Harlan Ellison Sues Again; Because No One Could Have Possibly Came Up With The Same SciFi Ideas As He Did

from the how-much-does-he-get-paid-to-piss dept

People keep telling me that I might like the books of Harlan Ellison, but I won’t go near them, since the man appears to be a total and complete wackjob when it comes to intellectual property. The guy likes to sue everyone, often without much understanding of the law. He famously sued AOL a decade or so ago, after he discovered some random people online had posted some of his content on Usenet. Yes, he sued AOL because of content he found posted on Usenet. But since he found it via AOL, somehow it must be AOL’s fault. A judge had initially determined that, as per the DMCA, AOL had no liability, but after another court ruled that AOL lost its DMCA safe harbors for being too slow, AOL decided to simply pay Ellison to drop the suit.

In a video from a few years back that has made the rounds time and time again, and which we’ve posted before, Ellison discusses how “I don’t take a piss without getting paid” and bitches about all those damn amateurs undercutting his rates by giving stuff away for free.

A few years ago, Ellison went legal again, suing Paramount over Star Trek. He’d written an episode of the show in 1967, and was upset that some Star Trek book included elements from that show. Oh yeah, also there was a Christmas tree ornament that was sold, and he felt he deserved a cut of the profits. As he said at the time:

It ain’t about the ‘principle,’ friend, its (sic) about the MONEY! Pay Me! Am I doing this for other writers, for Mom (still dead), and apple pie? Hell no! I’m doing it for the 35-year-long disrespect and the money!

So it’s not surprising that he’s suing again. This time, he’s suing 20th Century Fox and trying to stop the release of a new sci-fi movie, In Time, which he claims is a pure copy of one of his most famous works, “Repent, Harlequin! Said The Ticktockman” Of course, as we’ve discussed plenty of times, copyright is only supposed to cover specific expressions, and not ideas… and the “similarities” he lists certainly sound like ideas, not expressions:

Both works are said to take place in a “dystopian corporate future in which everyone is allotted a specific amount of time to live.” In both works, government authorities known as a “Timekeeper” track the precise amount of time each citizen has left.

The complaint goes on to list similarities in the features of the universe as well as the plot surfaces — the manipulation of time an individual can live, the type of death experienced by those whose time runs out, rebellion by story protagonists, and so forth.

Of course, as Julian Sanchez points out, there are lots of sci-fi stories that have a very similar storyline (perhaps even more similar), including Logan’s Run and The Quantum Thief. Maybe Ellison will sue over those too.

Unfortunately, these days, courts have really blurred the line between what’s an expression and what’s an idea, so perhaps something comes of this. But, once again, this really is just about money… and competition. It turns out that Ellison recently sold the rights to “Repent Harlequin” and another movie is being made. So, Ellison would like to censor this competition. But, really, it’s pretty ridiculous for Ellison to think that no one else could have possibly come up with similar ideas on their own. And even if they were built off that bit of an idea from his work, is it really such a problem that people created a different version of it? Does Ellison really believe that none of his work was built off ideas influenced by others?

I jumped over to Ellison’s website to see if he’d put up any more colorful statements about the lawsuit (not that he’d want me to use them without paying him), but instead I find a splash page that just says:

“Why do people keep insisting that I join the 21st Century? I *LIVE* in the 21st Century! I just don’t want to be bothered by the shitheads on the internet!”

Seems like such a sweet guy.

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Comments on “Harlan Ellison Sues Again; Because No One Could Have Possibly Came Up With The Same SciFi Ideas As He Did”

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133 Comments
ashley sheridan (profile) says:

I actually think he has a lot of good points though in his interview there, although he is taking it to an extreme (why should he get paid for pissing?!)

The movie studios are hardly short of a few bob (unless pirating really is a problem and that money they make from lawsuits barely covers costs) so it’s not fair they expect not to pay for content they’re including on their own releases. It’s clear to anyone with a braincell that the studios have double standards.

