Thursday, August 16, 2012
Critics have said the show is 40 minutes – 30 minutes of directly stealing a US sitcom story and 10 minutes of jokes stolen from other sources.
The producers can deny all they want but how hard will it be to compare a translated episode of their show to the U.S. version they stole? I guess the question is, can you sue China? I doubt if individual writers have the clout but the studios sure do. So will they? Or are they willing to look the other way so as not to ruffle feathers? It may be more important to establish good relationships with Chinese networks and producers for future ventures.
But again, if the allegations are true, it’s reprehensible – not just to our writers but to China’s writers. iPARTMENT is essentially saying Chinese writers aren’t good enough so they have to steal from America. That’s an unwarranted slap in the face.
And the practice is also utterly stupid.
In the heyday of Top 40 radio, disc jockeys in one market would blatantly steal the acts of disc jockeys in another. If a jock in Buffalo was imitating a jock in San Francisco, how many Buffalo listeners would ever know? That’s why you had Emperor Bob and Emperor Gene and Emperor Don, and Robert W. Morgan and Roger W. Morgan, and the Real Don Steele and the Real Pete McNeal and the True Don Blu.
But today we live in a global world with instantaneous communication. I can sit in Los Angeles and watch iPARTMENT online. Someone in China can recognize the plagiary and with one click alert the entire world. So who are they foolin’?
To implore the producers of iPARTMENT to stop stealing is I’m sure pointless. They’re not creative people, they’re thieves. I can only hope that public pressure and legal consequences force them to stop or better yet, to shut down production.
U.S. writers deserve compensation and Chinese viewers deserve original television.
By Ken Levine at 6:00 AM