Avatar Lawsuit Triggers A BruSimm Thought on The Competitive Business of Ideas

by on December 10, 2011

in bruce's thoughts

Thoughts on Brusimm logo - Opinion on News and Current EventsI’m reading about a lawsuit where an individual is suing James Cameron because he says Avatar was his idea. He argues that he presented his idea and was told it wouldn’t sell. Then Avatar comes out. Depending on how you look at this issue, some things seem interesting, the least of which is timing and such.

Seriously! He wants credit for the Pocahontas retelling? (And that was no disrespect towards Cameron at all. Almost everything on screen could be called a retelling of something else these days.) But deciding who’s right or wrong is not for this article. But it did spark an interesting perspective on some things I’ve observed over the years.

Idea “thefts” or plagiarism happens everyday, everywhere. Ideas are all out there for the taking.

I remember in my stand-up comedy days, I’d perform at a particular comedy house that had a rep for snagging original material from up and comers and selling them to the “name” comedians. And I have to say, it’s a bit of an honor to watch some big name star spout your material on an HBO special!

I’ve also seen where ideas I’ve started here on Brusimm.com pop up on other sites after I’ve started them. (I’m sure it was just great, comedic timing… and that’s totally possible.)

But it doesn’t really matter who comes up with what, when. What does matter is who acts on them. Or better yet, how one entity can spread or deploy the premise better than someone else!

Heck, the other day I was trying to figure out a Shepherd’s Dog Whistle. I had sort of figured it out amongst the group and then the kid whom I showed my trick to, quickly made the rounds through the room showing everyone “his” discovery. It was pretty rich, watching this future corporate executive make the rounds. More power to him.

Hell, I’ve even had a past supervisor take full credit for things I did, with nary a word about my part in it. (That, in itself is an entire tale that could be worth telling some day!)

It happens. All The Time.

Ideas and practices are out there. It seems like they’re in the air, waiting to be snatched. And then they’re also seen, taken, stolen or acted upon (depending on your perspective) every day.

Heck ask Apple about the GUI premise called Windows! Ask any of the smaller fry whose original concepts for programs or utilities ended up in MS Windows.

Or ask FireFox how long they’ve had tabs in their windows. (Not sure if anyone did before them, but that’s where I saw it first for a few years before seeing them in IE.)

Ask any bank out there about being open on Saturdays. (Wells Fargo has been open on Saturdays since the 1980’s.)

Ask the banks about their ATM’s that can read checks, what bank chain had that first. (Wells Fargo, as far as I can tell.) But WF didn’t always market what they were doing as much as other entities have.

What it boils down to is if you have an idea that no one else does, the one thing you have to do is make sure you put it out there in every avenue or venue possible so that folks know you did it. Don’t depend on logic to present the credit properly. Make a huge splattering of public awareness that this is something you did.

At least that’s what I’ve taken away from with my own experiences. And if you have an idea and you sit around thinking about it and don’t take any real action, there isn’t much you can do about it if someone else does act on it.

But if someone takes your premise, acts on it, and makes it their own on some fashion, well, that’s just the spirit of the competitive nature of business and the internet. There’s not much you can do about it but try to extend yourself beyond your one-trick pony idea, have more ideas, and make sure you document them in some fashion. Set the trends, have many ideas and the pattern may stick!

At least then, you’ve got a little leg to stand on if need to go some circuitous route of taking credit.


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If you’ve made it this far in this ranting, thanks for checking it out…

This was just an opinion and some thoughts from some things I’ve seen and experienced, and my best guess on some perspectives. Below are the links to some of the Avatar lawsuit articles.

hollywoodreporter: avatar lawsuit



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