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Old 02-13-2010, 08:01 AM
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Does Star Trek DS9 rip off Babylon 5?


An offshoot of another thread. New thread started to avoid hijacking the original.

The discussion so far :

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Originally Posted by Mr. Excellent View Post
I'm certainly not a fan of Rice, but as a dedicated Trekkie I'll admit that the franchise has been less than scrupulous at times. And by "at times", I mean, "for the entire run of Deep Space Nine, which was almost certainly ripped off from Babylon Five."
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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
cite? According to IMDB records DS9 was over a year before B5.Abd I think it had its plot arc planned out from the start.
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Originally Posted by Darkhold View Post
Paramount had his series bible.

Really if you look at DS9 it was nothing like any of the trek before it and it makes a lot more sense if you see it as inspired by the plot outline of Babylon 5 not as an outgrowth of Trek.
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Originally Posted by friedo View Post
People who say this kinda thing like to yammer about "but but but they both take place on space stations! And they both have commanding officers who like baseball! And they're both about wars! In space!"

But aside from that, they're pretty dissimilar. It's like complaining that Band of Brothers is a ripoff of Hogna's Heroes because they're both about American soldiers fighting Zee Germans.
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Originally Posted by ZPhobiaZ View Post
Many people, when this topic comes up, will point out that DS9 aired earlier.

I wonder, if they care enough to get their air dates right, why they don't care enough to look just a tad deeper and learn that that JMS(the creator of Babylon 5) pitched the Bab 5 concept to paramount a few years before they came up with DS9.

There are quite a few similarities between the show in setting, in tone, and in plot even so far as the captain of the station becoming a great spiritual leader.

Considering paramount had b5 pitched to them before writing DS9, and the vast similarities, only a fool would be familiar with the history of the shows and doubt JMS's ideas had some influence for which he never received credit.
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Originally Posted by Chimera View Post
Captain becoming spiritual leader? Check.
One race recently liberated from faded empire? Check.
Leader named Dukat? Check.
Female first officer? Check.
Minority doctor? Check.

Powerful "outside" race trying to foment wars to increase their power? Check.
Dominion vs. Shadows.

I'm sure with some time I could come up with more, these are just the surface similarities.
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Originally Posted by ZPhobiaZ View Post
Clearly, I agree with your conclusion, but I think your reaching on the doctor point. I assume you refer to Bashir's being a genengineered freak, but I always had the impression that was an idea they cooked up midway through the series.

Also, black people are not genetically engineered.

As for Franklin, while the doctor was black, I don't recall anything in the series which implied to me that role was written specifically to be a minority character. Perhaps the best man for the role just simply happened to be black. Or, they simply wanted a black actor somewhere and the man going for Franklin was the best candidate.

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Old 02-13-2010, 08:06 AM
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Okay, so Paramount saw the B5 bible. But it is a large company. Is there any evidence that anyone working on DS9 ever saw it? And if so, is it certain they did sobefore they came up with the idea for DS9?

I'm sure it takes a long time to develop a TV series, and I'll bet that the DS9 creators were already working on their bible when JMS pitched his.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
Okay, so Paramount saw the B5 bible. But it is a large company. Is there any evidence that anyone working on DS9 ever saw it? And if so, is it certain they did sobefore they came up with the idea for DS9?
I don't know of any evidence that it directly influence the development of DS9, but it would be an amazing coincidence if they developed so similar in theme without there being influence.

Seriously, DS9 reads out like someone at Paramount said "okay, this JMS guy had some interesting ideas now let's have our guys work out the details and fit it into our Star Trek franchise... we'll get more viewers that way"
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:25 AM
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Originally Posted by ZPhobiaZ View Post
I don't know of any evidence that it directly influence the development of DS9, but it would be an amazing coincidence if they developed so similar in theme without there being influence.
But with so many TV shows being made at any one time, co-incidences are bound to happen occasionally. Like the films Big and Vice-Versa coming out in the same year.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:27 AM
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Babylon 5 was built around a 5 year arc. Up until then I honestly don't remember any TV show (let alone a Trek one) at the time doing anything similar. It's much more prevalent now though so I'd be willing to say coincidental rather than intentional.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Peter Morris View Post
But with so many TV shows being made at any one time, co-incidences are bound to happen occasionally. Like the films Big and Vice-Versa coming out in the same year.
Oh yeah, coincidences are bound to happen, but, with Paramount having had a look at B5 before they started working on DS9, it seems less like more of a stretch to assume it was a coincidence than to conclude B5 provided some inspiration.

