I’m not a fan of theft. It’s disrespectful. It’s dishonest. The violation of copyright undermines the creative works of others. It erodes the value of intellectual property, which we all rely on to make a living, whether we’re authors, movie makers, or musicians. So, when I see an author violate others’ copyright in order to “create” a trailer for their book, there’s a part of me that really kind of hopes that karma bites them in the ass. In short, I’m not overly sympathetic.
This trailer has more wrong with it than violation of copyright, but don’t worry, we’ll get back to that.
We’ll start with the plausibility issue. This trailer is labeled as a sci-fi trailer. Science fiction takes at least a little bit of science and extrapolates with “What if..?” But the best of science fiction attempts to at least justify how it could be possible.
For example, Jurassic Park starts with a mosquito trapped in amber. A scientific stretch, certainly, but plausible enough to suspend disbelief. Where is the plausible explanation for bacteroids that can 1) act intelligently, 2) morph an infected being into any creature that ever lived, and 3) decides after a millennia of inaction to go to war against the planet? Where is the incentive to suspend disbelief, especially considering we’re given nothing to care about, except this shaky premise?
Now, if that wasn’t enough to turn me off—which it is, btw—there’s the fact that this trailer consists of stolen material. Now, maybe it’s just me. I’m told that my ethical standards are too high for me to reasonably expect others to live up to them. Whatever. The question is how does it make sense for an author who, presumably, expects to make money from a creative work, by convincing other people to buy it, think that it’s okay for them to steal the creative works of others? If justice were served, people would be stealing portions of this book, claiming it as their own, and trying to profit from the writer’s work. That would be just desserts, because that’s what the author did to try to promote the book.
So, the first lesson is: Don’t steal.
The second lesson is: Explain enough to make it plausible.
The third lesson is: Seriously, don’t steal!