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Respect, Respect, and Respect for Originality

Posted on 2013-Feb-11

by Gof (Google+)

Controversial Attention


If you think you have the audacity to change the front cover at will to replace a boring cover with a sexy and steamy illustration, you will declare war with an army of loyal readers. The first series of Anne of Green Cables is the center of attention, and not because readers have praised the re-release of the classic novel in the form of Kindle Edition. It was the contemporary cover design of placing an alluring girl with dreamy eyes that stirs controversy and anger toward fans whose respect for the classic book remains unchanged.

Distorted Makeover


Negative criticism fans the flames of disapproval of the choice the publisher has made. With no hesitation, The Guardian publicized the real culprit and rubbed salt in the wounds with details about disgraceful one-star reviews. Similarly, readers are not shy to dislike the sexual manipulation of the main character they have grown to love. How could the image designer treat an innocent 10-year-old ginger-haired girl to extreme makeover into a “sexy farmgirl” to merely provoke promiscuity instead of honesty to recapitulate the essence of story plot emphasizing Anne’s devotion to repaying her adoptive guardians? Some even raised a simple question whether the publisher had thoroughly read the book. Having consulted Google Images for help with the portrayal of Anne, the typical consensus appears to standardize the character trait that bears no resemblance to her 21st century transformation.

Vague Adaptation

On a separate occasion, years ago I recalled an incident that a film adaptation failed to exude the radiant charm of what the author had originally intended to focus. According to Rotten Tomatoes, the 1998 rework of Charles Dickens’ classic-Great Expectations-draws displeasing comments blaming the “fashion statement” of summoning beautiful people to superficially portray the plot. As opposed to fan’s like at the percentage of 75, the movie’s rating was reduced to 35%.

Honest Interpretation

As opposed to the earlier disapproval, David Lean’s iconic adaptation tells a different story. Unlike the contemporary experiment with style, the level of honesty that the film stays true to the book is well-received by their fans garnering hands-down praises and accolades. Apparently, it is better to respect the work of art that authors have long crafted. While misinterpretation and overly stylized characterization could jeopardize original materials, they do give liberty to artists who dare to make a new statement in modern era. What Joanna Cabot’s ‘respecting the reader’ means might refer to their obligatory retrospection of the audience’s mind.

Copyright Lawsuit

Another originality issue coincidentally comes from the same source of information that discusses the copyright lawsuit at length. However, the case study of originality is taken out of context and thus results in nasty injustice to the damage the self-publisher’s money and reputation. Even though there is no real copyright infringement or plagiarism to be bothered with in the first place, the adoption of trademarked term ‘space marine’ caused so much more trouble than she might have originally thought. Trouble meant Amazon temporarily removed her book from their digital shelf excluding the horrid legal costs to defend herself. Five-figure legal cost was mentioned to silence Hogarth’s call to justice; fortunately, all things changed when Electronic Frontier Foundation lent their hand for a friendly support. Clearly, the moral lesson learned from this incident is happy ending when your alliance helps you out when you are down. Hospitable colleagues like John Scalzi and Cory Doctorow were honored separately due to their acts of generosity.

Respect for Originality


All in all, respect is a powerful term that can wield destructive power or encourage constructive support for all parties involved. Let us learn from here that respect for originality equals to paying homage to the creator’s creativity and intensive labor. The case of Anne’s makeover suffices to unite avid readers to fight in order to retain the intellectual property whereas the ‘space marine’ incident reminds content creators to partner in order to legalize justice for all independent spirit. Most importantly, may authors take reader’s voice to their heart and continue to make the literary world a better and fairer place for long-lasting success.

Label: eBook Industry News

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