The last big copyright despite was An author suing the makers of Gravity for not paying her for additional writing that she had done in the nineties for the adaptation of her book that was never made. The case claimed that Gravity was that adaptation. The movie gravity is a series of set pieces that lead the characters to the next set piece. The book was described by Craig Mazin of Script notes as “Pandemic in space.”
That lawsuit lead to nothing but at least there was some connection.
Cabin in the woods is being sued by an indie author for the resemblance to his ebook. In his book, there are five youths ages 18-22 who go to a cabin in the woods and are murdered by man who murdered his family in the cabin, for the amusement of a reality show.
So, CitW is a deconstruction of the horror set up. It runs through the generics tongue-in-cheek and puts out the feelers of what is behind the surface, which is mind blowing in scope. It touches on mythology, societal bias, evil, the natural order, the hatred of youth, and why we even enjoy these movies.
Where, the ebook is a generic cabin story as a reality show.
I don’t want to hate on ebook authors. Charitably, they are fighting against the established machine, putting their work out for anyone to buy over the internet. Uncharitably, they are a bunch of hapless, entitled white men powering Amazon’s play to break down independent bookstores and pay authors next to nothing, saying that the cost of a book should not be more than the material it is printed on. Honestly, work not cited aside, I have more respect welled up for fan fiction than indie ebook authors. Like forgetting to turn off your blinker and accusing people of hacking in video games, amateurs often make themselves known. I am sorely scared by the number of people who think “stealing work” is a thing.
My main question for this author would be, “is your book amazing? Cabin in the Woods was Amazing.” This author is accusing another writer of stealing his work and giving up on his own. To paraphrase John Green, Neil Gaiman, and David Foster Wallace, (ugh, I need to go to more woman and POC for writing advice.) ‘I can’t write another persons book. Either the story is not in me or it would come out completely different because if I wrote it, it would be my story.’
One point in the very flawed Californication, the main character’s first draft is stolen. The thief eventually gets it published. It is later established that the thief cannot write. There is an unbelievable amount of work between a first draft and a published novel. Most first drafts do not resemble the final story.
Ideas do not fall under copyright. They are also not worth much. Everyone had a version of the lego movie in their bedrooms as children but few take the time to record, hone, and produce that movie. That hypothetical movie would also be completely different from The Lego Movie. Funly enough, the Lego Movie also argues this. Despite literally buying your childhood of star wars, ninja turtles, my little pony, and batman, it says that you should be able to play however you want. There are set collections but there are three variations on every set and punishment for putting all C3-P0s driving the bat-mobile throw space in order to fight Darth C3-P0 and her zombie hordes.
This whole lawsuit tells me that this author does not respect his own novel to get notoriety. He does not appreciate the amount of work it takes to write and make a movie. He does not respect creativity and it’s various forms.