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02 August 2009 @ 03:23 pm
I still feel like the bad guy...  
I just had to make this mod post at the i_need_a_parrot comm.

Part of me is in two minds as to the whole thing. I loathe doing plagiarism investigations because me and confrontation don't go together all that well. I was plagiarised once, a whole passage was lifted out of What a Difference a Day Makes by one of the most... notorious, shall we say, plagiarists in the Xander fandom. (What made it worse was that this person had given the chapter a positive review on FF.net when I still posted there so this person didn't even plausible deniability when uncovered - the one passage of mine was but a drop in the ocean in that particular instance though).

Back to the point though, retelling a film/song/book/myth/whatever by replacing the characters with fandom ones? Is it plagiarism? I've said no (when the source is properly credited as it was in the instance in question) and I'm aware that in the SPN fandom there was actually a challenge last year (may well be running this year as well, I dunno, it's RPS so it's not my thing) in which 'classic' films were to be rewritten featuring J2. (I beta'd one, that's how I know about it - the comm had 'reel' in the name, but that's all I remember right now)

I dunno. Personally these are not my thing at all. Yeah, sure, using a film/myth as a kicking off point - absolutely. But rewriting it in it's entireity? Why? I just...*

I feel like the bad guy here, no matter what I do.

(Sho needs a reminder that she runs the sites because she enjoys it...)

BTW - I never knew the human body could turn such interesting colours. There's a whole damn spectrum right there on my hand.

* ETA on the other hand (and after another pain pill has kicked in) isn't it more of a challenge to a writer to focus so intensely on a story? Me, when I'm writing, I often wonder at the twists and turns the characters take me. I don't think I could be disciplined enough to follow a plot laid out by another writer. Hell, moscow_watcher should probably know that Crimson Regret was the one story I started with a definite end in site and yet when I started writing it the characters didn't like that ending and as such the story has faltered. It will finish when I acknowledge it and get back to writing it. (straww poll: original concept ending or character influenced ending? Either can be made to work!)

*is confused about everything*
*morphine is awesome* (as a prescribed pain relief medication, obvs.)
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Current Mood: confusedconfused
Current Music: Depeche Mode - A Question of Time
 
 
 
(Deleted comment)
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstonewhiskyinmind on August 2nd, 2009 05:57 pm (UTC)
And this is why I feel like the bad guy. I understand completely why you originally made the claim, however she credited the source and in her dialogue with me she explained why she chose to include the dialogue from the film without editing it and pointed out that she would be crediting it as such in future postings.

I understand that you would want to 'defriend' me and the comm, but I hope this instance hasn't put you off Xander fic and me in the future,

Especially since in the long run I'm not especially a fan of this emerging sub-genre.

Tiny point - the film as I remember it references an un-named 13th century legend, which is why I'm assuming the writer has done so. From my research over the past day I think it may be a corruption of the Ceridwen myth, but obviously I'm not the author of either the film or the resultant fic.

Edited at 2009-08-02 05:58 pm (UTC)
(Deleted comment)
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstonewhiskyinmind on August 2nd, 2009 06:06 pm (UTC)
Honey - I'm not annoyed with you at all. In fact when I got the original email from the author in question, my heart sank because I knew I would be investigating a friend in this,

I value your opinion and I hope you know I read all your posts even when I don't always know where they come from fandom-wise.

*hugs*
laurahopeless_cynic on August 2nd, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
As someone who's been seriously accused of plagiarism (not in fandom, obviously - I'd have to write fic or something for that!), as in almost kicked out of uni serious, I did (well, me and a few of my friends) quite a lot of research into it and I'd say that as long as something is credited, it's not plagiarised.

Would also like to add that I was innocent, both of us were, it was just completely freaky how similar our lab reports were.
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstonewhiskyinmind on August 2nd, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC)
One of these days I'll get you to write fic. In fact... any of the ideas I've thrown at you by text seem tempting? I'd be happy to co-author them!

All my life I've wanted to write and as such that plagiarism accusations are quite possibly the worst thing anuone could face when it comes to their work.

As a webmistress I take all accusations seriously - and although I hate investigating them, I will put my heart and soul into that investigation.

I think a lot of fic writers don't realise that web archivists such as me take this so much to heart. It hurts to think that an author I host - and therefore tacitally support - is accused of such a heinous crime.
laurahopeless_cynic on August 2nd, 2009 07:27 pm (UTC)
No, I'd never be able to post anything I wrote, I don't have any faith in my writing skills! I might have written some Alias fanfic years ago, but I don't even know where that is anymore, or if I still have that notebook. Lol. I might be a bit strict about spelling and grammar sometimes, but I don't think I could write something like that and have it turn out good enough for me to be happy with it...

Plagiarism is an awful thing to be accused of, but I get how serious an issue it is and how seriously it needs to be investigated.
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstonewhiskyinmind on August 2nd, 2009 07:33 pm (UTC)
Dude. Seriously. Email ne/Text me/Message me - whatever.

You are an intellegent, insightful, bright person. Anything you write would show that, and fron our conversations I know you have the potential.

