Coach Comet wrote:
They were clearly exploiting
prior Trek. Not necessarily in a nasty or unfair way I'll grant you, but that isn't strictly required. The attempt at cleverness involves in large part how similar the two scenes are and the original work was
made by someone else
. I agree that "rip-off" is a harsh sounding term. But I don't see a show stopper, even if we restrict ourselves to less "hep" and "with-it" definition sources.
However I am not sure why you object to the TheFreeDictionary meaning. A number of posters seem to accept that the term "rip-off" can be applied to stories etc. The main difficulty seems to be appreciating how it can be used within a franchise and that has been covered.
I thought that I explained clearly what I found objectionable about TheFreeDictionary definition, but I'll try again. The problem area is (I've omitted the part that isn't problematic):
Something [...] that is clearly imitative of or based on something else.
The problem is that that covers anything at all that is imitative. For example, it would, if taken literally at face value, require us to categorize all cover versions of a song as rip-offs. That's simply wrong.
Thanks for your efforts. It's just that it does seem like you are still going a little too far down the legal/corporate road than I feel is required. All three definitions I provided kind of assume the negative connotations that you are hankering after but in a less strict way. They seem less interested in courtrooms or who is infringed against and more in: "how do we think this work compares to that work and did they build on it, or just produce something 'clever' in an obvious way." etc.
As far as homages go, I tend to think they should be a brief show of respect for the original without actually taking it out to dinner and a movie. To me the reactor scene is the latter rather than the former. Maybe I have things wrong, but they are not just saying "thanks, that was great", they are actually making their own thing out of the original. To me that seems to being going too far to still be termed a homage.