UPDATE 19 MARCH 2011: THANKS TO EVERYONE WHO COMMENTED TO THE SITE OR THE AUTHOR, THE PLAGIARIZED WORK AND AUTHOR HAVE BEEN REMOVED FROM THAT SITE!
Good morning, y'all. I don't usually post downer issues, but a dear friend of mine and friend of the blog has been plagiarized AGAIN. So, I am going to give y'all some information about plagiarism and the information on where you can send a comment to help Mama4Dukes out.
As many of you may remember, Mama4Dukes was a big winner in 2011's Everything's Bigger in Texas Awards. The fic that's been plagiarized this time is her Peter/Bella fic You'll Find What You're Looking For At Walmart. It's a fantastic fic, so if you haven't read it, please go check it out. It isn't a Jasper/Bella fic, but it's still awfully good. As those of you who know me are aware, I have a soft spot for all the Whitlocks (Jasper, Peter, & Charlotte are the Whitlock Coven in my mind) so, even if you're not a big Peter buff, it's well worth the read.
Anyway, plagiarism is a very serious issue not just in the derivative fiction world but in real life. So many of us are students or authors (budding or professional) that I thought it timely to have a short and sweet run-down on plagiarism.
What is Plagiarism?
Many people think of plagiarism as copying another's work, or borrowing someone else's original ideas. But terms like "copying" and "borrowing" can disguise the seriousness of the offense:
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, to "plagiarize" means
- to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one's own
- to use (another's production) without crediting the source
- to commit literary theft
- to present as new and original an idea or product derived from an existing source.
In other words, plagiarism is an act of fraud. It involves both stealing someone else's work and lying about it afterward.
But can words and ideas really be stolen?
According to U.S. law, the answer is yes. The expression of original ideas is considered intellectual property, and is protected by copyright laws, just like original inventions. Almost all forms of expression fall under copyright protection as long as they are recorded in some way (such as a book or a computer file).
All of the following are considered plagiarism:
- turning in someone else's work as your own
- copying words or ideas from someone else without giving credit
- failing to put a quotation in quotation marks
- giving incorrect information about the source of a quotation
- changing words but copying the sentence structure of a source without giving credit
- copying so many words or ideas from a source that it makes up the majority of your work, whether you give credit or not (see our section on "fair use" rules)
Most cases of plagiarism can be avoided, however, by citing sources. Simply acknowledging that certain material has been borrowed, and providing your audience with the information necessary to find that source, is usually enough to prevent plagiarism. See our section on citation for more information on how to cite sources properly.
So, please, if you're interested in more in depth information on the subject, visit their website. They are a veritable wealth of information on all things plagiarism.
Now, on to the important stuff and the real impetus for this post!
If you're so inclined, please go and report in a CALM and RESPECTFUL manner that Mama4Dukes' work has been plagiarized. There are two ways to accomplish this. You may comment on the comment section of the plagiarized fic or you may comment directly to the site. I suggest commenting to both so that other readers on the site might see the comments and steer clear, but that's completely up to you. Also, please keep your comments respectful. You can be firm and forceful but frothing at the mouth and profanity won't accomplish anything.
OK, with that said, here are the links and information you need: (from Mama4Dukes herself)
Hi All! Someone has published You'll Find What You're Looking For At Walmart: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6802970/1/Youll_Find_What_Youre_Looking_For_At_Walmart. She's published the story under the title I Found My Mate At Walmart here: http://www.bookrix.com/_title-en-sexywolfchick-i-found-my-mate-at-walmart-a-twilight-fanfic Her "story" was published on 8/8/2011 -- mine was originally published on 3/6/2011. If you can all help by informing her that we are aware that she's stealing, I'd appreciate it. You can comment or there's also a contact the publisher form here: http://www.bookrix.com/contact.html You do not have to create an account to contact the publisher.