Saturday, July 17, 2010

New Trials Plagiarism

I'm really behind on emails at the moment (sorry, I'll get around to replying soon), but to my surprise, I got an email yesterday from a kind reader stating that the New Trials of Card Captor Sakura was being plagiarized on This is not really the first time I received such an email that NT was being plagiarized, but the other time it happened, I was far more shocked. The plot was reworked so that it wasn't completely word-for-word, and it was is in the New Trials First Arc days, hence I didn't know how to react, and I just let it slide.

So, I was rather surprised to find an author on decided to simply copy and paste my work into their account,
even kept the title in tact as "The New Trials of CCS." I was actually more bemused by the whole situation more than anything else yesterday; plagiarizers, please at least change the title if you're going to copy and paste someone else's work. More than anything, I was very moved by the reviewers who did stick up for me, and I thought, "Ah, I guess there is justice." What actually irked me was not the copy-and-pasting part; since I like to give people the benefit of doubt, perhaps this is just a young kid who doesn't know better. But then, she did choose to remove my disclaimer and add her own, and it amused me so much, I took a screen shot of it today (I removed her name and ID because I don't want flaming).

I really can't dislike someone who likes Card Captor Sakura, I just can't. So I sent her a polite message reminding her that I am the writer of New Trials and that I would appreciate if she could take down my fanfic. Earlier today, I checked and saw that she had taken down New Trials and changed her ID name. I wasn't expecting an answer to my email/ message, but I guess ideally I would have liked to hear what had motivated her to do so, or at least, I hoped it was just an honest, youthful mistake. Anyhow, I checked a while ago, and it seems like the story and reviews are up again, indicating she might have chosen to ignore my email and message and the reviewers' comments. Her profile states she is 16, so I tried to justify that she might not know better. But how much can I excuse blatant stealing? (I still love you Kai ^_^;). I was thirteen when I wrote that very prologue, and there are many younger writers out there with integrity and common sense, and I think if you are a part of the community and a fanfic writer, it is minimal courtesy that you don't take another writer's work (also on and copy and paste it into your account, with a rewritten author's comment stating, "This is my very first story for Cardcaptor Sakura... I'll continue this story chapter 1 through 95. Disclaimer: I do not own Cardcaptor Sakura and the Characters." I'm sorry, but that disclaimer, and her note at the chapter's end asking, "How do you like things so far?" under her name annoyed me more than the whole copy-and-paste issue.

Truthfully, I am not sure what is worse. Blatant copy and pasting of the text or "reworking" someone else's idea into your own. I am a firm believer that there is no such thing as an original story, only how originally you can present it. I think that all writers and artists begin cultivating their craft by reading and mimicking their favorite authors/ artists. I went to the New York Comic Con last year and listened to an interesting panel of renowned sci-fi and fantasy authors who are at the top of their craft, and was glad to hear that they basically echoed this notion, stating that they too shamelessly get inspiration from every where. I know clearly what authors have influenced me. Same with art. I think a lot of us learn to draw by copying other artists. Eventually, once you get enough practice, you start developing your own style. That is why the term "plagiarism" doesn't rest well with me because it is often overused/ misused and there are many situations where the boundaries do become murky, and I am always on the side of creative progression. However, there are cases when some people do INTENTIONALLY cleverly disguise someone else's ideas and words into their own; but those who are talented enough to rework someone's ideas surely is talented enough to come up with something that is their own?
There was someone in school who got caught plagiarizing on a paper, but I was confused as to why she did it because she was our school salutatorian and a smart person. I always figure it's more deceitful when someone with the craft and knowledge commits the act than someone inexperienced or naive.

I can at least understand the motivations of those who plagiarize in the real world, whether it be because of grades, laziness, fame, or most often, money. But why do it on the internet? What is there to profit? People write fanfiction for a various assortment of reasons: self-gratification, to communicate with others with similar interests, to practice writing (?), for entertainment, to fantasize what-ifs... The internet has spawned into a mega-communication network over the past decade; I began writing New Trials in 1999 when I was still using dial-up modem from a long cable that stretched all the way from the living room phone to my room (and yes, nobody could use the phone while I was on the internet). That seems like ages ago. That was before internet became commercialized, and the pages on the net were often pages made by individuals who had a serious dedication to and interest in that subject matter. In a way, it was sort of a haven, a magic mirror doorway to reaching out to others with similar hobbies/interests as yourself. But then came the commercialization of the internet, all the profile pages ie. MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, blogs (yes, I am writing one too), etc., and the internet became more about "me, me, me." Which is fine, so long as you don't try to take the easy way out and steal somebody else's identity or body of work. I'm not really sure what to do in this situation, but I figure that if it's attention she wants, the best thing to do is simply ignore her.

