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  1. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    I have an idea. Let's rewrite Crime and Punishment and remove the fragment where Raskolnikov killed that woman.
    He just entered her house like ninja and took some stuff, sold it and then everyone were happy.


    :/
    Less of the sarcasm! Author intent means nothing, hadn't you heard? If someone prefers the story with no crime and no punishment that's them expressing their own agency as a creator and their ideas are automatically just as good as anyone else's!

    /s

  2. #82
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    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, eh?

  3. #83
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, eh?
    Thing is, dumb as that was, at least it basically re-wrote the entire thing, and - importantly - was actually trying to keep the essential themes and subplots and so on from the original book. I never read it, so maybe I wouldn't think it did a good job of it, but the reviews I saw thought it was a tribute to Austen as much as it was ZOMBIES, WHOOO. The Hate Plus modders are expressly trying to go against a plot point that's kind of a fundamental piece of the original, just because the way it originally worked out made them feel bad. As you point out, it'd be pretty much the same if anyone actually did that with Dostoyevsky.

  4. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    If someone prefers the story with no crime and no punishment
    I have no time for author intent nonsense, but this is a funny line. For the Dark And Edgy crew, we could also have a version with no crime but some punishment.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    I have no time for author intent nonsense, but this is a funny line. For the Dark And Edgy crew, we could also have a version with no crime but some punishment.
    It will probably not surprise you if I say that for the most part I can't stand the whole "Once the work is out there, I can have nothing more to do with it" school of thought. ;) To my mind, the Hate Plus thing is a pretty good illustration of how that is flatly not the gospel truth some people think it is - that even a creator who's big on treating the wishes of the fans as paramount can basically feel "Yeah, hold on, I'm not sure what you're doing is right". You shouldn't actively try and stop people doing what they want with your work, and you shouldn't go around taking every opportunity to attack people doing something you don't like, but if you honestly feel they've crossed a line and you can come up with a solid explanation why that's a bad thing, then you should have some leeway to say "No, sorry, I don't condone that at all, and I'm unhappy you're reading something so drastically different from what I intended into my work", and your opinion should be treated with some degree of respect. Simply saying "Well I didn't like your story, so nyah, I'm going to change it to the way I think it ought to be" and nothing else should not be lauded as some fantastic new act of creation simply for the hell of it - something I think a hell of a lot of people on the internet are prone to doing.

    (But this is tangenting even further and I'm sure a lot of people don't agree.)

  6. #86
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    you're reading something so drastically different from what I intended into my work
    Hmm, my feeling is that there are some subtle distinctions to be made here. For instance, "reading into" can be seen as making a statement about the intentions of the author. If someone is stating something about the intentions of the author that the author knows is wrong, then the author has a right to tell them they're wrong: someone's claiming a fact about what the author is thinking.

    On the other hand, you can have situations where someone simply doesn't care for the author's intentions, or correctly assesses the intentions but decides they're bobbins. In this case, one can imagine a story that's more appealing to you that ignores the author's intentions. Given that everything is just made up anyway, what's wrong with someone just going with this story? This new story might not be appealing to the original author, but why should I care? Similarly, this new story might not work to indoctrinate/persuade people of something the author was intending to indoctrinate/persuade people to think, but why should we care? We're not bound to be indoctrinated/persuaded by an author. I can see that this would annoy the author but, putting my extremist hat on, if you're trying to make a point by means other than a careful non-fictional essay then I don't really care if you're annoyed.

    You can also have cases where the author isn't really making a point at all, they're just telling a story, and you might think that the story would just be better in a different way. This is pretty much just a matter of taste and there doesn't seem to be any particular reason to favour the author over anyone else here.

    Next, we have the possibility that someone thinks a story could be improved in a certain way but they're actually objectively wrong, in the sense that their own enjoyment of the story will be dimished by the change, but they just don't realize that.

