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Is Originality Drying Up in The Mainstream Entertainment Industry?


Netflix sued for use of image under copyright


Subtitle:  Why Couldn’t Netflix Come Up With Its Own Pretend Representation Of Satan?

The old adage that everything is derivative seems to be ever so slowly giving way to everything is plagiarism. For better or worse, we have been going through a relentless deluge of sequels and prequels for years now. Although, by definition, they are extremely derivative, they attempt new storylines and maybe even achieve new perspectives on old themes.

Also, for better or worse, mainstream media has always had its share of remakes, but, generally, those remakes have always been acknowledged as such. Imitation is the greatest form of flattery and all that.

Given the penchant for sequels and prequels and remakes, were we always on the road to mainstream plagiarism? Or, have we always been there, but now, thanks to the lidless eye of social media, it’s simply getting discovered more frequently?

There have been a few incidents as of late that can’t be definitively labelled as plagiarism, because there is no court ruling labelling them as such, but which could rightfully be referred to as coincidentally very similar, CVS for short.

The first CVS incident I became aware of in January-February 2018 timeframe was how closely the plot for “The Last Jedi” followed a fanfiction storyline. Check it out for yourself:

The second CVS incident that came across my radar, roughly 3 months ago, was that many characters in “Star Trek Discovery”, as well as a central plot device in the show for how the ship travels the universe, were lifted wholesale from a little known 2014 video-game. The CVS is so strong that the game’s developer is taking CBS to court (Footnote**).

 Most recently, Netflix was sued by The Satanic Temple for use of an image under copywrite of Baphomet in their new series “The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina”. It was eventually settled out of court.

This would seem worse than the CVS situations with “The Last Jedi” and “Star Trek Discovery” in the sense that it demonstrates a blight of creativity so profound that original set props have become unmanageable. If this wasn’t a marketing ploy on the part of Netflix I don’t how to categorize it; Plagiarism? Stupid? Lazy?

Maybe, just sad.

Footnote** In his own words, the game developer explains:

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