Yea, but there is a fine line between inspiration, franchise, and plagiarism.
When I've created my draconic race - Dra'Hen, had almost everything done, but couldn't come up with naming convention. I didn't want to do things the easy way, putting in bunch of tongue-twisters like Episkryp'phiael, or Akulatraxas, or whatever. I've always envisioned draconic language to be simple; snarly-hissly like, but simple. So it'll roll off the tongue easily. I came up with few iterations, but they all stank. I mean you think about them, then throw them away. Then, while playing Sword of the Stars, a tactical battle loading screen came up to me, carring a sign "Rasalom vs. Legions of Var'Lsh Tho'Oor".
Yes! That's it!
It's just beautifull. Snarly-hissly-thingy, rolls easily off the tongue, and looks exotic. Within next 4 hrs. or so I come up with entire language, grammar, naming conventions, writing... Everything.
That's an inspiration. Taking a small bit of the stuff, and expanding on it.
Now the franchise, or should I say "falling in the genre".
The fact is this is actually pretty straight-forward.
Someone came up with idea for a story... Let's say Star Wars, right? George Lucas created original Star Wars, but when you look on the all of the expanded universe books, you'll see that they have different authors. Timothy Zahn, Michael Kogge and such. A bunch of people that are not George Lucas, nor are associated with him in any way. But their stories fit in the same universe. They bring something in it.
And the original copyright owner agreed to them. (I'm guessing a cyvil law contract) between them, that stated something on the line of: You're allowed to create stories resident in the universe under certain conditions listed here... (list of terms)
If both sides agrees to them, you're good to go.
Then we've got plagiarism. Someone read your story, and then took pieces of it and published as his own. He/she didn't created it, but took from someone else. And creativity is really tough piece of bread, if you know what I mean. Hard work (know it from personal experience).
And someone stole that from you... Took it, and made it his. A bit rude, wouldn't you agree?
Like I've said already I could look past it if the books were any good, but reading through the first one - Eragon I was cringing time after time. Then I told to myself "Okay, he was fifteen, so it's okay... ish. But the second book came up, and at the half of it I've finally went like "To hell with this!"
The next day I posted on OLX (polish E-bay) both volumes, mint condition... For free.
...And no one wanted it.
I still have them to this day, and don't know what to do with them...
If I would be younger, maybe I would use them pages to build paper models, or something...
Don't kill the edge and become like the rest.
Don't lose the faith that made you who you are
Don't kill the edge that manifests inside
This world is mine; it's where my thoughts collide...