaron's point I agree 100% - Blatant plagiarism indeed.
You could at least find something slightly less well known to rip off, you might get away with it then.....
I give it a [Fail]

Kudos to Mr. Aaron.

G'day

P.S. The code that I have to enter to bypass the robot thingamajig is "SNOGA2" I just thought that was worthy of note.



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Rosin
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:41 AM BST

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Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery?


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Anonymous: Aaron
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:42 AM BST





Thanks, other anonymous person, for the support I guess. And Rosin, I'm not freaking out. I just think that he should be mentioned at least. If you're going to put a creative commons license of any kind, then don't try to license somebody else's work. I'm absolutely all for a game based on or containing one of Adams' ideas; the man was brilliant. I just think it should mention him somewhere as the originator.



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Rosin
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:45 AM BST

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Just remember that it's all in the spirit of having a good time and you'll be alright so long as you follow the two rules. If something seems like a reference, it could be just coincidence, but just take it as a joke instead of a blatant thievery of ideas.

Why does it feel like I'm trying to moderate the 4chan forums today?


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Anonymous: Aaron
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:47 AM BST





Probably because of IEatNewbz.



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Rosin
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:49 AM BST

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Quite.

As per the Ban Hammer comment, that's actually a real thing. Don't take the piss with the rules, or you'll quite possibly be blown into little fleshy chunks of debris by a rather angry admin or more discretely by a moderator.


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Anonymous: Aaron
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:52 AM BST





Yes, I'm quite aware of the Ban Hammer, being a weekly follower of Zero Punctuation and its comment threads. I do still think, however, that Adams deserves at least a nod for his finite and infinite improbability drives, which the game seems (loosely or strictly?) based on.



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Rosin
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 04:55 AM BST

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It's actually a quite loose base. The only real similarity is that it generates a force known as Improbability. As far as my knowledge goes, Adams' improbability drive never gained sentience and ran amok on its own little tropical island.


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Count Sessine
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 09:27 AM BST

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Aaron and the rest: I assume you're coming in from StumbleUpon. Might I recommend that you learn something about the place before you start throwing around charges of plagiarism?

Rosin: Thank-you. Well said.

And, Mr. 'IEatNwbz4Brekfst': What, are you twelve? This is a game for adults. Go to bed.


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K.K. Victoria
Saturday, April 04 2009 @ 01:18 PM BST

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Also, it uses it in a parodied manner.
Scary movie doesn't cite Saw, or War of The Worlds in the ending credits, though the ideas are actually blatantly ripped off.

Besides. Douglas Adams' improbability drive was a form of propulsion. Ours is something we fight a war against. I'm not saying that there isn't the reference there, but it isn't blatant plagiarism.

Hell, don't we make fun of that?
I think we have 'Not another Hitchhiker's guide reference' somewhere, right?
"You saved Pineapple!"



Okay, my take?

You got me. I'm surprised it's taken over a year for someone to find out and call me on it, but I may as well come forward and admit it. The "Zombies" were not my own creation, but ripped off from a film called "Night of the Living Dead." The "Robots" are a slightly tweaked version of Karel Capik's Robotniks, GoBots are basically Robots but with wheels, Mutants are nothing more than a basic humanoid with extra appendages, "Midgets" are ripped off from midgets and Humans are basically fancy apes. KittyMorphs, of course, are nothing more than a combination of cat and human. My delicate web of deceit and lies has come crashing down around my ears thanks to the off-chance of someone recognising the name of Douglas Adams' propulsion device - and I would have gotten away with it too, if it weren't for you meddling kids.

(I hope nobody remembers Scooby Doo, or I'll end up digging myself in even deeper, here...)