    A similar case is even more plausible in video games, where the player's mechanical goal (optimize the situation for the PC) may be at odds with the dramatic goal (create the best story). I imagine a similar thing can happen if you've become so invested in the story that you feel you're the protagonist, rather than an observer. This leads to cases where even stories that would be good in "passive" situations make people unhappy, and not in the unhappy sense of "I read a book that was sad but it was good so it's a good sad", just sad. I think most of the grumbles in video gaming are more of this variety. I'm not sure this is best classified as "author's intent"---it seems like a problem specific to "active" stories and probably deserves its own term.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    <snip>

    On the other hand, you can have situations where someone simply doesn't care for the author's intentions, or correctly assesses the intentions but decides they're bobbins. In this case, one can imagine a story that's more appealing to you that ignores the author's intentions. Given that everything is just made up anyway, what's wrong with someone just going with this story? This new story might not be appealing to the original author, but why should I care? Similarly, this new story might not work to indoctrinate/persuade people of something the author was intending to indoctrinate/persuade people to think, but why should we care? We're not bound to be indoctrinated/persuaded by an author. I can see that this would annoy the author but, putting my extremist hat on, if you're trying to make a point by means other than a careful non-fictional essay then I don't really care if you're annoyed.

    <snip>
    This was me with Far Cry 3. Literally the only way I can play that game is to convince myself that the narrative is all Jason's dream. Seen this way, it made sense:

    Deep down Jason Brody knows that not only does he have a horribly cliche name, he is also basically worthless to society as a whole. Spoiled, sheltered and, well...he contributes nothing. Even to his friends. And though he will never admit it to his friends he feels guilty about this.

    So during one of their exotic vacations Jason actually notices "the natives." Those poor struggling people barely getting buy in places where he goes jet skiing and para-sailing. He feels bad, since deep down he wants to contribute, to mean something.

    So while sleeping one night he has this dream: Pirates kidnap him and his friends. They take control of the island. Except, in his dream, the island is different. Every one of the most dangerous species of animal inhabits this island now. From snakes to Cassowaries, the island has become the one place on earth where nature is more dangerous than Australia.

    Not only that, but the pirates conveniently all wear logos or at least bright red, so Jason knows which team they play for. And the island becomes a floating arsenal of military grade weapons, conveniently hidden from view until now. All the island needs now is a savior.

    But there's still one problem. In this situation Grant is far more qualified for Hero than Jason. Army training and all. As a protagonist he would actually have made sense. So the Dream kills him and leaves it up to Jason, who desperately wants to be useful, remember. So he meets Denis (the sage and guide) and discovers the tattoos (to unlock heroic potential) and thus becomes the gun toting rambo (a modern interpretation of the Classic Hero Archtype as seen through the eyes of a spoiled rich kid who has played far too many FPS games and seen one too many action movies).

    Is this the same narrative the writers intended? probably not. Does it convey the same message the original writers intended to convey (whatever that was)? Probably not. But this is a video game and not a novel; that the narrative isn't unique to a player could be a convincing argument that its already failed in this medium in the first play. So I slapped on a different intention/interpretation and went with it, since it makes the awful, awful choices made by the original writers actually tolerable within this context.

  8. #88
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    The problem with your thinking is that the "it's all a dream" isn't absolutelly necessary to "justify" Far Cry 3 plot or make it less unrealistic.
    Did we have to slap "IT'S A DREAM, LOL" on every copy of The Trial? No.

  9. #89
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    Quote Originally Posted by NathanH View Post
    On the other hand, you can have situations where someone simply doesn't care for the author's intentions, or correctly assesses the intentions but decides they're bobbins. In this case, one can imagine a story that's more appealing to you that ignores the author's intentions. Given that everything is just made up anyway, what's wrong with someone just going with this story? This new story might not be appealing to the original author, but why should I care? Similarly, this new story might not work to indoctrinate/persuade people of something the author was intending to indoctrinate/persuade people to think, but why should we care? We're not bound to be indoctrinated/persuaded by an author. I can see that this would annoy the author but, putting my extremist hat on, if you're trying to make a point by means other than a careful non-fictional essay then I don't really care if you're annoyed.
    They have every right to feel that, and there's no law that says they have to be swayed by what the author's original intentions were, nor should there be. But people who talk about how ultimately superfluous authorial intent is, in my experience, frequently interpret that argument as "You can't tell me what I should be feeling/how I should take this story" - the hell I can't, basically.

    It's my right/the author's right to basically say "The point of this story is (X, Y and Z)" and if you think that doesn't work, that's absolutely fine! But you'd better have a damn good reason why, otherwise bluntly, if you don't and I do, what you think is equally worthless. I think far too many people who champion the right to re-frame a story how they please do so because they think the mere act of re-framing it is intrinsically awesome, never mind what anyone's actually re-framed it into, and the way they talk it's as if the people doing the re-framing have achieved some kind of cultural significance the original author never could.