Edit: Also, about your exapmle, IIRC both Big and Vice Versa(especially vice versa) were hopping on the magic thingamabob swicthes bodies bandwagon of the 80s. They both had earlier inspiration. B5 was pretty original in concept. So I find it quite a stretch that they came up with the same original concept at the same time, and the fact that paramount had b5's playbook had nothing to do with it.

Last edited by ZPhobiaZ; 02-13-2010 at 08:37 AM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:39 AM
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The time line is this: Straczynski pitched the idea to Paramount first. They turned it down. Then Warner Brothers bought B5. Soon after, Paramount announced DS9. The timing was noted from the start.

It's hard not to conclude that Paramount didn't create DS9 in reaction to B5. They saw Warner Brothers was doing a show in a space station (and, when they turned down B5, they didn't say, "we have something similar in the works"), so decided that's where Star Trek should go.

Ultimately, it's a minor point, since other than being set on a space station, the shows were quite different.
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Old 02-13-2010, 08:44 AM
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Also as referred to in the Wiki article the original B5 scripts called for a shape shifter character cue Odo. As has already been mentioned the shift from stories in a box vs an arc was completely out of the blue for a Trek series but the entire premise of B5. Also a noticeable shift away from techno babble solutions to more character driven problems (though techno babble was still in full force in many episodes). This you could write off as the loss of Gene Roddenberry and his insistence that star fleet offers don't have character conflicts I suppose.

Also we have a race led by prophecies. In DS9 it was aliens outside of time. In B5 it was by a time traveling captain. The Vorlons (who were responsible for the time travel) are angelic aliens that influenced religions. The worm hole aliens were outside of time and were gods.

To me it's pretty clear that DS9 borrowed pretty heavily from the B5 series bible. I'm not saying they weren't very different shows or that DS9 was somehow tainted by all the borrowing but there's little doubt that some stealing did take place and was adapted to the trek universe.

Last edited by Darkhold; 02-13-2010 at 08:46 AM.
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Old 02-13-2010, 10:15 AM
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I'm not sure the Space War was planned in Ds9.

The original concept was centered around the Bajorans. A spiritual and artistic people that had turned to terrorism to rid their planet of an occupying force (Cardassians). The transition to self government and a return to peace was the theme. Nearly all S1 dealt with this. There was one episode that dealt with an attempted government coup. The rebels took over Ds9. There were episodes that dealt with religious fanatics (Ds9's school blown up). Kira was the former terrorist trying to adjust to authority. Some of her former friends saw her as a traitor because she supported the new gov.

Someone must have realized the show was a little to serious and academic. The Founders were introduced S2 and eventually all out war. The Bajoran stories nearly disappeared.

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Old 02-14-2010, 03:07 PM
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I watched every episode of both when they first aired. Other than the fact that both involved a space station and a big war, I don't really think they're that similar.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:31 PM
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Not at all similar. Babylon 5 was good.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:32 PM
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I thought DS9 was the best of the Star Trek shows. I really liked it. I liked Babylon 5 too.
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Old 02-14-2010, 03:50 PM
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Yea, I'm in the "co-incidence" crowd. You have enough people making fictional stories in similar genres and drawing from similar past works, and your gonna end up with some being similar.

Example: shortly before Harry Potter came out, Niel Gaiman wrote a comic book about a adopted spectacled british kid who finds out he's destined to be a great wizard, given an owl as a familiar and taken away to learn about magic. I seriously doubt that Rowlings ripped this off, they just happened on the same combination of fantasy elements and wrote similar set ups for their stories (which quickly diverge after the initial set-up anyways).

And really all the similarities are just sci-fi/fantasy tropes. Space Stations, "races led by prophecies", time traveling enemies, aliens mistaken as gods. Both series share these things not only with each other, but with several dozen other sci-fi books shows and movies.
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Old 02-14-2010, 08:23 PM
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This kind of thing happens all the time coincidentally -- two movies about volcanoes, two movies about giant meteors heading for earth, two shows about Chicago hospitals ("Chicago Hope" and "E.R.").