Seriously, what kind of muppet would rip off Douglas Adams and expect to get away with it? I mean, this guy's one of the most well-known authors around today. If I was going to plagiarise someone, I would have ripped off something a bit more obscure, 'cause then there's at least a chance of nobody noticing. Wink

Plagiarism by its very definition isn't done overtly. If you play through the game, you'll find hundreds of little nods to all sorts of pop culture - Monty Python, Hitchhiker's Guide, Pokemon, Callahan's Crosstime Saloon, Terry Pratchett's Discworld series, along with just about every pub joke I could think of. This is all mixed in with my original narrative (by "original" I mean "I didn't knowingly rip it off from anywhere, but yeah, someone's probably had this idea along with every other idea anyone's gonna have these days" - see the Watcher's story for the first part, actual in-game plot in progress for Season Two) to create a sort of pop-culture soup with an ongoing story behind it. The idea is that people notice these references here and there, not that I cackle and get famous while poor, unknown Douglas Adams languishes in obscurity.

(I'd be totally twiddling my moustache, too. That'd be awesome.)

(actually, you know what? This would make a great story. A mad supervillain who concocts a plot to take credit for other people's work, getting his inspiration from the superb heist that the Wachowski Brothers pulled off when they stole the first Matrix film. Except he tries to do it with a really, really well-known novel.)

(anyone who wants to steal this idea, go right ahead, I don't have time to actually write it)

Anyway. It never occurred to me to stick a label on saying "with thanks to everyone I've parodied," 'cause I don't think anyone would need such a notice. It should be fairly obvious.

As for the Improbability Drive - honestly, the whole reason for doing that was so that I could create a world where anything goes. HHGTTG wasn't even involved in the process; I've read HHGTTG a bunch of times, played the ZX Spectrum game, seen the BBC series, watched the disappointing movie and listened to the original radio play - and didn't even realise I'd used the same name as Adams had used until someone said "Oh, like in HitchHiker's Guide?" and I said "Oh, fuck. Thought that name sounded familiar." The way it operates doesn't really compare with Adams' propulsion system - it's more like a universal Deus Ex Machina, basically "Magic in a Box." If you're gonna call me out on plagiarism, call me out on the Ministry of Silly Walks encounter. That's ripped straight off from Monty Python, pretty well unchanged.

I'm sorry if I've offended you, but I assure you, only an extreme moron would try to take credit for Adams' work, and I'm not an extreme moron. It's simply not possible that anyone could pull off a scam like that.

Why don't you make an account and jump in? If you play the game a bit and you're still mad afterwards, then make an account on the Enquirer and we'll talk about it. There's no need to be anonymous. Wink

EDIT: Forgot to mention - only the game's code is licensed under Creative Commons. All the characters therein, and the story, equipment, and pretty well everything included in textual output is either licensed to whoever created it, public domain, or parody. The CC license doesn't apply to textual output, thanks to some creative technical wrangling.


 
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Rosin
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 12:04 AM UTC  
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Lord but that was a huge Wall-O-Text.

I rather enjoyed Mr.Eatsnewbsforbreakfast's comment. Quite childish, but it allowed me to exorcise my "Look chum, I've got seniority here but I'm not going to boss you around" muscle. Almost makes me miss the military.


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Bernard
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 05:57 AM UTC  
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Miss the Military? Wow, was there a pageant?


 
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Rosin
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 06:10 AM UTC  
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[Comment deleted for reasons of personal security.]

Other than that, being of NCO rank was a fun experience.


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Epaphus
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 05:00 PM UTC  
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Quote by: CavemanJoe

Plagiarism by its very definition isn't done overtly.



Plus, I think there's a well-established difference between "plagiarism" and "parody." While the game doesn't parody Adams' works too specifically, it does cast a wide net in parodying, to build on CMJ's comments, a whole lot of pop cultural references.

Besides, I believe Aristotle said way back a couple of hundred years B.C. that all ideas that would ever be thought up had already been thought up. But he could have been plagiarizing Plato on that.


