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Long story short, I hate plagiarism.

Yesterday, I came across this video, which is an episode of a web-series called Long Story Short.
It was posted a couple of weeks ago on reddit, under the title “This youtube series is really good. It has everything it takes to be popular except the popularity“.
I immediately recognized the concept and execution of the series from a similar identical French show on Canal+ named Bref.
Here’s a sample episode:

It was interesting seeing an American version of this very popular French series.
Except for the part where this American version was actually plagiarizing the very popular French series.

I’m already hearing the complaints about my plagiarism complaints:[list]

  • Didn’t Picasso say “great artists steal”? (spoiler alert: he wasn’t talking about plagiarism)
  • Are voice-overs copyrightable now?!
  • Isn’t every creation actually recreation?
  • Dude, chillax, we’re all made from the same star junk, right? Isn’t our life, like, really about copying each other? You know? Like if you think about it, we’re all just one big gooey mess. Right?


According to a comment they made, the “creators” were not ripping off Bref, but were actually “inspired” by a similar Israeli show/concept. This one.
The thing is, they forgot to mention the part about how the Israeli show is actually an official remake of Bref. And by official, I mean it has the complete blessing of the original creators, et al.

Long Story Short is more than the cover of a song. (Which, by the way, would still have to be credited to its original author.)
It is more than just “inspired by”.
If anything, the lack of acknowledgement towards Bref or its Israeli counterpart in an official capacity (i.e. in the show’s credits) is, well, completely disingenuous.
To quote a reddit comment on the subject:

I’m all for official adaptations of this format and style but the original creators did something really specific and special and to just steal it for an American knockoff without crediting (or getting the blessing of) the original filmmakers isn’t cool.

Now, I’m not saying you should pay royalties to Lost every time you use flashforwards, but there are times when “inspiration” is just a code-word for plagiarism.
This is one of them.
Because I’m not just talking about copying a format. Or just copying a voice-over. Or just copying pacing. Or just copying characters. Or just copying jokes.
I’m talking about copying all of the above. At once. Not just about copying the idea, but copying the execution and the content.
You know, pulling a LaBeouf.

Long Story Short is a blatant disrespect to both the original material and original creators it is stealing from.
It is plagiarism, pure and simple. And it needs to be known.

P.S.: If you’re curious about the original version of Bref, with English subtitles, check this channel out.

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