And if you don't want to post it under your own name? That's what sock puppets are for (as opposed to stalking known trouble makers on their own communities*)

*is being a bitch - ignore the bracketed comment, I'm serious about your potential. I will co-write and/or beta. I'm good at the latter and would love to do the former)
laurahopeless_cynic on August 2nd, 2009 07:46 pm (UTC)
Ok, if I ever come up with an idea that I think I could actually expand enough to write a substantial piece about, I'll let you know :) Part of the problem is not having enough to write, you know?

Thank you. Seriously, I hold your opinion pretty high, so that means a lot to me *hugs*

(LOL.)

All right. If I come up with an idea and think I could actually write it, I'll let you know. Or, if you come up with something, let me know and if I'm around (I'll message you about this) I'd be up for co-writing something. Even though I have no idea how it would work :)
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstonewhiskyinmind on August 2nd, 2009 07:59 pm (UTC)
We really need to talk off lj! I meant everything i said there - you are such an intelligent person that every time we talk i'm amazed i can keep up with you. And i'm really not bullshitting you here. You are amazing.
laurahopeless_cynic on August 2nd, 2009 08:07 pm (UTC)
Haha, I know! I'm crap at talking on the phone though (seriously, it's a problem!), much better face to face. I was planning to come up this summer but money issues/my mother & everything else really put a spanner in the works lol. Now I'm waiting until I get my next loan installment, and then seeing how much money I have once I take away rent, food etc. Then I'll figure out the next time I can visit! So I should know in September. *fingers crossed*

Really? See, now I always think you're the amazing one, because you're so intelligent and you're unbelievably strong. I just feel like I'm lucky that you're friends with me.

Oh man, sorry to anyone coming across this post randomly. We're not usually this gushy!
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstonewhiskyinmind on August 2nd, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
Dude. Be honest. We're always this gushy! Hee!
And also? Me? I'm weak as water.
Strong as water.
Either's apt.
*hugs*
laurahopeless_cynic on August 2nd, 2009 08:22 pm (UTC)
Yep, we just attempt to hide it with sarcasm *g*

Ha. That is my reply to that comment. That's just your view, doesn't mean it's the right one :)

*hugs tight*
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstonewhiskyinmind on August 2nd, 2009 08:48 pm (UTC)
Sarcasm FTW!

(needs to be an icon....)

*wonders how to hug tighter than tight*

*grins*
Sam PF: Buffy firesmhwpf on August 2nd, 2009 10:26 pm (UTC)
Not plagiarism if credited.

I think there can be quite a bit of mileage in retelling old stories - heck, it's done all the time - and sometimes it can work with a specific set of characters like the Buffy ones. (I re-used - with accreditation - large parts of the plot and some of the actual text of a Burns/trad song for my Ballad of Jeannie the Red)

If it's just reproducing the entire text with different characters it's probably not very good (unless it's a really remarkable fit that no-one had noticed), but that's another matter.
Technically, if you are actually giving a direct quote rather than merely using an idea, you should use quote marks or otherwise make clear you're quoting. But that's academic style, and in prose you need things to flow differently.

Ideally I'd say that if you are reproducing a long passage of text you should include an A/N to the effect that you are doing this and identifying, as far as possible, where the passage is. But if someone's not done that, if they've merely said generally that it's based on XYZ or something, I still wouldn't call it plagiarism in a fandom context, I'd just suggest to the writer that they ought to include a more specific accreditation in future.

It's always going to be difficult when this sort of borderline case comes up. You have made the best judgement you can (and it seems reasonable to me) in a tricky case and have done your best to communicate this as reasonably as possible to all concerned. Maybe not everyone's happy with the outcome, but in no way does this make you the bad guy. It's what a good moderator should be doing.

*hugs*
the girl who used to dance on fire and brimstone: xander belong - mewhiskyinmind on August 3rd, 2009 12:40 pm (UTC)
*hugs you*

When I got the original message from the person asking for help, my heart sank because of the name of the accuser. She and I have been flisted for years and she was actually one of the moderators on the INAP site.

I just... it seemed that it all came down to the definition of plagiarism versus adaptation and whether in an adaptation one would be free to use credited content (in this case dialogue) from the original.

I spent four years studying postmodernity in my degree and it seems to be that it's the perfect example of what Fredric Jameson called 'intertextual knowingness' and 'empty pastiche'. Does that make it good? Depends on the writer really. Does it make it right? Difficult to answer. Does it make it plagiarism? I honestly don't think it can be said to be such since the source is fully acknowledged and credited.

Hopefully it's just a flash in the pan and it'll blow over soon enough.

*hugs*
Elena: Scoobiesmoscow_watcher on August 3rd, 2009 02:22 pm (UTC)
*hugs*

moscow_watcher should probably know that Crimson Regret was the one story I started with a definite end in site and yet when I started writing it the characters didn't like that ending and as such the story has faltered. It will finish when I acknowledge it and get back to writing it. (straww poll: original concept ending or character influenced ending? Either can be made to work!)

Crimson Regret *does* feel like a story in which characters can rebel against the plot. Heroes are fleshed out, vivid and complex - they *can* get a life of their own and dictate what they want and what they don't want to do. Hopefully you'll get back to writing Crimson Regret; the story has a great potential and it would be a pity if you leave it unfinished.

You know, with these talks about plagiarizing I'm starting to wonder if it's OK to use arguments I read on fanforums in characters' debates. Of course, I rephrase them, but sometimes my characters practically say what their fans say. *ponders*