 
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CavemanJoe
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 06:00 PM UTC  
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Why hello, there! Nice to see you around. Smile

Truth be told, while I don't agree with what the OP implied, he did raise a valid point. I've seen people on forums who've only just started playing the game saying things like "Looks quite interesting - seems to be based on Hitchhiker's Guide." Which is kinda troubling really, 'cause it isn't. Maybe I need to downplay the Improbability Drive itself, and talk more about the quasi-futuristic post-singularity post-EMP characteristics. At least in the opening pages. Or, perhaps, tell more of the story of how the Improbability Drive was created (which is in the plan for S2, but not implemented yet).


 
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Hermein
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 07:03 PM UTC  
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Why can't we fight something slightly different in S2? Let the season break be the point where the Drive creates. . . something else. Mechanics could all be the same (modulo any changes that are already planned) but the description is different. I won't even bother making any detailed suggestions as to what the new thing should be, since you'd think of something better than I could Wink


 
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Bernard
 Sunday, April 05 2009 @ 08:08 PM UTC  
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Hermein is talking about - and I need a drum roll here, mainly as it is SO original it's made my pee red - fighting - "Our way out of a damp paper bag" Now, this Our way out of a damp paper bag is the bastard invention of a mad scientist, Prof. Essional and his group of lunatic marketing gurus and could easily slot in wherever you've got these rather recherché references to Douglas Adams' obvious brainchild, you evil get.

I don't even want any royalties for this. It's yours. Do with it what you will...


 
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Hermein
 Monday, April 06 2009 @ 01:25 PM UTC  
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Bernard, I'm afraid it's not the idea that's affecting your urinary tract. Remember, you have to finish all the pills, even if they make your giblets a bit wobbly. And next time, remember the training films - protection, my friend, protection. Oh, please fill out the list of names as soon as possible, and yes, you can use an extra sheet of paper if necessary.


 
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CheshireCat
 Monday, April 06 2009 @ 04:19 PM UTC  
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Heh. We make so many parodies, shout outs, and homages, it ain't even funny. Oh wait, yes it is.

I can understand how people can make a mistake at short glance, but everyone would've called "Spaceballs" just a blatant rip off of "Star Wars", if they only saw the cover.

And I'd call a lot of the monsters Shout Out Parodies. They are just one-shot little guys who aren't there for much more than comedic effect. Or Parodies of the Island itself; "Another HHGTTG Ref" parodies us, not HHGTTG.


The Island's Most Married Kittyjoker.
 
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insande
 Thursday, July 16 2009 @ 05:42 PM UTC  
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When I stared (which could not have been more than a week ago) I remember reading through the first passages of the game and thinking This is kinda funny. Not once did i think OMG DIS IZ A BLaATENT PLAGIARIZATION of SO much Stffz it nOT FUNNY. Then again, I can take a joke. I personally love this game, because it's funny, entertaining, and makes good parody of a multitude of shows, plays, books, and people. Fucking small children deserve to be eaten i do believe. In reality i see no plagarism, one can use names, characteristics and ideas from other sources. That is not plagarism, otherwise D&D wouldve sued more than a few companies over time. Zombies, Midgets, Humans, Machines are all universal ideas which can be applied to almost anything. For those of you stressing the Improbability Drive as their source of malcontent, realize this: He named a machine that created Improbable Items and Creatures an Improbability drive not because he liked the name of the item in a book. He named it because it created Improbability and because Drive is a common part in machines, computers and other technology. Hence the name Improbability Drive


 
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Jet Taris
 Sunday, July 19 2009 @ 05:07 PM UTC  
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Okay, I can sort of see why he would had freaked out over supposed plagiarism, but considering the insane and random nature of the game, it's not supposed to be taken so seriously.

Hell, you could be about to encounter an evil witch when suddenly a farm house drops on her and a little yapping mutt comes out and licks your face! Anything can happen and we are all so steeped in popular (and internet) culture that there is bound to be at least a few nods to pre-established works of entertainment. In fact, a lot of published games, stories, movies, ect, I have seen had nods to other people's works. I wonder if this Aaron would accuse them of plagiarism as well!


 
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