Of course, I don’t agree with his latest suit, he’s basically just being an ass and expecting to be paid for his shit as well as piss…

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Vinegar and p*ss

Being a jerk is no way to develop a fan following. Sure a few writer wannabes will become your groupies. However most everyone else will just think you’re a jerk.

After I actually saw the Outer Limits episode that Ellison gave Cameron so much grief over, I just wanted to punch Ellison in the nose. He is a character with zero likability. He’s the sort that always seems destined for a horrible demise early in the picture.

Harlan probably thinks that Boxleightner is some sort of “chump” for “working for free” in some cases but I bet you all of Bruce’s “free labor” has paid dividends in the end.

Harlan Ellison is the posterboy for why copyright terms should be no longer than 28 years.

Davidkevin says:

Re: Re: Re: Vinegar and p*ss

Wishing for someone’s death — especially since Mr. Ellison is sick to the point of saying that he in fact has a fatal illness — is inappropriate to the point of hate speech. You should be ashamed of yourself, presuming that you do in fact have a sense of shame. Calling it “sarcasm” doesn’t mitigate the viciousness of your statement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Due

You missed Ellison’s voicing a robot elevator in B5.

I heard Ellison speak years ago at a Comics convention in Philadelphia on 1993. Ellison is and always was an irascible fellow. He has never been one to favor computers. His wife did what ever got done online in his name in the early nineties. He made her hide the demonic device away from his view.

Jeff Rife says:

Re: Re: Re: Due

I love the fact that JMS paid homage many great sci-fi writers (Alfred Bester and Walter M. Miller were the most obvious) in various B5 themes, but I suspect that something in the Babylon 5 universe was close enough to something Ellison wrote that JMS decided it was cheaper to pay up front than deal with the lawsuit.

BTW, I went to Texas A&M, where Ellison is quite a part of the sci-fi history there.

Davidkevin says:

Re: Re:

Mr. Ellison does not use AOL, and never has. He has a webmaster who maintains his website, prints out for him comments which he might want or need to see, and inputs his typewriter-written text for him. This has served his needs for several years, as he is too busy actually writing to spend the time on the net. Someone else informed him that his copyrighted works in their entirety were being posted to Usenet through the AOL gateway and another, now out of business, and his lawsuit was based on the fact that AOL made no effort to monitor that particular user after being informed of his violations of federal law. If you are prejudiced against people merely because of their choice of ISP, at least know who it is on whom you should spill your bigotry: the copyright violator who used AOL, not Mr. Ellison who does not.

Davidkevin says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I’m quite calm, thank you. I was merely informing you of the facts as I know them and that your apparent bias, plus lack of knowledge of those facts, are leading you to a false judgment of who was in the wrong in the lawsuit by Mr. Ellison against AOL: the opposite of a federal appeals court judge who was aware of the facts, and the law.

btr1701 (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

> Dude, I was just ripping on AOL users. Calm down.

Sounds like ‘davidkevin’ is one of those sycophantic fan boys that has a shrieking meltdown the moment you trip their particular fuse. Whather it’s Kirk vs, Picard, Greedo shot first, or in this case, Harlan Ellison’s batshit crazy attitude toward IP, the reaction from types like this guy are usually pretty uniform.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Ummmmm

The video and this article appear to be at odds with one another. This guy may be an asshole for suing AOL and 20th Century Fox, but he appears to be spot on in that video clip. All he is ranting about is wanting to get paid by the media companies for his work. Warner Bros. would rant just as bad about piracy (give it away for FREE?!?!?!).

Harlan is just being smart about the industry he serves. He wants to be paid just like Warner Bros does. Maybe he should have asked if Warner Bros was distributing the DVD for free with his interview as, “publicity” for something else.

Someantimalwareguy (profile) says:

SciFi is first and foremost an expression of the human experience as is all fiction. The only real difference is that some advanced technology is thrown into the mix to give the story a hook.

