Re: On plagiarism and source for plots

Nasy Sankagiri (narayans@post.drexel.edu)
Sat, 13 Dec 1997 21:54:02 -0400


Oh, what an interesting topic. BTW, didn't we talk about telugu folks
copying PGW a few months ago?

I think there is some difference between stealing ideas (when it is
considered plagiarism) and stealing whole work verbatim (what we call
"M-K-M kaapi"). So what's happening these days can not be called
plagiarism! Actually, ' these days' I am talking about were 7 years ago - I
don't know what's happening on telugu pop-lit scene currently, thereby, I
seconmd the motion by Dev. In those days, I read several novels by KGR
which were thinly veiled telugu adaptations of English crime/horror novels.
I think, Malladi and yandamuri used some amount of orignality in adapting
the situations/scenes they lifted into the main body of the novels. Others
don't even bother about such trivial things. All that is telugu in these
novels is the location - it is supposed to take place in AP. Most of the
time, the characters even talk in English! So, do they qualify as telugu
novels?

The most amusing incident was, I went to see this film, starring
Rajasekhar; forgot the neame of the heroine - Jeevika or something like
that. About half-way through the movie, it began to stir in my mind that I
knew this story. Then it suddenly struck me - that was Sheldon's Rage of
Angels, which I read some 6-7 years prior to watching the movie. I think
the movie was titled 'aahuti'. It was a big hit.

No wonder manufacturers are scared to enter the market in India for the
fear of having their proprietary info becoming free public property. On the
other hand, of course, you have companies which try to stick the
'proprietary rights' sticker on very public knowledge such as neem seeds'
pesticidal properties..That's another story.

Yeah, when you come across the original, you feel cheated. But consider the
other possibility - What if you never came across the original? So, the
telugu multitudes who don't have access to the latest from Stephen King
ought to be grateful to the KGRs of the world for bringing such thrilling
stuff within their reach..like one of my professors used to say, 'never
question success'. The only party to loose in this deal is the poor mind
which conjured the original, who irrecoverably lost the rights to telugu
translation (what the telugu publishers pay him for that deal if it ever
happens will probably not cover the expense of the legal paper on which it
is written), and of course, the poor you, who heaped so much admiration  on
your telugu brother (or sister) for thinking up such fantastic stuff, only
to later discover that you are left with the duty of shifting all that
admiriation, and to a foreigner at that! Condole, my friend. I suffer with
you.

Regards,
Nasy