Friday, May 04, 2007

News: Rules on Using Spoilers?

Rob Owen, reporting for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, recently wrote a very interesting article on the use of spoilers in reviews. He was specifically referring to a television series (Twin Peaks), but his comments are applicable to movies, books, and other forms of entertainment that are routinely reviewed.

We raise the question: Is there a statute of limitations on the use of spoilers in a review?

Consider the classic crime mystery Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie. The book has been reprinted endlessly and has been made into several movies (both theatrical and for television). The plot twists are known to tens, maybe hundreds, of millions of people. But if a new edition comes out, or an existing movie adaption is included in a collection of DVDs, is it permissible to discuss the "whodunit" or "howdunit" aspect of the story? Does a certain amount of time have to pass before it is acceptable to reveal spoilers, or should they never be mentioned?

Read Owen's article here, and let us know what you think about spoilers.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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