Everything Ellison has written is based on the same thing every other story is based on: human experience that is explored in different scenarios and environments.

Should he now be able to sue any/all writers who dare to also explore various aspects of human behavior and political/social beliefs?

Here’s a clue: there is nothing new under the sun where humans are concerned. Maybe the scenes change, but even Star Wars was based on the proverbial son…

JP says:

Another potential customer who will never purchase a book

Does Harlen not realize that anyone who visits his website is one of those “shitheads on the internet” ? Why go through the hassle of putting up a page just to offend people who are interested in your work. Those people are very likely either customers, or potential customers.

I’m an avid Sci-Fi fan… While the idea behind “Repent Harlequin” sounds really cool to me, because the author called me a shithead he will NEVER get a dime of my money.

Anonymous Coward says:

http://ereads.com/ecms/book_title/Troublemakers

“”THAT KID’S GONNA WIND UP IN JAIL!”

No use pretending: too many of the “young people” (whatever that means, 4-6 year olds, 10-13, 15-20ish?) I’m thrown into contact with these days are, in the words of Daffy Duck, maroons … ultramaroons. Dumb, apathetic, surly, dumb, arrogant, semiliterate, dumb, disrespectful, oblivious to what’s going on around them, ethically barren, dishonorable, crushed by peer pressure and tv advertising into consumer conformity, crude, dumb, slaves to the lowest manifestations of cheap crap popular culture (as, for instance, WWF wrestling; boy bands; idiot Image comics featuring prepubescent fanboy representations of women with the vacuous stares of cheerleaders, all legs and bare butts, with breasts like casaba melons grafted to their chests at neck level; horse-trank home-made mosh-pit Xtasy kitty-flippin’ dope; and Old Navy rags that make everyone look like a bag lady or wetbrain bindlestiff with a sagging pants-load), inclined to respond to even minor inconveniences with anger or violence because they’ve been brainwashed into believing everything they want, they ought to have, and everything ought to be given to them free, and oh yeah … did I mention they’re dumb? Did I mention, also, that they’re ignorant as a sack of doorknobs? Which ain’t exactly the same as dumb.”

If Dark can beat that it would be funny.

Any Mouse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Does anyone need any more reason to understand why I will not support this man in any way? He’s a hack. A dried-up, angry old man whose time has come and gone, if you could ever say that it truly did come in the first place. An elitist snob who thinks the world owes him for everything, and he should return nothing. Die, Mr Ellison. Stop wasting our oxygen.

adambanksdotcom says:

Intellectual property isn't so simple

It’s true that copyright generally protects the expression (ie the actual words) and not the ideas, but if that were the end of it there would never be any need for movie studios to pay to adapt books. In fact, this case http://supreme.justia.com/us/222/55/case.html established in 1911 that movie adaptations can infringe. If the film does follow Ellison’s story closely and reproduce scenes from the book, even without a word of the copy, he may have a point.

Karl (profile) says:

Pity

It really is a shame, because I think he’s a pretty good writer. I really enjoyed “I Have No Mouth and I Must Scream.”

I actually kind of agree with him about dumb kids, too.

Unfortunately, his ideas on copyright are completely antiquated. They obviously come from a long life lived in the trench warfare of traditional publishing, and not from the digital world, where “infringement” basically means “talking.”

A few years back, I wrote an opinion piece on my site called Why Musicians and Labels Should Embrace Filesharing. I wrote this about anti-filesharing musicians:

I think that traditional musicians are so used to dealing with labels, they simply can’t wrap their heads around the notion that people getting their music without payment could be anything other than people screwing them over.

This seems to fit Harlan Ellison to a T. Combine that with his admitted hatred of “young people” and their newfangled thingamabobs, and you have a recipe for douchebaggery.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Pity

“I think that traditional musicians are so used to dealing with labels, they simply can’t wrap their heads around the notion that people getting their music without payment could be anything other than people screwing them over.”

