Art isn’t just grueling hours with a drawing tablet, it’s also grueling hours with a keyboard and a blank Word document. Writers are even more underrated artists of the online world and theft happens to them too.
I had a interview with a charming online writer named Bridget, and she told me about her run-in with a plagiariser whose identity will be kept anonymous.
While browsing through Fanfiction.Net, an archive for written works from around the world, Bridget came across a story that was uncannily similar to their own work. Bridget quickly realised that the other writer had copied and pasted her own writing and made minimal edits. These ‘edits’ being a shoddy switcheroo of some characters in order to fit a particular romantic situation.
Naturally, Bridget was angry. “…Seeing such a lazy move just really rubbed me the wrong way… Most of [it was] really out of character, another pet peeve that I simply cannot stand.” And it’s understandable! Bridget put hours of her time into writing and some lazy person copies her work without even asking and pretends it’s their own.
While Fanfiction.Net has taken a few steps toward protecting the work of writers, it’s simply not enough if plagiarism keeps happening. Bridget confronted the thief and she told me that it devolved into them denying that they’d done anything wrong.
“I wanted to scream…” There was absolutely nothing that could have helped in Bridget’s situation so there obviously needs to be more protection from fan fiction websites.
Eventually, Bridget was forced to drop the copyright infringement when it was clear no one would help her.
Should we rally and email the staff of Fanfiction.Net about their lax writer protection policy? I think it’s a good idea as any. Writers should not be forgotten on the road to a world where every artist is protected and has full control over their content.
You can see Bridget’s Tumblr blog over here.
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image source from morgueFile user jppi