Companies like Paramount and Warner are not shy about taking these things to court. If they had even a slight case for believing that there had been monkey business, there would have been a lawsuit.
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Old 02-14-2010, 09:07 PM
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Sorry, but the timing says "no coincidence." Paramount did not make the slightest mention of another Start Trek spinoff (not even to Straczynski) until after Warner Brothers announced Babylon 5 was in production.

You're right in that the similarities were common SF tropes -- which is why it never reached the lawsuit phase (and Straczynski decided that there was no reason). But Paramount would never have tried to do this spin off if Warners hadn't bought B5.

Paramount had gotten a pitch on Babylon 5 (which included the series bible and plot synopses of the first season) , turned it down, and did nothing until after B5 was announced, at which point they announced a new show that they had never been mentioned before. The fact that they didn't announce anything about DS9 until after WB had picked up B5 makes the whole affair stink.

Paramount's motivation was to freeze out Warner Brothers, thinking that a series set on a space station would succeed on the Star Trek name and keep B5 off the air (and it almost did). They wanted to take up time slots for their shows and deny them to Warner Brothers (this was before they had networks).

Now some of the things on DS9 were coincidence (maybe), but the creation of the show was definitely not.
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 02-14-2010 at 09:07 PM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Sorry, but the timing says "no coincidence."

....

Paramount's motivation was to freeze out Warner Brothers, thinking that a series set on a space station would succeed on the Star Trek name and keep B5 off the air (and it almost did). They wanted to take up time slots for their shows and deny them to Warner Brothers (this was before they had networks).

Now some of the things on DS9 were coincidence (maybe), but the creation of the show was definitely not.
That's all you've got for such solid certainty about motivation? Stranger things have happened in life.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:10 AM
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Originally Posted by RealityChuck View Post
Sorry, but the timing says "no coincidence." Paramount did not make the slightest mention of another Start Trek spinoff (not even to Straczynski) until after Warner Brothers announced Babylon 5 was in production.

You're right in that the similarities were common SF tropes -- which is why it never reached the lawsuit phase (and Straczynski decided that there was no reason). But Paramount would never have tried to do this spin off if Warners hadn't bought B5.

Paramount had gotten a pitch on Babylon 5 (which included the series bible and plot synopses of the first season) , turned it down, and did nothing until after B5 was announced, at which point they announced a new show that they had never been mentioned before. The fact that they didn't announce anything about DS9 until after WB had picked up B5 makes the whole affair stink.

Paramount's motivation was to freeze out Warner Brothers, thinking that a series set on a space station would succeed on the Star Trek name and keep B5 off the air (and it almost did). They wanted to take up time slots for their shows and deny them to Warner Brothers (this was before they had networks).

Now some of the things on DS9 were coincidence (maybe), but the creation of the show was definitely not.

If Paramount had nothing in the works for DS9 until after WB had started Babylon 5, why did DS9 hit the air a full year sooner? You timeline still has not addressed this.

Last edited by Death of Rats; 02-15-2010 at 10:11 AM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 10:43 AM
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The situation was reversed with the original Star Trek and Lost in Space.

Roddenberry pitched his show to CBS. They said no. Then, Lost in Space airs on CBS.
Coincidence? Perhaps. However, Roddenberry didn't think so.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:17 AM
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Hollywood is full of leeches who won't pay a dime for your idea, but will happily steal it, change it slightly and come out with their own at the same time.

Just look how many movies we've had in the past, on the exact same subject, at the exact same time.

