Site Policy On Plagiarism

Some recent, behind-the-scenes issues have brought to light that we have been remiss in having a policy that addresses pretty much one of the dirtiest words in writing: Plagiarism.  For those that have never heard this word before, to plagiarise is to steal verbatim or copy another writer’s language, plot, dialogue and then try to pass it off as their own work.  Oftentimes I have seen in other fandoms writers who take works from fandoms far removed from the one they currently dwell in, in the hope no one notices. Almost always someone notices.  I have had friends who have had whole slabs of their work thrown into the middle of someone else’s story and the discrepancy of language and style will make it obvious that a theft has occurred.  What is less easy to prove but which leaves a rather bitter, unsettled taste on the tongue is when someone repetitively copies plot points, both major and minor within the story itself, and changes it up just enough to make it look like it was new.  As I said, this is harder to prove.

Using fandom tropes is not plagiarism.  Writing a story on the same event/knowledge/information that is available at large to the public, is not plagiarism.  In those cases, it is plagiarism only if the words used are identical to another writer.

This site in no way condones the use of plagiarism.  If you suspect this might be going on—if you are reading a story and it reminds you too closely of another story you’ve read—please report it.  Oftentimes it can be an accident, and sometimes we pick up ideas from reading a multitude of fic and I’ve known writers who don’t read others expressly for this reason, fear of their creativity being tainted by others.  All concerns will be dealt with seriously and with compassion and understanding—to a point.  If the claim is proven, then the thief will automatically be banned from the site and the story deleted.  I personally hold plagiarists to be utterly unworthy of support and this site won’t offer it.  However, that does not mean we are so hard line that we will confront and ban members without strong proof.  So, if you do make this claim, as incredibly serious as it is, please make sure you have comparative text to back you up.  We will come to the table fully open to listen but neither FM or myself have the time to do your investigation for you.

To reiterate, what to do if you catch a plagiarist:

  1. Contact one of the Admins.
  2. Ensure you include links to both works, specifically the chapters or text you wish to have clarified.
  3. Outline with specific examples what you believe has been stolen: list ideas and plot points, or highlight copied text from both fics.

If anyone has any questions about this, please direct your enquiries to myself or Fairiesmasquerade.

--Peta2 on December 10, 2014 9:15pm 4 Comments

I just read this and am a little heartbroken that it is happening in the Caryl fandom, especially if it is happening on this site.

I would like to make a request that if plagiarism is proven that the name of the plagiarist is made public. I am not asking this to humilate anyone, but I come from a fandom where there was a good amount of very unapologetic plagiarist that were only stopped by screen shots being taken of what they'd done and their username being posted.

It is wrong. It is abhorrent. It is theft and should be punished. The only way for the writers, who might be affected by a plagiarist, and the readers, who undoubtedly do not want to give accolades to said thief, to know their work or reading experience is not being abused is to inform them of the who, what, and where.

Respectfully, UncagedMuse a.k.a Rae

- UncagedMuse on December 12, 2014 10:17pm

I've seen the same thing in other fandoms, and adding their name on a blocked list did help. I'm not about the public shaming, but it's effective and gives people a name to watch for in other places (like 

- ghostofzanarkand on December 14, 2014 7:57pm

I haven't witnessed it yet, not here and not in the wider world of fanfiction. I don't have time to read a whole lot so that is probably why. I hate the thought of someone taking the work of someone else and passing it on as thier own. I do have to add though, that I'm glad that you are making sure to tell the accuser to do their own leg work and prove that this is actually happening. I know it does happen but I've also heard, and winessed for myself, cases where a writer will write a scene and then another writer will write a scene that is very similar to theirs and the first writer goes off over it when, in all reality, it was just what it was. A similar scene. I think sometimes writers become very senisitive and start hunting down similarities. If you look hard enough, you find it and it doesn't really mean that another writer stole the idea. I've had people message me accusing another writer of taking my ideas and when I went to check it out, they actually had not. I could have flipped out but I could tell that the similarities were not intentional. I know that people do steal story ideas, plots and I've even had a few use my OC without permission, but I just hope it doesn't become a case where writers start throwing accusations that are unfounded. I could write a story that closely follow the events of the show. If someone else does the same thing, our stories will be similar. It doesn't mean that I'm stealing their ideas or them mine. But hopefully, if someone is really doing this here at nine lives, it stops. Actual plagiarism is no joke and not something for any of us to take lightly. 

- Haitus80 on December 15, 2014 5:32am

So… I do a lot of writing. I admit I don't do as much reading as I should. I always do feel some paranoia that someone else has a similar plot, but how can you be sure?

- Lynn Saunders on December 21, 2014 2:27am