edited: Saturday, July 12, 2003
By Robin A Spicer
Posted: Saturday, July 12, 2003
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To what lenths can litigation procede.
I have posted a part of this on the AD Forum.
Having nothing better to do, and needing a break from the book, my mind went into neutral. The following scenario came to mind.
Scenario: - A person commits a crime, robbery or murder; the method used is totally unique.
The offender is caught and convicted, sent to prison. In a room somewhere a writer is writing a mystery novel, and having read about the above unique crime, incorporates the details into the novel as a fiction, not naming names, but correctly including every other detail of the crime. The book is published, and is a best seller.
Bearing in mind the nature of this litigious society we live in, could the convicted criminal sue for the theft of his intellectual property, claiming that the unique nature of the planned offence, and the fact that a signed confession, providing full details would constitute a copyright? Further claiming that the writer has breached his copyright, and had plagiarized his work?
Is it possible for civil litigation to procede to such a level of incompetence, that a criminal who by comitting the offence has abrogated his civil rights, could benefit in such a way? It is already possible for a convicted person to benifit from a crime by ghost publishing a book about the details. It would be a concern that every writer would need to research every crime before writing, and every criminal could stand to benifit from crime by either claimng royalties, or taking an author to court claiming plagiarism.