On top of that, of course, is the inability to realise that this is what has *always* happened, it just wasn’t so public pre-Internet…

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Attention Internet Shitheads!

I too am an author, but unlike Harlan (really? Harlan?), I am happy to have you as readers and friends alike. So are plenty of other good, young, shithead authors.

And we don’t just have shitheads, either. We’ve got assholes, dumbshits, freetards, whackjobs, scumbags, and I think there’s even a few jackwagons, too. So join us. Don’t buy Harlan (I mean seriously, what kind of a name is that?), buy Helmet & Co….

This message brought to you by the Read Dark Helmet Foundation, a division of Seriously, You’ll Like It Productions and benefiting the Tim Could Use Some Money For Good IPAs Charity….

jackwagon (profile) says:

Re: Attention Internet Shitheads!

This jackwagon isn’t an author, but I’m a consumer. Haven’t started Midwasteland yet but I’ll definitely read the work of an author that ‘gets it’ before one that decidedly doesn’t.

That said, I agree with his assertion in the Troublemakers intro that the majority of people consume entertainment that is banal, lowest common denominator crap. The major media outlets know this and pump it out money hand over fist.

Tyler Perry was the highest paid person in Hollywood this year. Talented artists and consumers with a modicum of taste should weep.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Attention Internet Shitheads!

“That said, I agree with his assertion in the Troublemakers intro that the majority of people consume entertainment that is banal, lowest common denominator crap. The major media outlets know this and pump it out money hand over fist.”

Look, if given to the thought, I’d probably agree with you here as well. The truth is I don’t give it that thought, because I couldn’t care less what type of entertainment others enjoy. I may have an opinion when the girlfriend asks me to watch an episode of “What To Wear” or whatever (that opinion is usually punctuated with a valiant cry of “what the fuckballs were YOU thinking?”), but until it effects me, I don’t care.

P.S. I’m mildly proud of Midwasteland, but much more so of Digilife. Start w/that one ๐Ÿ™‚

Matthew (profile) says:

Ellison

Ellison came up in an era when publishers, studios, and corporations in general really were out to screw artists…so really no different from now. His broad claims of ownership are (in his view) really just defensive measures against a predatory industry.

He also has an ego the size of Jupiter and assumes that not just companies, but pretty much everyone is out to get him. The internet generally validates these views by providing him with equal measures of ass-kissing and abuse. Maybe it’s because the present doesn’t match his visions of how the future should have turned out, but for whatever reason, he just seems kind of incompatible with modern life.

kenichi tanaka says:

Let me start off by saying that I actually agree with what Harlan Ellison said in this interview. However, he comes off sounding like a mentally disturbed and deranged person and he starts to sound like many of those “assholes” that he eludes to in this video.

In this retrospect, Harlan Ellison is a fruitcake and he does come off sounding like a nutjob.

Gee says:

Harlanocrite

Its funny in the video how Harlan goes on and on about how important it is to get paid for one’s work, then he switches right into talking about how he demands a free copy of the dvd or else he will “come to her office and burn it down.”

I don’t think the hypocrisy even occurs to him, or maybe in his mind, he owns any dvd in which he plays any part at all. Harlan, a question for you… Does any one of the 1000 or so people involved in the creation of a dvd deserve a free copy? Or just you?

theDude says:

I dont get the angst

Im not sure why Im supposed to be angry with this guy? He is simply attempting to enforce his property rights and get money at every possible opportunity. This is the American way. I don’t agree with his philosophy, but we have a system were people can get paid over and over and over again for the same work. Hes used this system and intends to keep enjoying its benefits as long as possible. Hes honest about it, frankly I find refreshing. I dont see an argument from him about being “morally” entitled to anything, all I see is an argument about being “legally” entitled.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I dont get the angst

If Hollywood took his work, changed it some but stuck with the primary ideas and plot, and cranked out a schlocky multi-million dollar film, why shouldn’t he get a percentage?

Mostly because copyright, by design, does not cover “primary ideas and plot.”

