Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
There's only so many musical notes you can play. When it comes to putting them together in various orders to form a song, there's a limit there too. And people are getting litigious about it. "Men at Work" were sued over the flute riff in, "Down Under" and because they couldn't prove that they didn't steal it from another song, "Kookaburra Sits in the Old Gum Tree," they got hit. - http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/07/men-at-work-down-under-lawsuit_n_999708.html
There's lots of this stuff going around. Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are having a dust up with Marvin Gaye's estate over their 2013 song, "Blurred Lines" and whether it infringes on the 1977, "Got To Give It Up." (Later Edit - It does look like Thicke and Williams are going to lose this one. Video clips of their testimony have been circulating the internet.)
I think even Bob Marley's work is/was involved in a legal dust up of this type somewhere. But the long story short is that the proliferation of works is just making this sort of thing more likely. It is so hard on my mind, that I've even prepared for people to come at me saying Companion is a rip off of Shades ... to which I've got a Writers Guild of America West reference that shows when the original film script was filed! And a scene and publishing history that goes back to the 90's.
No one is likely to level that claim at me, because my world and characters are completely different; but regardless of that, this is the way I'm having to think as a creator.
There is another flip side to this, however. That is the readers experience of all this lore. I'm working on a comedy pirate story now and I can bet you a pound to a penny that people will compare it against, "Pirates Of The Caribbean," and not even think of works like the 1883, "Treasure Island."
Not only are work comparisons going to happen, but people are consuming so much entertainment in different forms of media, spanning so many different genres, that anyone picking up anything, is likely to already have a strong, (and recent) link to something which will upset their consumption of a later media.
There isn't a literary version of sorbet that I know of.
On top of that, I just can't write in a manner which takes account of existing lore. If I tried to do that, then I'd never write anything.
I'm up against pre-existing giants who have already coloured the world in their flavour. I know that. But the only thing I can do is carry on, and be true to me.
Creation is a tough old game these days. Everyone's already been there before in some manner, and you've having to look over your shoulder for the lawyers.
I tell you ... who wants to be a creator in a world like this?