I can't believe I'm doing this

on Posted by Rajesh J Advani
Remember how I'm always saying that it ticks me off when people put my story up on the net without giving me any credit for it?
Well, I found out about yet another one of these. But there's a twist. And maybe because "Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" (I'm assuming they liked it, but then assumption is the mother of all f- ... you know), they decided to make a not-so-mega-serial out of it.

My constitution is a little too weak to read the whole thing, but that's probably just me.

So if anyone can go through the whole thing, could you let me know if it's a happy ending? Just that. I'd rather not know the details. Maybe someday. But not right now. Ok?

Updated 15 Nov 2004: Removed link to the mega-serial, based on a request by the author(s). I would like to point out that this is not because I'm backing down from my stand on the unauthorized use of my work. I'm only giving in to a request by the author(s) to allow their work to remain private - even if "private" means being able to find the site using MSN Search using the first few words from my story...

Updated 13 Dec 2004: ... or via links the authors left behind on the comments to this post.


TheWunderKids said...

Hey Rajesh,

Lotsa clarifications seem to be in order.

Loved ur story by whatever name you call it. Got it thru an email from a friend and fwded it to a lot of my friends from college...And then we brats were reminded of how a classic like Love story was murdered by a movie like Khwahish which still went on to become a hit...and then we thought your short story was as good as Love Story itself.. so we called it Yet Another Love Story.. and then imagined what would happen if Ekta Kapoor made a serial out of such a nice story...And then we got the idea of getting different people to write for different episodes so that the script went haywire (jes as all these stupid K serials go).. so we decided to create atrociously loud characters based on people in our own college, introduce every genre from comedy, sentiment, romance, murder mystery for effect....We planned to do this for 56 episodes but then the effort lost steam...

Neway to put things into perspective, it was only after we had done the first 3 episodes that someone told us the story I had read over email was urs and it was there in ur Sulekha blog. And i even remember dropping in and commenting there..Now to go ahead and accuse us here of plagiarism is...well.. i dont even want to say that :-) Till i sent you that link thru Megs post it wasn't even a very public blog with only a few close friends knowing about it.. I thought u wud see the funnier side of it but then i see u r too fond of ur creation for me to expect a decent bit of perspective...And yes, we simple earthlings are not made of brilliant literary prowess like some GB Shaws out there...We bow our heads to these mighty pens and request them to forgive us.

ps: Will delete ur story from epis: 1 in the series. Hope we haven't besmirched ur fair name. Though i do not earn much, if u still want ur royalty for our heinous crime, i shall beg / borrow / steal to pay what we rightfully owe you.

pps: Just curious...Ever heard of a phrase called "Benefit of doubt"... OMIGAWD..Did i actually type this much..Ciao mate !

Rajesh J Advani said...

Ok, clarifications to clarifications in order :)

1. No, I did not say what you did was plagiarism. I said you could find the reason for my request in the blog with that for the title. There's a difference. I actually tried to make sure that my reponse on Megha's blog was as UNcurt as I could make it. Which is difficult because people have tried to pass my stuff off as theirs before, and I suffer from a lot of that whenever I ask people to provide a link to the original stuff from their sites. I guess I've not worked out the right way of saying it yet.

2. Thanks for liking my story so much that you decided to do to it what Khwahish did to Love Story. (which sounds a bit anal, actually, but trust me, I understand the motivation)

3. Must have missed your comment on Sulekha. Which one was you? Thanks for it, again.

4. If only you had made it a bit clearer on the blog somewhere what the intention and the idea behind the whole thing had been, maybe it'd make the whole blog a lot more enjoyable. In fact, I did realise from the titles of the first couple of episodes that you were proclaiming yourselves to be the original writers only of the episodes that followed the pilot. But the idea is sort of mucked over. Know what I mean?

5. My blog is not as popular as Megha's blog, I believe, so your story is still quite private, I'm thinking.

6. Before I started reading it, I did see the funnier side. I even had the idea in my head that I might try to contribute to the next episode. Of course, reading Episode 2, and part of Episode 3, killed that idea. You see, JALS is the one story that I consider really really part of me. Not that it's my own true story. It's not. I'm saying the story is like my own kaleja (trying not to get too melodramatic), because both the Protagonist and Preeti, in that story, are part of me. Both characters are like the Jekyll and Hyde that forms ME. Plus, I spent a MONTH tweaking it before I published it. It's like my own baby. I don't have a kid yet (heck don't even have a Preeti yet) and I don't know if any of you have one. But think of it as raising a kid for 12 years and watching him turned into a drug addict wasting his life away in the gutter... Wow. I paint quite a vivid picture in my head. Anyway. You get the idea. And this is probably only true about this story. I probably wouldn't have been so picky about anything else I've written (though a lot of the better stuff is still unpublished) if you'd picked at that. But then we have that cycle of if you'd picked up anything else you might not have considered it worthy enough of spoofing (or whatever you wanna call it) and so on.