I'm sure there are 2000 people out there right now pitching ideas to rip off Avatar and make a slightly different movie or a TV series out of it.
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Old 02-15-2010, 11:24 AM
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If Paramount had nothing in the works for DS9 until after WB had started Babylon 5, why did DS9 hit the air a full year sooner? You timeline still has not addressed this.
What are you talking about? From the wiki:
The pilot episode of Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (DS9) aired just weeks before the debut of Babylon 5. Babylon 5 creator J. Michael Straczynski indicated that Paramount was aware of his concept as early as 1989

B5 the regular series didn't start until 94 but the pilot had aired in 93 same year as the pilot for DS9. The network was understandably uncertain about B5's ability to compete with DS9 and no doubt held back on production. Whereas Paramount once it greenlit DS9 it would have no reason to hold back on producing a continuation of a known and popular franchise. They had the concept of B5 sitting around for years already at this point. Possibly so long they had forgotten where it even came from (if you want to be charitable about it).
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:02 PM
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I recall there being some discussion at time over the fact that the Starship Defiant was introduced in DS9 and the White Star in B5 was shortly afterward, or vice versa, and that one might have taken that idea from the other.

I liked both shows, although watching them now I see huge problems with both.
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Old 02-15-2010, 12:41 PM
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I recall there being some discussion at time over the fact that the Starship Defiant was introduced in DS9 and the White Star in B5 was shortly afterward, or vice versa, and that one might have taken that idea from the other.
But again, the idea of adding a spaceship to your show about a spacestation isn't exactly so obscure that two people couldn't come up with it simultaneously. It seems kinda obvious once you start running low on story lines that take place in a confined area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RealityChuck
Paramount's motivation was to freeze out Warner Brothers, thinking that a series set on a space station would succeed on the Star Trek name and keep B5 off the air (and it almost did). They wanted to take up time slots for their shows and deny them to Warner Brothers (this was before they had networks).
Maybe, but in anycase, that's considerably different from the claim that Paramount ripped material directly off B5. Networks adjust their programing pretty constantly to compete with each other, I have no problem believing that Paramount decided to launch a sci-fi show in response to WB's deciding to do the same. But I don't see that as particularly sinister (hell, its a good thing, if your a sci-fi fan). I actually vaguely remember that there was kind of a wave of sci-fi shows at the time: DSV, Space: above and Beyond, and Earth 2.

Plus the timing isn't that mysterious, ST:TNG was ending, and Paramount wanted to keep the franchise from dying.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:02 PM
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You all are forgetting the most important question:

Which Captain grew a beard first?
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:42 PM
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I'm going by memory here but didn't DS9 has two episodes with a high ranking military figure faking a crisis to install martial law and B5 had a high ranking military figure fighting a regime that imposed martial law...both played by Robert Foxworth?

Of course the all-time champion in stealing ideas was in the early 1990s was when ABC, CBS and NBC all had movies of the week about the Amy Fisher-Joey Buttafuco case.
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Old 02-15-2010, 02:57 PM
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Companies like Paramount and Warner are not shy about taking these things to court. If they had even a slight case for believing that there had been monkey business, there would have been a lawsuit.
The arguments for seem to make it sound like its Paramount vs JMC, big company vs little guy. I always thought that the studio behind the little guy would be more than happy to weigh in if they thought they could get a squeeze on their rivals.

Kind of like the way the moon landing deniers make it seem like its them vs NASA when it comes to uncovering the truth. Forgetting that the USSR would have been more than happy to back up any discovery that would discredit the US.
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Old 02-15-2010, 03:49 PM
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The arguments for seem to make it sound like its Paramount vs JMC, big company vs little guy. I always thought that the studio behind the little guy would be more than happy to weigh in if they thought they could get a squeeze on their rivals.

Kind of like the way the moon landing deniers make it seem like its them vs NASA when it comes to uncovering the truth. Forgetting that the USSR would have been more than happy to back up any discovery that would discredit the US.
Yeah that's totally alike. A huge conspiracy about one of history's most important events and the possibility that a network might have been less then honest in its dealings.

Nobody here is saying Paramount sent over spies to copy down the early drafts of B5 and concocted DS9 in a secret lab in order to screw over B5. It's just very likely that if you look at all the similarities of the characters, the setting, the sudden change in tone and the fact that THEY HAD HIS SERIES BIBLE that maybe just maybe they cribbed a few notes and stole a few ideas.

And really unless they had a memo that said "hey we're totally stealing all this guys work. I sure hope nobody reads this and sues us" there's no way the other studio would have won a lawsuit. Especially if JMS wasn't behind it 100% (which it sounds like he wasn't).
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:04 PM
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THEY HAD HIS SERIES BIBLE
Who had it? Who specificially? "Paramount" isn't enough. Unless you have definitive proof that the production team that actually created DS9 had access to it, you don't have anything. Copyright infringement cases hang on the question of who exactly had an opportunity to see something.