The purpose of copyright is not to reward authors, it’s to “promote the progress.” In other words, others are supposed to take the author’s “primary ideas” and create new works from them. That’s the entire point.

I’d also like to point out that he’s not just asking to “get a percentage,” but to actually get an injunction on the film. That is, he wants to block its release altogether.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 I dont get the angst

That is not entirely true, copyright is so vague that that line is fuzzy.

http://www.coolcopyright.com/cases/fulltext/nicholsuniversaltext.htm

NICHOLS v. UNIVERSAL PICTURES CORPORATION, Circuit Court of Appeals, Second Circuit, 45 F.2d 119; 1930 U.S. App. LEXIS 3587, November 10, 1930

It gets messy when “substantial similarity,” or “nonliteral copying.” starts to crop up all over the place.

The law was not meant to deal with such scenarios so judges mostly got their own ideas and expanded on that over the years to include anything that “was taken” from some thing or somewhere.

Copyright has become a monster, a true nightmare for culture, but that is the states of things today.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: I dont get the angst

Mostly because he didn’t do the work.

Nobody should be paid for something they didn’t do, being the first to be known to have an idea should not be used to stop others from being able to have their own ideas or appropriate others ideas for implementation, each one should compete on the market and see who can do better, that was the original plan for allowing laws to be passed to “incentivize the creation of new works”, the constitution doesn’t say we need to protect profits, families, revenues, that BS came after and it is mostly being done on the bench apparently.

Davidkevin says:

The Story As You Have Posted It

Your story appears short on facts, and long on negative bias. As a news report it lacks objectivity and appears more of a smear than news. You don’t work for Rupert Murdoch, do you?

Those interested should go back to the original story posted in the Hollywood Reporter, as well as subsequent reports by actual journalists, if they wish to know the reality behind the fanciful fiction above.

crade (profile) says:

Re: The Story As You Have Posted It

“Those interested should go back to the original story posted in the Hollywood Reporter, as well as subsequent reports by actual journalists, if they wish to know the reality behind the fanciful fiction above.”

Yeah, thats why the post includes a link to it. It’s a post discussing that article from Hollywood Reporter so of course you should go read that for more info!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The Story As You Have Posted It

Wait, what?

I just read the source article at THR.. what was I supposed to learn there that I didn’t here? And BTW, that article was linked in the post, so I’m not sure why you took the time to mention it. Anyone interested already knew they could click the links Mike provided. The “fanciful fiction” as you call it is just as it is reported on THR.

Short on facts? Not sure how you came up with that either, as there are plenty of links to other facts, like the lawsuits he has filed in the past.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: The Story As You Have Posted It

Sadly, no one is really interested in the douchenozzle’s side of the story. In my opinion, he’s an old, broken down has-been who should be set loose on an iceberg since his allotted time is up…..oh damn….does that mean that it doesn’t have to be a dystopian future for things like that to happen?

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: The Story As You Have Posted It

Sadly, no one is really interested in the douchenozzle’s side of the story.

It is a tragedy. That’s why I’ve started the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Douchenozzles.

Please consider donating now. 100%* of the profits will go to preventing cruelty to douchenozzles.** They definitely will NOT go towards drinking IPA*** at the local pub.****

Think of the douchenozzles!
_________________________________________________

* …or so

** me and my friends

*** okay, that’s a total lie

**** Not affiliated with the Tim Could Use Some Money For Good IPAs Charity

Greevar (profile) says:

I love how in the video clip he harangues the lady on the phone who asks if they can use an interview he did (and was probably paid to do) in their DVD for having the audacity to not offer him gobs of money for work he already did and was likely already paid a fair wage for. I can understand if he doesn’t want to them to use the clip, but to get so indignant that they didn’t flash the cash when they brought it up is just groan-worthy. Talk about entitlement! “I should get paid over and over, for the rest of my life, for something I did one time, long ago!” Good grief, I think they were being very polite by asking first, but he had to go ape-shit on her for not sucking his dick. They might very well be protected by fair-use to use the interview without permission. The fact that they asked politely to work out an equitable arrangement is going above and beyond the minimum call for respect.