    I think that's crap, or at least an argument based on very, very shaky principles. The people modding Hate Plus have every right to do so, if they don't agree with the author's intentions, but why should they care? Because the author's explained that within the framework of her story that particular event has to happen in order to convey a point of deep, deep importance to the themes and subtexts she's made it very clear are part of the plot. She's given a well thought-out justification for why the idea of someone going against that makes her uncomfortable. What have they offered in return? As far as I can tell, not much more than WAAAAAAH I DON'T WANNA. Sorry: as far as I'm concerned, if you can't come up with any better justification than that, then any talk of how it's your story now is pretty much worth sweet FA.

  10. #90
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus Heliocentric's Avatar
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    "It's a dream" fueled by news reports and TV dramas (and nurses chatting) is a incredible framing device for Driver San Francisco, indeed if he can't mind teleport in the next Driver game I can't imagine it being even a fraction as good. They've narratively painted themselves into a corner, an awesome corner which made a whole new genre Vehicular puzzler.
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  11. #91
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    The people modding Hate Plus have every right to do so, if they don't agree with the author's intentions, but why should they care?
    Why? I would say it's at least unfair and in some cases - unethical.
    Why should they care?
    If they liked certain novel/game/movie that much that they became attached to its characters they should show respect for its creator. If he or she doesn't want to turn his/her work into something that's missing the entire point - they should accept it and move on.
    Instead of a group of people wants to "fix" the work because they didn't liked the outcome (and in Hate Plus I'm sure it wasn't the case of bad writing).

    That's very, very wrong. What if someone wrote pro-catholic novel and some protestants liked it but decided it's not protestant enough and they must "fix" it? That's insane. Stay the fuck out of my work.

  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    What if someone wrote pro-catholic novel and some protestants liked it but decided it's not protestant enough and they must "fix" it? That's insane. Stay the fuck out of my work.
    Religion editing media to suit their agenda? That's ridiculous talk. The best solution I would love it if the fan boys who want this character back wrote a companion story about the Areith like character (Mute?) living on a backup image somewhere waiting to be discovered, caught between Limbo and true death as the battery backup on the drive slowly fades to an unclear ending with a potential choice to make a great sacrifice inferred.
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  13. #93
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    Yeah, that was pretty extraggerated example but I think it's good. Remember that most artists are rather serious about their work, like some people with their religion and beliefs. And if someone wants to turn the climax and whole point of their work into something opposite they may end up very pissed off. I know that I would.

  14. #94
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eight Rooks View Post
    It's my right/the author's right to basically say "The point of this story is (X, Y and Z)" and if you think that doesn't work, that's absolutely fine! But you'd better have a damn good reason why
    I don't really believe in "points" to stories. Or rather, I view them as things external to the story. I don't really care about the opinions of the author, in the sense that I think the opinion of the author has some sort of "moral weight" (if the point they are trying to make interests me, then I pay attention, otherwise I don't). I think it's perfectly normal and reasonable to be interested in a story, because I like stories, without actually caring about the author's motivations. And if their motivations lead them to send the story down a path I find less interesting, then I naturally and reasonably think I'd prefer if they hadn't.

    I think far too many people who champion the right to re-frame a story how they please do so because they think the mere act of re-framing it is intrinsically awesome, never mind what anyone's actually re-framed it into, and the way they talk it's as if the people doing the re-framing have achieved some kind of cultural significance the original author never could.
    I can't say I've ever noticed that attitude, but admittedly I don't spend much time looking at such arguments because I find them pretty tedious (as you can probably tell, I find the arguments based on assumptions that I neither agree with nor find interesting). Still, that attitude does indeed seem strange and wrong.
    Irrelevant on further examination of the rest of the thread.

  15. #95
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    Why? I would say it's at least unfair and in some cases - unethical.
    Why should they care?
    If they liked certain novel/game/movie that much that they became attached to its characters they should show respect for its creator. If he or she doesn't want to turn his/her work into something that's missing the entire point - they should accept it and move on.
    Instead of a group of people wants to "fix" the work because they didn't liked the outcome (and in Hate Plus I'm sure it wasn't the case of bad writing).

