You’ve Got to Love The Hypocrisy

I got this email from Penny today:

I recently discovered your website while looking for information on fan fiction
and copyright law.  I was extremely interested in your views and the dry wit
with which you describe the fan ficcers that you have encountered.  One aspect
of your site which particularly interested me was your reference to plagarism
within fan fiction communities. […] I came across this community where fan ficcers "name and shame" those who are found to be
"plagiarising" their creative exploits.  It really does take hypocrisy to a
whole new level.
It certainly does. The site is called "Stop Plagiarism: Investigation into and Condemnation of Plagiarists." These fanficcer plagiarism vigilantes don’t have a problem with people who steal the characters, ideas and worlds of original authors, just those who steal from the intellectual property thieves. The hypocrisy is really quite astounding…and, sadly, all too typical of the fanficcer mindset. Here’s an example of one of their  "investigations" :

On the 20th and 22nd February 2007 respectively, Jabri uploaded the two RPS fics
‘A moment in time’ and ‘I Just Called Him "Love"’ to her LJ. It became apparent
that these were in fact close copies of the two fics ‘Afterglow’ by Melly (loopy_1981),
published on LJ on the 22nd February 2005, and ‘Ya Wanna?’ by Mouse, published
on and last modified on the 22nd August 2002.

In both
instances the only fundamental changes to the fics were to make them fit JM/DB
slash – ‘Afterglow’ being JM/NB and ‘Ya Wanna?’ not being RPS at all, but in
fact Spike/Angel slash. Apart from this the structure and majority of the
content was the same in both. Jabri’s fics were clearly recognisable replicas of
Melly and Mouse’s, and for this reason her actions appeared to be

Jabri deleted her LJ on the 23rd February 2007. I contacted
her on the 28th February, but have yet to receive a response. I informed her
that if she did not respond we would assume her to be guilty, and so I shall now
be adding her to the list of plagiarists on the information page.

thanks to all involved in this case!

My favorite part these "investigation" reports is the bit where they find someone "guilty" and add them to The List.  Funny stuff!

8 thoughts on “You’ve Got to Love The Hypocrisy”

  1. RPS/F, while fanfic, surely wouldn’t be copyright infringement. If it’s anything, real person fic/slash would be libel.

  2. Am I the only one who can’t help but laugh at the people so completely talentless that they must steal the work of unpublished authors ripping off of someone else’s work and claim it as their own original ripoff?
    Although, this statement WINS the cup: “Just because it was written nearly a decade ago doesn’t mean it’s ‘Fair Game’ to those with NO imagination! WTF was this person thinking?”
    And people who write fanfic have SO MUCH MORE IMAGINATION (I know that there can be imaginative fanfics, but it’s still amusing.)

  3. I was referring to the remark, “Jabri uploaded the two RPS fics”.
    RPS = real person slash, RPF = real person fic.

  4. Fanficcers do not claim that they invented the characters they right about or the canon events they referenced; plagiarists claim they wrote the material themselves. Surely even you can see the difference.

  5. Lee,
    You missed the most hilarious part, their tips on how to spot plagiarism! Here it is:
    The best thing anyone can do to combat plagiarism is to simply pay attention to what they’re reading. Of course, no one can read every fanfic in existence, but uncovering plagiarised work doesn’t have to be a matter of coincidence. spiralleds’ top ten ways to spot a plagiarised fic are as follows:
    Sex scenes are in a different style than the rest of the fic. Particularly for young writers who don’t have a lot of sexual experience from which to draw, there is the temptation of cutting and paste in sex scenes to their fic.
    The description of parts in the sex scene don’t match the characters. If someone is describing a male character as having a G-spot, something is amiss. If Veronica is having an orgasm from Logan biting her neck and drinking her blood, something is amiss. And at that point, I’m nearly hoping it’s plagiarism, not AU’s Gone Wild!
    If in her info section, the writer provides her age, yet her level of knowledge of a topic, particularly the topic of sex, seems rather beyond her years, it might be plagiarism.
    The writing is oddly generic. There is nothing with specifics about physical traits of the character or mannerisms or accents or experiences or names, etc. Or it could just be poor writing. Not long ago I read a fic where if it hadn’t been for the header telling me the pairing I would not have been able to identify it, I googled the most unique phrase in it. I didn’t find anything and decided that it was unlikely to be plagiarism but just writing that could have and should have been tighter.
    There are vague references to things in the lives of the characters that don’t track. If Mal is brooding about things he did before getting his soul, don’t automatically shrug it off as being a metaphor.
    The writer is prolific. No, this isn’t me being jealous of the prolific, as I realize that there are many completely legitimate prolific writers. But when someone is cranking out more fic than seems humanly possible in a given time frame, be aware.
    The writer is all over the board in pairings, writing styles, etc. Most writers have favorite pairs they write over and over again. Favorite kinks. Favorite styles – gen or het or slash or whatever. Most writers do not bounce around. Yes, there are exceptions. (Points to self.) But like being prolific, if joined with other signs, it might be worth a google fu or two.
    If the quality of writing improves dramatically from one fic to the next. Granted, writers should and do improve, sometimes dramatically, especially if she gets a beta after writing without one. However, if it goes from atrocious to polished without any intermediate steps and with limited time between the writing, you may have someone who was disappointed in the lack of feedback or lack of positive feedback and in order to get the pets she sees other writers getting and for which she is eager, she plagiarizes another’s work.
    Her Author’s Notes are riddled with netspeak and spelling errors and overuse of ellipses, yet the fic is well written. Ex: i dont’ know where this idea came form but i just had to right it… let me know if its gr8 or if it sux… (o.k. maybe not if it sux… lol…) Yet in the fic itself, the “I”s are capitalized, the spelling and rules of grammar are there, the use of ellipses is limited and appropriate, etc.
    The names are inconsistent. What is supposed to be a LOST fic involving Kate, Jack and Sawyer occasionally has the names Buffy, Angel and/or Spike or maybe the names Veronica, Duncan and/or Logan showing up.


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