Quote:
And really unless they had a memo that said "hey we're totally stealing all this guys work. I sure hope nobody reads this and sues us" there's no way the other studio would have won a lawsuit.
Wrong.

Access and opportunity combined with a finding of substantial similarity to the copyrightable portions of a work are enough to prove an infringement case. It happens all the time.

(after that come the questions of whether anything in the bible was copyrightable and if anything that DS9 did was substantially similar to anything copyrightable in the bible)

Last edited by Acsenray; 02-15-2010 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:32 PM
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You all are forgetting the most important question:

Which Captain grew a beard first?
No, the more important question is:

What is more dangerous than a locked room full of angry Klingons?
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Old 02-15-2010, 06:53 PM
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No, the more important question is:

What is more dangerous than a locked room full of angry Klingons?
Well, as long as it stays locked...
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:48 PM
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No, the more important question is:

What is more dangerous than a locked room full of angry Klingons?
A room full of angry Narn, of course.

(And the only thing more dangerous than a room full of angry Narn is: A single angry Narn, with the key!)
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Old 02-15-2010, 09:50 PM
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Well, as long as it stays locked...
That only helps if you're on the right side of the door.
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Old 02-16-2010, 12:51 AM
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Who had it? Who specificially? "Paramount" isn't enough. Unless you have definitive proof that the production team that actually created DS9 had access to it, you don't have anything. Copyright infringement cases hang on the question of who exactly had an opportunity to see something.
Ahh I see we need a clear chain of evidence that's hard to prove without having memos or some other very specific evidence.
Quote:
Wrong.

Access and opportunity combined with a finding of substantial similarity to the copyrightable portions of a work are enough to prove an infringement case. It happens all the time.
Ahh I see all we need now is access and opportunity.

As for happens all the time not really. It's really hard to make something 100% original. Just the other day I wrote a short story only to realize it was almost a complete rip-off of a Cliver Barker story halfway through. Could he have sued me? No the elements and the plot were only vaguely there but once I saw it I knew what happened. If I published it the only proof would be that I have copy of that book on my bookshelf. Maybe someone on some message board would notice and argue if it was a homage or a rip off or a coincidence.
Quote:
(after that come the questions of whether anything in the bible was copyrightable and if anything that DS9 did was substantially similar to anything copyrightable in the bible)
Wait now we need access and opportunity and proof the series bible held copywritable material and that the two are substantially similar and a chain of evidence of who had what.

Make up your mind. Is this easy or not? Because one Access and opportunity seems to be met just by what we know. The rest we'll need search warrants and to go before a judge who has to use his/her subjective point of view about what is similar and what isn't.

But here's a point you missed. This isn't a court of law. I'm not saying B5 should have dragged DS9 to court. Even before I knew about the controversy I thought there was something fishy going on. Years later when I heard about it the details made perfect sense. I'm convinced. It hasn't really changed anything in my life. I'm not worried about it and it's not some grand conspiracy. I'm a little baffled that some people can't see it and it kills some time to post about it but really it doesn't generate any outrage.

Last edited by Darkhold; 02-16-2010 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 01:06 AM
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As for happens all the time not really. It's really hard to make something 100% original. Just the other day I wrote a short story only to realize it was almost a complete rip-off of a Cliver Barker story halfway through. Could he have sued me? No the elements and the plot were only vaguely there but once I saw it I knew what happened. If I published it the only proof would be that I have copy of that book on my bookshelf. Maybe someone on some message board would notice and argue if it was a homage or a rip off or a coincidence.
I should have been a little clearer on my point here. It's unlikely that my story was close enough to the original to be lawsuit material. Just like I don't think DS9 and B5 are close enough to be lawsuit material (unless someone did produce my aforementioned memo). Comedians steal jokes, companies steal ideas, authors are influenced by what they read. This instance is just a little more obvious and a little more egregious.

I'm not trying to argue B5 had a lawsuit. It just seems like DS9 ripped off or was inspired by the series bible of B5.