    That's very, very wrong. What if someone wrote pro-catholic novel and some protestants liked it but decided it's not protestant enough and they must "fix" it? That's insane. Stay the fuck out of my work.
    I don't buy it. I'm perfectly comfortable judging people for the changes they make and their attitudes about them and the social modes those attitudes represent. I don't think we can go so far as to say it's unethical to recreate the original work for my own non-commercial purposes, publishing only my changes (free of charge) and not the entire volume. I don't understand why liking the work means I have to treat it like some sort of sacred document. Even the best authors make mistakes or have different tastes from me or what-have-you. I owe them my respect as creators of a work I respect, but my respect does not extend to treating their work as a sanctified and unchangeable.

    To me, then, staying the fuck out of your work means not writing you letters (reviews/articles that are not direct explicitly at you, though, are fair game) that I think you should have changed it. It means not getting in your face and trying to change your behaviors (of course if your behaviors violate ethical standards I hold true, this gets a great deal more complicated ... more on that in a second). You don't own the words on the page. You own the right to monopolize money made from those words, you own license to reuse those ideas with a sufficient level of specific similarity to make money ... but you do not own the ideas or the pages or the minds of your audience. You don't get to tell them what to do with your ideas beyond certain extreme legal guidelines. Audience to author: stay the fuck out of my life. It goes both ways.

    More was to be said in a moment: suppose our author supports a cause society has (rightly or wrongly) largely considered awful. We then have both right and obligation to propose the author modify their behaviors. Do we have a right to imprison or otherwise use coercive force to get them to change or desist or to punish them? Not unless their work causes explicit harm to be done by others and it was clearly their intent to rile and raise conflict of exactly that sort and even then it's a bit complicated. But we have every right and obligation to press others to conform to the limits of behavior we feel reasonable and just so long as we also accept that we can be wrong about what is reasonable and just and plan accordingly. Otherwise there's no damn point of talking about right and wrong and ethical and unethical in the first place, and we're right back to not caring if people modify an author's work anyway!

    In any case, I don't think the author holds any sort of fundamental right to the content they produce. Right to benefit from it and have their production recognized in one way or another, sure. But right to control it? No. They put it out into the world; the author is no more dead than the baker collapses from a heart-attack when the bread is out of the oven but like the bake, once their work leaves the door they will look a great fool if they hew and cry to have their work dealt with just so.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 10-08-2014 at 07:19 PM.
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  16. #96
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    I don't own words, but I do own sentences and paragraphs and chapters. And you can't just take them and rewrite them on your own. At least not without breaking the copyright laws.

    Sure, you can use the idea that lies behind my writing but do not touch and alter my story directly. You can critique my work if you think it's stupid, badly written or offensive, especially if your comment is constructive.


    In any case, I don't think the author holds any sort of fundamental right to the content they produce. Right to benefit from it and have their production recognized in one way or another, sure. But right to control it? No.
    So, if I've made a hit song it's ok that everyone can put it in their stupid commercial and then just throw the cheque with enough money at me? Nope, I would never allow that. Sorry, I've made it and I will have full control over it. Of course if I'm not signed to some publisher.

  17. #97
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    I don't own words, but I do own sentences and paragraphs and chapters. And you can't just take them and rewrite them on your own. At least not without breaking the copyright laws.
    This is a misunderstanding of the concept of copyright. Depending on how exactly I go about doing it, I certain'y can just take them and rewrite them on my own. The devil is in the details.

    Sure, you can use the idea that lies behind my writing but do not touch and alter my story directly.
    The distinction between the two is highly abstract the way you're putting it. The law is nowhere near so abstract about it though it is similarly fuzzy.


    So, if I've made a hit song it's ok that everyone can put it in their stupid commercial and then just throw the cheque with enough money at me? Nope, I would never allow that. Sorry, I've made it and I will have full control over it. Of course if I'm not signed to some publisher.
    Actually, compulsory licensing is totally a thing in music. Within certain usage requirements (in the US at least) I can just fill out some paperwork, throw your publisher a cheque, and go to town. I think typically it has to have been broadcast to the public before and it's primarily used for radio licensing though it can also be used for cover songs that meet certain requirements.

    But that's not what we're talking about. We're talking about, essentially, fan-fiction and fan-patches. Original content and/or edits of the primary content. It is possible to distribute such things without distributing the original content and it is certainly possible to do it without distributing it beyond one's immediate circle.

    I can distribute an annotated book; I can even resell a physical annotated book if I would like, at whatever price I deem fit.