7. I assume you might be comparing me to GB Shaw but I would like to point out that there is no comparison. (I write much better than him :P) (He he! Just kidding)

8. Keep my story on your blog by all means. As long as you provide the link to the original and mention that the story in its entirety is NOT posted on your blog (cause it's not. You end a few parapgraphs early). I can see you guys have put some effort into the eight episodes, and don't want to detract from that.

9. The only royalty I need is a link. One more link. Many more links. Links Links Links!!! Just shameless publicity I guess. Anyway.

10. You need to understand this particular blog too. Let me walk you through it.

a. I posted the link to your blog here. I don't do this for people who "copy my story".

b. If I violated some code by linking your "personal blog" to mine, I'm sorry. I tend to avoid providing links without taking the author's permission, unless I think the publicity has already been provided. You providing your link on Megha's blog made me believe it was ok for me to provide one more link.

c. There's the title of my blog "I don't believe I'm doing this". But maybe you need to understand the rest of it to appreciate that bit.

d. I say "yet another one of these", which is entirely accurate. You did put up my story, and you did NOT give me credit for it. And I've not called your actions plagiarism yet. Giving the link to my plagiarism blog is to provide context. Because I'm tired of putting my thoughts into words again and again and again. Do read the bloody thing before making assumptions.

e. I also say "But there's a twist". Which makes your blog, special. That's because I did feel flattered by your blog. Even if the contents gave me indigestion. No, diarrhea. Nowhere have I called your blog anything bad. Only described my reaction to it. Which is why I have a blog, you know. I like to tell people how I feel.

f. I say "but that's probably just me". What does that phrase mean to you?

g. "So if anyone can go through the whole thing": As far as I can see I'm encouraging people to read your blog. To do your efforts some justice, because the written word's entire purpose in life is "to be read"! If I have offended you in any way by posting this blog, well then I can only apologize. And offer to remove the link to your blog from this post. Beyond that, I can't really help you.

Anonymous said...

Havta give ya credit for a few things.

1. Patience definitely is one of ur strengths considering you've gone to such detail to clear this misunderstanding. Appreciated.

2. You do have a funny bone. Referring to point 7.

Will try and get Megs to delete that comment with the link as we STILL want to keep it a private blog. If that happens, can i expect to see the link in ur blog taken off.. Neway it doesnt matter.. Wot the heck..

And honestly dude, unqualified apologies if you felt the first comment was sarcy/harsh.

Happy Blogging Rajesh.


Rajesh J Advani said...

1. Patience is my strong point until I lose it. Since it doesn't happen very often, you probably don't want to be around me when it does. I ask you to imagine a volcano erupting (though my physical frame does not look anything like a volcano. It's just an analogy)

2. I'm disappointed if you only found that statement funny. Must be losing my touch.

3. I'll consider deleting the link to your blog from mine. But have not decided on that point yet because of (4)

4. You have removed my story from your blog, but replaced it with words that show that you have completely missed the point.

Writing a story, an article, a blog, an anecdote, a poem, or anything at all, is a process of creation. Something you make. Out of your own head. It's yours, because you created it.

If someone steals something from you, you feel bad. Because that thing belonged to you. You paid for it, and now someone else has it. But they're still just physical commodities.

If someone uses something you've written on your own, without giving you credit for it, it's like "stealing" an idea. A thought. You can't put a price-tag on that. It's something so intangible that it's priceless.

And so, the statement "not ALL people write for the sheer pleasure of it ..Some of them jes do it for publicity" is pushing my patience.

Maybe I'm being an ass. It's happened before. But then try searching for 'Plagiarism' in Google and read the definitions that various people have put down for it, and ways that you can avoid it. What you did, does come under that definition, though I'm still undecided about it being plagiarism per se. It's a fine line. I've given you the benefit of doubt until now. But reading all this stuff (which I'm doing only because I'm writing this comment), makes me think "Maybe I'm being too understanding."

Why would so many popular authors (including but not limited to Isaac Asimov, Douglas Adams and Mil Millington) have something to say about this topic unless it was really personal?

There's a reason copyrights exist. There's a reason why people fight for them so often.
And it's not always about money, pride or fame.

But maybe you need to see your blog copied onto someone else's site without naming you as the author(s), because they wanted to continue with Episode 10. Maybe then you'll understand.