Last edited by Darkhold; 02-16-2010 at 01:09 AM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:41 AM
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DS9 absolutely was a ripoff of many elements of B5. It would be one hell of a series of coincidences if not.

I used to post on the babylon 5 newsgroups (remember those?!) back when the show was airing which had some pretty serious discussion and which JMS also participated in. There were some pretty extensive discussions of this subject, and I remember coming away very convinced that DS9 very clearly ripped off of JMS' pitch and series material. It's over a decade since this happened so I'm fuzzy on the details, but I remember people making very extensive lists of the various similarities, and in depth discussion of the timing of the issue along with the information paramount had, and there's almost no doubt that they deliberately copied a lot of the ideas.

Ultimately, it ended up being a good thing. DS9 is the best trek series because of the stuff they stole from B5, both in terms of story and thematically. DS9 had plenty of soulless technobabble boring episodes, but it also in the middle and end ran with extensive story arcs which sometimes had real consequences for the characters, and which showed that the future wasn't a hippy paradise, and that there were characters with flaws. DS9 is essentially the most adult and interesting of the treks because it tried to be thematically more like Babylon 5 than TNG.
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Old 02-16-2010, 05:56 AM
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Ultimately, it ended up being a good thing. DS9 is the best trek series because of the stuff they stole from B5, both in terms of story and thematically. DS9 had plenty of soulless technobabble boring episodes, but it also in the middle and end ran with extensive story arcs which sometimes had real consequences for the characters, and which showed that the future wasn't a hippy paradise, and that there were characters with flaws. DS9 is essentially the most adult and interesting of the treks because it tried to be thematically more like Babylon 5 than TNG.
It has always been my belief that DS9 was the best Trek series because Quark put Captain Sisko in his place for the typical Starfleet better-than-thou attitude:

Quark: I think I figured out why Humans don't like Ferengi.
Sisko: Not now, Quark.
Quark: The way I see it, Humans used to be a lot like Ferengi: greedy, acquisitive, interested only in profit. We're a constant reminder of a part of your past you'd like to forget.
Sisko: Quark, we don't have time for this.
Quark: You're overlooking something. Humans used to be a lot worse than the Ferengi: slavery, concentration camps, interstellar wars. We have nothing in our past that approaches that kind of barbarism. You see? We're nothing like you... we're better.
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Old 02-16-2010, 11:34 AM
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Ultimately, it ended up being a good thing. DS9 is the best trek series because of the stuff they stole from B5, both in terms of story and thematically. DS9 had plenty of soulless technobabble boring episodes, but it also in the middle and end ran with extensive story arcs which sometimes had real consequences for the characters, and which showed that the future wasn't a hippy paradise, and that there were characters with flaws. DS9 is essentially the most adult and interesting of the treks because it tried to be thematically more like Babylon 5 than TNG.
Exactly. No other Star Trek show has ever had the level of character development that DS9 had. For me the best example is Jake's (crap is that his name - it has been ages) Ferengi friend. He went from a young boy causing mischief to a battle scarred veteran that lost a limb and descended into bitterness.

All from memory there though. It has been years since I saw a DS9.
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:40 PM
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Yeah that's totally alike. A huge conspiracy about one of history's most important events and the possibility that a network might have been less then honest in its dealings
It depends what message board you bring the subject matter up on
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Old 02-16-2010, 02:50 PM
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Exactly. No other Star Trek show has ever had the level of character development that DS9 had. For me the best example is Jake's (crap is that his name - it has been ages) Ferengi friend. He went from a young boy causing mischief to a battle scarred veteran that lost a limb and descended into bitterness.

