I came across this as several people I know are involed, and as such it's caught my interest. Not just because it's a fandom I was in, but also because some of the points raised in the debate got me thinking.
So. Once upon a time three hugely sucessful movies were made of a extremly influencial book. Lord of the Rings
made new lust objects, gave New Zealand a hot name, sparked a massive fandom expansion and oh yeah, streams and streams of fanfic.
Among that was a fairly large load of slash, and one popular pairing was Aragorn/Legolas - probably mostly sparked by how it was played in the movie. This is turn sparked Viggo Mortsensen/Orlando Bloom fanfic. One popular writer therein was namarie120. Apparently one of her popular fanfics A Hidden Passion
was "based on" Jane Eyre. Said fanfic is apparently retooled and briefly published as original fiction.
(For those wondering where I was at the time - RPF was never my thing, but I did dabble in Legolas/Gimli now and then, as I was a hardly book-fan originally, and I knew a lot of people who wrote various slash pairings and also RPF. Never knew namarie120 personally, though it is possible I've interacted with her at some point.) It gets denounced as plagiarised
picks up on it and makes a post
And wham! it goes. Anger at the plagiarism, friends showing up to defend namarie120, arguments over how much 'based on' covers, accusations of meanness, accusations of letting namarie120 off easy due to BNF status and fandom particpation, anger that namarie120 won an award at slashy_oscars
for this fanfic, wankery and on and on.
Various reactions elsewhere:
- Telestilla is not happy.
- namarie120 is removed from the list of winners at slashy_oscars.
- An interesting post on plagiarism versus fanfiction.
- miladyhawke wants namarie120 to be cut some slack.
- Fandom_wank post.
But there are some interesting things I ponder in here, amongst them:
Is plagiarism the fandom big-bad from which there simply is no recovery?
What is the acceptable response when you've done a bad?
Is there a difference in how plagiarism is dealt with depending on how popular someone is in fandom?
Are some forms of plagiarism more serious than others - for instance, is it worse to steal from another fanfic and try to conceal your theft than to borrow from a popular published work and be lacking in your acknowledgement and citation?
Is otherwise stellar fandom participation reason to cut some slack?
What do you do when someone you really like has done a bad?
I mean, plagiarism is a bad, but I am pretty sure I do judge cases a bit differently depending on circumstances. I found the Cassie Edwards case now recently to be a bit extra iffy because plagiarism was shown to be so widespread through all her work, instead of being an one-off. I will react more favourably if at least an acknowledgement is attempted and the author is being more dumb than out to decieve. And how the author reacts to it will also colour my reaction - as will how defenders behave.
How about you? Opinions, thoughts? I am curious.
(And hey, I can finally use my Faramir/Eowyn icon and it being on topic. Hurrah!)