ASTROBOI says:

An unpleasant man.

If you have seen “Dreams With Sharp Teeth”, possibly the source of some of the clips other posters are discussing, you know that Mr. Ellison seems to be a very angry and unpleasant man, someone who will eventually fall out with anybody he knows well, a megalomaniac, and a man with a case of severe paranoia. Much of the documentary consists of Ellison rambling on, trying to act important, issuing silly threats and at times being incoherent. The rest of the time he is reading from his own works as though only he can do them justice. If you somehow identify with this fellow you would probably like the documentary. I believe he is a man with a severe personality disorder and should have begun receiving professional help for his problem long ago. There is nothing funny, clever, cool or admirable about a raving, disturbed, near-insane man making a fool of himself

Anonymous Coward says:

People sue movie studios all the time for copyright infringement and almost never win. The last 20 years of jurisprudence are almost entirely defendant victories on summary judgment or motions to dismiss, judges finding that no reasonable juror could believe the two works in question are substantially similar in expression. I expect Harlan will join that club soon, unless the studios feel generous enough to give him a small settlement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Harlan Ellison’s works are some of my favorite of all time, but the man has a well-earned reputation of being one of the most irascible pricks you could ever meet. His relations with other authors varied wildly between high professional courtesy and complete childishness. Amazingly, he’s become even more cranky with age.

You should read all of Harlan Ellison’s books. Just don’t ever have lunch with him.

Owen Lock says:

Harlan Ellison

I was for many years an editor. At times I associated with Harlan Ellison. Not closely enough that we were friends, but we spoke at length. Professionally, he could be a real pain in the ass, and more than once I had to tell a tearful office assistant to hang up on him when he was haranguing her about some facet of book production. But he could also a very nice guy, a great raconteur. I never read much of his fiction because it didn’t appeal to me. I should add that one of Harlan’s early mentors was my partner at Del Rey Books, Lester del Rey. And something of the thornier bits of Lester’s personality seems to have snagged on Harlan.

All that said, I think Harlan has a point about Hollywood’s ripping people off and that, when it does, it should be made to pay up. Harlan seems very good at that. Lord knows, he probably has to be; doesn’t seem to have written much for decades.

It is interesting to watch people who insist that a problem can be reduced to a simple principal of law even though life is a great deal more complex. It doesn’t matter whether Harlan is right or wrong on this occasion. What matters is that he can or can’t bend the studios to his will for a perceived transgression. Screw the law; perception is what counts here and Harlan is a master at manipulating it. And if you think the Hollywood folk don’t themselves think of what they frequently do as “theft” then you haven’t spoken to them often enough or worked with them.
There are wonderful people in the movie industry and there are talentless turds. Perhaps Harlan is pursuing some of the turds. I hope so.

btr1701 (profile) says:

AOL

> A judge had initially determined that, as per
> the DMCA, AOL had no liability, but after another
> court ruled that AOL lost its DMCA safe harbors
> for being too slow

Granted this case is long over with, but how did AOL get gigged for being too slow to respond to DMCA takedowns? AOL can’t control what’s on Usenet, so it doesn’t matter how fast or slow they respond to a DMCA takedown, they have no power to actually take anything down that’s on Usenet.

Tom Landry (profile) says:

He’s a raging dick but

1.) I respect anyone that doesn’t mince words and speaks directly. We seem to believe that not being “mean” is more important than being candid and up front about your intentions, opinions, etc. Ellison may be supremely hate-able but you know where he stands.

2.) he does kind of have a point in the video about WB wanting a freebie while they continue to collect cash. Of course I think Ellison should have done it but I can understand why he didn’t.

3.) Most of his writing is really good shit.

