This is going to be 100% a rant because right now I am very, very angry.
So sit down everybody.
Let’s hear this fantabulous story that I have to tell.
If you’ve been following me for a sizable amount of time, you probably know that I am a fan of K-Pop.
I have a friend that writes EXO fanfiction and often enters contests to help herself grow and become more well known.
Before I get distracted by the ethics of realfic I want to say that this has nothing to do with that.
This has to do with me looking over a contest for my friend while we talk about what exactly she wants to write.
I was looking over this site and I clicked on “Entries”. I usually look over them to see what exactly is being entered, if I recognize any popular authors, see anything that might be worth reading, etc. I guess you could say that I was scoping out the competition for my friend. And what do you know? I see a fic called “The Fill-In Boyfriend”.
Ring a bell?
If you’re a huge Kasie West fan, it should. Because that fic was plagiarized off of one of her novels of the exact same name. Everything from the title to the writing was plagiarized. The only difference was that the author in question substituted the names of the Korean idol and her own character in. That way she wouldn’t get caught and she could pretty much just get credit for another author’s work.
JUST BECAUSE SHE SUBBED NAMES IN DOES NOT MEAN THAT IT’S NOT PLAGIARISM.
I think that it should only be one fic, right? Most people don’t have the balls to do more than one.
Every single fanfic written by this author was plagiarized off of Kasie West’s writing save for one which was plagiarized off of a different novel.
So of course I get really mad. Kasie West is a fairly popular must-read author for most contemporary fans. I’ve read one of her novels. And the fact that this person thought that plagiarizing a book just because nobody would have known is okay, makes me very mad.
In fact an actual thought I had was, “You thought all users of this site were non-reading K-pop fans? HAH WRONG YOU PLAGIARIZING B*TCH.”
What made it worse was that the plagiarizer’s authors notes were written in a floaty, arrogant manner. “Oh sequels are so hard to write. There’s something called expectations and it’s so difficult to meet them. But there’s also something called hope because if readers are demanding a sequel, then there must be people that loved the characters and world that I wrote. I hope that my loyal supporters will enjoy the sequel regardless.”
It’s not verbatim but it was written similarly. And I am not exaggerating. I literally wanted to punch her in the face.
Obviously I reported her. I reported her for 4 of her stories. Her account was deactivated and she was banned from all of the contests she entered. VICTORY FOR ME.
So overall what I wanted to talk about in this post was plagiarism.
I realize that the fanfiction world is full of all kinds of different people. There are lots of nice people that write some of the most passionate stories. There are loyal readers that follow fanfiction authors with the same fervor that they follow the original author of the book.
But there are also people that don’t realize that plagiarism is very wrong. I never expected to actually stumble upon a plagiarized fanfic because I honestly don’t spend all that much time combing through archives of fic. Most of the fics I read are either featured or recommended to me by my friends. I knew that plagiarism of other fanfiction authors was fairly common but I didn’t expect plagiarism of published novels to happen. It’s very gutsy and can definitely result in some huge copyright problems if the plagiarizer in question ends up becoming famous (And one of the commenters for this author had suggested she publish and make a movie off of the fanfiction. I promptly laughed, knowing it’d never happen).
I’m going to sound exactly like a grade school teacher for this next part but I still feel like this is completely necessary. I’m pretty much going to
rant list and explain five reasons why I think plagiarism is wrong and you should never do it.
IT MAKES NO SENSE
Why would you put in the effort to copy someone else’s book or writing? With books and fanfiction, sometimes it’s impossible to copy and paste someone else’s fic into your own editor. Sometimes you’d have to manually type the story in and change the character name. It takes a lot of time and it’s not even rewarding. When you write, there’s something rewarding about being able to say that you wrote and edited a book. There’s a sense of completion when you finally write the last word and finish the last round of editing. If you’re just copying it, there is no rewarding emotion and you just waste time typing out someone else’s work. I get that it might be easier but it’s not worth it.
Well I don’t know if it’s illegal globally but it is in the United States. You can get in a lot of trouble for violating someone’s copyright, especially if you end up making money off of it.
IT’S MORALLY WRONG
Credit must be due where it is needed. There’s a reason that schools never let you plagiarize and it’s because plagiarizing is taking credit for other people’s work. I don’t know how anybody doesn’t feel guilty when they plagiarize but they do it and they obviously don’t understand that it is wrong.
Going back to my story, let me remind you that this person entered an amateur fanfiction contest with the writing of a published author. If plagiarizing was bad enough, competing with it was even worse because it was completely unfair.
YOU DON’T LEARN ANYTHING
Writing is a learning process. Through writing you learn about grammar, sentence structure, story telling, characters, etc. You learn about yourself and other people. You can research a topic and craft intricately complicated and beautiful stories. It’s difficult and a long journey but I can bet you that every author can tell you that it’s worth it. You don’t learn anything through plagiarizing. You can’t find yourself and you definitely can’t learn anything about writing.
By plagiarizing, you are taking an author’s work and showing it off as yours when you have done nothing to deserve it. You are disregarding all the work that the true author put into their writing and you are snubbing everything they did to get there. By doing it you are disrespecting the author and you are disrespecting yourself. You deny yourself the ability to learn about writing and yourself.
Looking back, I realized that I wrote this in second person POV. I am definitely not insinuating that any of my readers are plagiarizing anything. I just got really angry and was inspired to write this rant-y mess of a post. Most of you probably already know all of these reasons to not plagiarize and I could go for days but this is already a really long post. Happy reading!