All from memory there though. It has been years since I saw a DS9.
Nog. Why that name sticks in my mind is a mystery.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:23 PM
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I watched every episode of both when they first aired. Other than the fact that both involved a space station and a big war, I don't really think they're that similar.
I hadn't thought through all the similarities, of which there were more than I recalled before reading this thread, but this is still how I see it. I liked both very much, but would give the edge to DS9 for better acting, sets and sfx.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:29 PM
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Meh, I think it's more a case of somebody thinking, "ooh, diplomacy on a space station, that could work" than ripping off, per se. Yeah, you're gonna find a shit-ton of minor similarities, if you look for them, but I think that's just confirmation bias. Hell, you can find the same level of similarities between pretty much any ST show and B5: Female psychic on staff? Blond chick gets killed off? Plot arc dealing with freedom-fighters/terrorists? TNG or B5 - you decide.
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Old 02-16-2010, 03:34 PM
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Female psychic on staff? Blond chick gets killed off? Plot arc dealing with freedom-fighters/terrorists? TNG or B5 - you decide.
Hell, I thought you were talking about Voyager!
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:08 PM
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When I first saw Babylon 5, I actually though it was trying to be Star Trek.

I personally think the idea for DS9 came from B5, but they branched far enough to be completely different shows by the time they actually aired. Yet, for marketing reasons, it wouldn't surprise me if either company hyped up the similarities.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:17 PM
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When I first saw Babylon 5, I actually though it was trying to be Star Trek.
Right, cause you know, if there are shows in space in alien, it's trying to be star trek.

Have you ever seen a star trek script? They seriously insert the words [technobabble] in the script so that other writers can fill it in with random sciency sounding words later. They actually create problems, and resolve problems, in the script, by writing essentially

Character 1: We have a problem. If [technobabble], then our [technobabble] and we'll be destroyed!

Character 2: Wait, I have a solution. We can [technobabble].

... And that's the setup and resolution of the story.

Babylon 5 never did anything like that. It's all about the characters and plot and conflict. There's no reset button. Characters grow. Actions have consequences. Meaningful stories were told. Babylon 5 is what star trek wished it could be, if it were made for adults.

That isn't to say that it's great - it hasn't aged well, it has its problems, etc. But it was so much more ambitious and interesting than any trek that it's ridiculous.

The only time trek even comes close was the later part of DS9 that attempted to be gritty and somewhat realistic and have story arcs. Essentially when they tried to copy B5 thematically.

Last edited by SenorBeef; 02-16-2010 at 07:18 PM.
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Old 02-16-2010, 07:39 PM
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B% never had Ferengi stealing a cloaking device, and lean against the invisible thing in the hallway, pretending to be unconcerned when someone walked past.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:06 PM
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B% never had Ferengi stealing a cloaking device, and lean against the invisible thing in the hallway, pretending to be unconcerned when someone walked past.
True, but DS9 never had Human Style Sex
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:11 PM
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True, but DS9 never had Human Style Sex
For that I've got Maxim.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:18 PM
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For that I've got Maxim.
It loses some translation from the original Russian, I assure you!
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:40 PM
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It loses some translation from the original Russian, I assure you!
Russian, Russian, Ivanova or whatever her name was? Maybe I missed something giving up on it.
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Old 02-16-2010, 08:50 PM
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Russian, Russian, Ivanova or whatever her name was? Maybe I missed something giving up on it.
Indeed, you missed many scenes of Ivanova sulking in a silk nightie (this is how she spends the first part of Season 4, more or less), and the hillarious "Human Style Sex" scene from Season 2. Basically Ivonova is trying to secure trade relations between Earth and some advanced, arrogant alien race, and finds out that the alien ambassador wants to have sex with her (understandable). Ivanova, however, wants nothing of the sort with the ambassador (also understandable), and banks on the alien being too arrogant to actually bother to know how humans have sex and too proud to admit it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfMOQxYgGas (it starts at 1:20 or so)

ETA: Sadly, this video has lots of pointless edits thrown in that kinda break the scene up a bit...

Last edited by Raguleader; 02-16-2010 at 08:51 PM.
  #50  
Old 02-16-2010, 08:55 PM
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Indeed, you missed many scenes of Ivanova sulking in a silk nightie (this is how she spends the first part of Season 4, more or less), and the hillarious "Human Style Sex" scene from Season 2. Basically Ivonova is trying to secure trade relations between Earth and some advanced, arrogant alien race, and finds out that the alien ambassador wants to have sex with her (understandable). Ivanova, however, wants nothing of the sort with the ambassador (also understandable), and banks on the alien being too arrogant to actually bother to know how humans have sex and too proud to admit it.
Besides the actual "sex" scene Raguleader linked to, this also sets up a hilarious payoff at the end of the episode.
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