Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Rip Off!

It had been ‘one of those’ days. Hell, who was he kidding? It had been ‘one of those’ years. Murphy’s Law was not only the absolute truth, but it sucked too! Everything that could go wrong had gone wrong, but he’d been dealing with it the only way he could. Drinking. Alcohol helped dull the pain, even if it was only temporary.

And, he had more pain than anybody should have to feel. Jon and the others had been there for him, more times than he could count, but there was only so much they could do. Jon might be considered a miracle worker when it came to writing a song or turning what could have been a washed up over the hill band into hit makers again, but Jon couldn’t bring back his dad or unfile his divorce.

Alcohol had become his closest friend. He’d lost count of how many times he’d found himself in the bottom of a bottle. His ‘brothers’ had called a ‘family’ meeting though and convinced him that he and his newest best friend just weren’t the buddies he had thought they were. He agreed with his brothers and went into a rehab for detox.

He’d been home a month now and felt better everyday. A week ago, he’d actually laughed, if you could call it that. The sound he’d made had sounded so rusty, he almost didn’t recognize it and started to go get something to "oil" it with. Now, he found himself laughing at the smallest things and even cracking jokes and making his ‘brothers’ giggle like kids again.

But then there was...Today.

It all started with an early morning phone call from Jon, who somehow never seemed to remember that it was three whole hours later in Jersey than in L.A.

"Rich," Jon said without preamble when he sleepily answered the phone, "go check your email. I sent you something you’ve got to hear."

"Jon," he replied, his voice still gravely from interrupted sleep, "what time is it?"

"Uh," Jon answered, as he looked at his watch, "a little past 8, why?"

"Damn it, Jon," he replied, his words lacking any real heat, "it’s only ‘a little past’ 5 here."

"Sorry," the singer mumbled.

"I know," Richie answered, like a million other times he’d said the same phrase, "you forgot about the time difference."

"No, actually," Jon corrected, "I just didn’t give a damn about the time difference. This shit is huge!"

"Nothing is huge at 5 a.m," Richie stated.

"Rich," Jon said patiently, "somebody’s ripped off one of your songs!"

"What the fuck?"

"Thought that would get your attention," Jon told him, smugly. "Go check your email and then call me back."

"No, just stand by while I make some coffee, I’ll call you back after the caffeine’s working."

He rolled out of bed, pulling on a pair of jogging pants and grabbing up the cordless phone before he stumbled down stairs to the kitchen. Thanking the caffeine gods that he had gotten the coffee pot ready the night before, he pushed the button to start it dripping.

Within a few minutes, he had a coffee cup in hand and was sitting at the bar in his kitchen with his lap top open. Quickly, he hit the speed dial button that would dial Jon’s cell, as his email loaded.

"Have you checked it yet?" Jon asked in way of an answer.

"It’s loading," Richie answered, "so what am I looking at?"

"Just open the email you dumb fuck," Jon teased, "even you know how to do that. Then just click download to download the attachment. It’s the song."

"How’d you get it?" Richie asked, clicking on download.

"Obie sent it to me, don’t know how he heard it, but you know how crazy his taste in music is. It’s some one-hit-wonder artist that’s obviously a fan of your solo stuff. But I gotta warn ya, the guy sucks."

Richie loaded the song in his media player, and leaned back in the chair. He recognized the opening notes of the song almost immediately, but when the guy began to sing, Richie burst into laughter.

If the Lord was a female,
would she catch your eye,
if she wore your tuxedo shirt,
and your favorite red tie.

Richie couldn’t help it; he laughed so hard his sides hurt. He finally clicked the mouse to turn off the song.

"I can’t believe you find this funny," Jon told him.

"Aw hell, Jon," Richie said between bursts of laughter, "I gotta laugh or go stark raving lunatic on the jackass. If he was gonna plagiarize my stuff, the least he coulda done was made the shit good."


norwichliz said...

I know how you feel T. I haven't had anything quite to that extent, but I've seen little things show up in other people's stories that I wrote in mine. I try to look at it that mimicry is the greatest form of flattery...but again, my situation wasn't as big as yours.

I sometimes worry that people think I've stolen a few things from them, but usually I already have the chapter written (just not posted) or already planned for my story and it's too big a part of it to change.

Loved how you got your point across!

LovethatSambora said...

I know exactly which site you mean. The wording to describe scenes are even a rip-off. Yours was the first fan fic site I ever read and your stories are great. Your readers know the difference. Keep up the good work, your talent shines through.

From a fellow Topix member.

Opester said...

great way to address the issue-i admire your creativity! I would have been pretty angry myself, but I do recognize some similarities in a lot of the stuff out there with mine, but nothing I would call outright plagiarism fortunately. Sometimes I think of it as a "like minds think alike" and other times I just realize there are limits to how many different ways to describe an orgasm exist, LOL! But it sounds like specific story elements here were copied and that's just not a cool thing to do- I only know one other fan fic with a plane crash, but I didn't read much beyond that as the story was really bad. Don't know if it was that one or not, but I doubt it could resemble yours as your writing is extremely well done and the one I read was just wretched. You have my sympathy, tho, and I am glad you see the humor just as Richie did.

CelticCross said...

Seeing as i've just read a recently posted story with an opening scene that could've been taken from one of mine I can sure empathise with this. It makes me a little mad but mostly it makes me feel sorry for her - she obviously has no ideas of her own and has to rip from others minds. As Richie says, if you're gonna rip then at least make sure it's good.....