Rekrul says:

People keep telling me that I might like the books of Harlan Ellison, but I won’t go near them, since the man appears to be a total and complete wackjob when it comes to intellectual property.

I read a few of his short stories many years and didn’t care for them at all. Half of them were like reading a description of a Salvador Dali painting and the other half just had random stuff happening for no apparent reason. I get the impression that Ellison is one of those people who thinks that he’s putting some deep, philosophy into his writing, but it just comes off as bizarre and non-sensical(sp?).

Ellison also bitched about the film The Terminator copying some of his ideas, specifically an old episode of the Outer Limits in which two (human) soldiers from the future are accidentally transported to the present. It really had nothing in common, other than a soldier being displaced in time, but the studio gave him a buttload of money and altered prints of the film to give him an acknowledgment in the end credits. You can easily tell it was added after as it seems to “float” around as it moves up the screen.

Terry says:

I’ve looked through the comments and while it’s gotta be impossible that everybody missed the point, I didn’t see it anywhere so here.

Ellison said the interview was already done, right? “I did a very long, very interesting on-camera interview” that the small company then wanted to include in the film. Since he must have already been paid for that interview (because he doesn’t get piss without getting paid), what he wanted was to be paid again for something he’d already done, right? The issue I have with him is that his writing may be good but he’s not different than any other writer that wants to sit back and have his past works reap profits.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The question is: Was the film ripping off Ellison, or is it just a similar idea?

If the film has a host of similarities such as a similar setting, characters, plot developments and so on, then there may be a similarity large enough to warrant a lawsuit.

If, on the other hand, the film is completely different in every way save the central concept, then Ellison is just being a reactionary fool. A simple idea can occur to people completely independently, and Ellison does not deserve to be paid because he happened to have it first, unless perhaps it can be shown that the writer had even read his story.

From the quote and description above, it seems that whatever is being sued about not only falls directly into the “simple idea” category, but that this idea had also been used in numerous other movies. If that’s the case, Ellison shouldn’t be upset if the writer got the idea after, say, rewatching Logan’s Run, just as the writers of Outbreak shouldn’t be upset that the recent Contagion had a similar theme…

magicguy says:

I love his work

For all of you who are basing your choice to read his work based on this clip and the article I must admit I feel sorry for you. He has never said he should be paid for things that have no connection to his work. Even in this video clip he is just saying he needs to get paid for his work.

He can be a cantakerous jerk at times but his work speaks for itself. Check out some of his short story collections:

I have no mouth and I must scream.

Shatterday

Paingod and other delusions

Ellison Wonderlad

Just to name a few.

magicguy says:

I love his work

For all of you who are basing your choice to read his work based on this clip and the article I must admit I feel sorry for you. He has never said he should be paid for things that have no connection to his work. Even in this video clip he is just saying he needs to get paid for his work.

He can be a cantakerous jerk at times but his work speaks for itself. Check out some of his short story collections:

I have no mouth and I must scream.

Shatterday

Paingod and other delusions

Ellison Wonderlad

Just to name a few.

Sheogorath (profile) says:

To the Ellison Apologists

Your favourite author is wrong in this case. Here’s an example of why: Last year, I wrote a Harry Potter fanfic where he got knocked up with eggs by an arachnotaur, then changed sufficient details that I could post it on epubbud.com as an original story. Just two days ago, I came across a story that I had never read before where a male character gets knocked up with eggs by an arachnotaur. Now, if the author of the earlier story and/or E.L. James was to sue me for copyright infringement, that would be exactly like what Harlan Ellison is doing now. Get it? Got it? Good!

wordwan says:

A writer should be paid for his work; that's all the man is saying

It amazes me how an old man can inspire so much ire.

If Harlan is so unimportant to you, why are you posting/pirating his work?

There are plenty of writers ready to give you their mediocre work for free.

Shouldn’t that be the kind of reading you do?

Harlan always seems to have brought out the freaks–pro and con–on the internet.

Long live Harlan Ellison

Heather
wordwan

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