    Why the hell would you own sentences and paragraphs? You don't. You have a fuzzy and abstract right to profit from your labors. If we could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that two artists independantly created the exact same sentence or paragraph, there would be no case under most IP law. And from an ethical standpoint, that makes sense, surely. No one stole anyone's stuff. Does that happen? Usually no, or rather people usually don't claim plagarism of the kinds of sentences over which that sort of issue would arise. But it illustrates an important point: you don't won the sentences, the paragraphs, or any such things. You don't own the ideas. You own the actual manuscript (maybe), the files on your computer, and so forth and you own the license to certain aspects of the control and profit from the work those things represent whether or not you own those things anymore. But only certain aspects. It's not so cut-and-dry as the sentences and paragraphs.

    On a personal level, I really can't understand a creator (other than of things like sculpture) wanting that kind of control over other people. You made it; what you made doesn't disappear. It might fade, age, or become unimportant but you made something only barely tangible. You made something that is merely understood through tangible products. People changing the tangibles or the intangibles associated with them cannot and does not change the intangible you created. It's in your head, in your history. It's still there. Stuff it and mount it, if you like--that's a perfectly reasonable thing to want to to with your work. But don't go into people's lives and tell them it must be stuffed and mounted if they would rather let it decay or make something new out of it's pieces.

    You don't own me just because you have created something I like. And that's what this smells like to me; ownership of me. Ownership of how I understand, interpret, consume and experience the creator's work. If they want that kind of hegemony over their produce their welcome to try for it. But don't act like it's my ethical obligation to bow to that. It isn't. It's definitely not my legal obligation.

    But I'd ask you to carefully consider why that's so important to you, too. How you think that benefits you or the work to be so ... grumpy about it. People want to experience else because of something they got from experiencing what you created; for me? I like that. I like the feeling of a living work. I'll still speak out when I think my work is being misused or misunderstood ... but not with the explicit intention of preventing the ideas in my work from mutating ... rather with the intention of being understood. There was something I wanted to say and I want people to understand that; there are things I don't want to say and I want people to understand that. But beyond clear communication and just compensation ... go to town!

    I'm a product of my environment. I don't make anything I make from scratch. It comes from somewhere. Other people, other people's words, the Earth's resources. I am not so isolated in my ivory tower or on my island that I can claim right to fine-grain control over the words I write.
    Last edited by gwathdring; 11-08-2014 at 01:23 AM.
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    Sorry, I will not reply to your whole post - it's little overwhelming for my English skills.

    Let me explain something, because there's some misunderstanding here, I think.

    I was putting that whole "rewrite" mostly it in context of Hate Plus, where people want to leave 3/4 of game untouched, rewrite the rest. Your game was BROKEN but we will FIX it!

    ...

  19. #99
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus gwathdring's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GameCat View Post
    Sorry, I will not reply to your whole post - it's little overwhelming for my English skills.

    Let me explain something, because there's some misunderstanding here, I think.

    I was putting that whole "rewrite" mostly it in context of Hate Plus, where people want to leave 3/4 of game untouched, rewrite the rest. Your game was BROKEN but we will FIX it!

    ...
    I understood that.

    I don't think there's anything inherently wrong with the idea of "fixing" someone else's work to make it more to your liking.

    If they a) don't profit from it, b) don't produce something moral reprehensible (racist, etc) c) don't act like assholes about it ... that sounds fine to me. I might not agree with the specific changes, but I agree with the concept of changing someone's work to suit your needs.

    I don't believe any creator has a right to control what other people do with a story. Control who makes money off of it? Sure. Control who can claim credit for the work? Sure. But control what the audience is allowed to do with the story even after profit and plagiarism are off the table? No one is pretending the author's work is theirs. No one is making money off of the author's work.

    The author has every right to criticize these people. But not, I think, every right to stop them.
    I think of [the Internet] as a grisly raw steak laid out on a porcelain benchtop in the sun, covered in chocolate hazelnut sauce. In the background plays Stardustís Music Sounds Better With You. Thereís lots of fog. --tomeoftom

    You ruined his point by putting it in context thatís cheating -bull0

  20. #100
    Lesser Hivemind Node Oshada's Avatar
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    Has anyone mentioned the fact that they're doing this to try and get an unobtainable achievement on Steam? For people who care about such things that is intolerable and I'm not surprised at all that people are trying workarounds to get it.

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