Did That TV Show Steal My Idea? Probably Not…

Did That TV Show Steal My Idea? Probably Not…

Q – 

I started writing a book on my computer about ten years ago, but never finished it because life has been very busy for me. Recently, I watched this new show that started last year that is exactly the same as far as storyline and characters. Could it be coincidence?

I don’t remember ever sharing my unfinished book with anyone. I did lose my thumb drive somewhere around my town with a backup of it years ago. But it was an encrypted thumb drive and I live in a small town in the country.

And, since I did it on my computer, it is dated years ago. So, what can I do? I gave up on my book because of that show.


A –

In all likelihood, it’s simply a coincidence. Even if it wasn’t, if your story wasn’t finished and copyrighted, your attempts to collect damages would fail if you couldn’t prove that person stole your thumb drive and, subsequently, your idea.

With more than a million books published each year now, and endless numbers of new TV shows debuting (online and off), it’s not unusual for two stories with corresponding plots and characters to be oddly similar.

I had (what I thought was) a great book idea outlined many years ago. I even had the book title finalized. It was (I thought) so clever! I was about to start writing it when another book with not only the same plot line, but also the same title, came on the market. I’d told nobody about my book idea, outline, and title. It was sheer coincidence. I had to give up on my idea, too.

Later, a TV show with the same plot and types of characters (but a different name) debuted. My idea, of course, wasn’t as original as I’d thought.

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