I do understand the frustrations of writers (or any other craftsman) who do not receive the recognition or feedback they desire, because I know that fear as well. I remember how nerve-wracking it was to post my first couple chapters, and even rereading my comments then reflect how insecure I felt about releasing my writing to the public. Perhaps this plagiarizer did so because she wanted more readers or wanted her name to be known. Who knows. I just don't know what she was thinking or wasn't thinking--anyone care to enlighten me? I didn't start writing New Trials because I wanted fame or recognition (if you want that, fanfiction writing is not the route to go). I wrote simply because I love to write.
Thus, I can't comprehend how copy and pasting fanfiction can bring anyone any sort of gratification. When I began this fanfic, I said, "If I have even one reader left, I will continue writing," and it is that dedication which has carried me through 1,010000+ words. I've been very lucky that even after ten years, I still do have loyal readers to this monster of a fanfic, and I am always grateful for the opportunity I had to communicate with some wonderful people and find people who love Card Captor Sakura as much as I do. I began writing New Trials for self-gratification and for entertainment purposes, but now, I am writing New Trials because I have a story to tell, and I want to finish it because I owe it to the readers who have stuck by for 67+ chapters, and I owe it to myself to finish the project I have dedicated a good decade to.

Moral of the story, don't plagiarize off of Wish-chan, or else she will start psychoanalyzing your motives and then jump into a broad generalization on the evolution of the internet instead of finishing up Chapter 67 of New Trials. Second, writing is ENJOYABLE in itself.

On a more positive note, I've been able to communicate with so many creative people ranging from fellow writers, artists, musically talented people, etc.
Over the years, numerous people had emailed me regarding using New Trials as inspiration for their various projects varying from fanfics, doujinshi, film projects and even reworking Star-Crossed as a school play. Truthfully, I'm not sure what happened to a lot of these projects, but I've never refused a request till this date regarding the use of NT for personal use, as long as due credit is given (or not given, because what I don't know, I won't know). I will feel very blessed if at the end of New Trials, I can say that this work has encouraged some people to explore their artistic outlets. So if you're going to plagiarize, do it creatively, and at least I'll be entertained. (But 99% of you are awesome and always check in first, and I love seeing everyone's creative work).

Thank you very much for those who defended me on! That might have been the only bright side to the ugly affair of plagiarism. I still haven't figured out what to do with this individual on, as she did not respond to my message. Maybe I'll just send her the link to this blogpost. There are many malicious people on the internet, those who intentionally try to harm or hurt others. But really, if a person likes CCS and fanfiction (and presumably New Trials, at least enough to look it up and ctr+v, ctrl+p), then the optimist in me says that person just needs a good hug from Sakura-chan and be pointed in the right direction (and never repeat the offense again).

UDPATE: Seems like finally took the story down (or not?). I'm not sure what's going on. I didn't mean to rant, but I guess I was more irritated by the whole situation then I thought I was. Hopefully, I will have better news next time. Chapter 67 is a whopping 97 pages at the moment--I'm going to have figure out how to cut it down. ^_^


  1. I am so sorry that you had to go through this! I can only imagine how frustrating it must have been to read that "disclaimer." The fact that you put so much thought into the situation, trying to understand the plagiarizer's motives, just shows what a kind, caring person you are. I'm unsure of what benefit could be gained from simply copying and pasting someone else's work, but I would also just chalk it up to inexperience and reverence. I guess imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

    And don't worry about cutting down Chapter 67! I'm sure all your fans will happily devour all 97+ pages!

  2. I was shocked when I read this post. Seriously? I mean, I agree with you that the word plagiarism can be overused in some situations. And I understand that it can be really hard to come up with something original, whether it's in writing, music, movies and TV shows, or anything that relates to the media. Which is why I'm speechless about just copying and pasting. I mean no offense to the author who did it, but...really? *sigh* I'm glad you're very understanding about this Wish-chan. Most authors would have refused to continue writing (even professional authors sometimes). But it's because of this kind of attitude that really makes New Trials come alive I think. That integrity and sincerity is getting harder to find. So continue working hard. You deserve all the acclamations and adoration from your fans and fellow CCS lovers.

    And I would totally read the 97+ pages. It would be like Christmas, my birthday, and the last day of school all rolled into one. ^___^

  3. @ Courtney, Hazuki Goldair

    Thanks for your remarks. I was sort of feeling silly after writing this post. On the one hand, plagiarism IS a serious affair and it does have serious consequences depending on where it is committed, and it is important to spread awareness of this fact (as it seems that regardless, there will be people who steal others' intellectual property).

    But this whole affair IS silly, and I feel like I wasted a couple more hours than necessary trying to figure out how to deal with this issue when it resolved itself thanks to loyal readers who can spot the impostor.

    And I definitely would not stop writing even if there are a dozen plagiarizers. ^_^ Copy and pasting one chapter is easy, but try doing 80+. Lol. I guess some authors do get offended by plagiarizers, but I'm not particularly offended and see no reason to be (yet), but I admit, I'm just baffled.

  4. I'm sorry to hear about this plagiarizing incident Wish-Chan; hopefully this is the end of it. It's cool you're still maintaining this integrity and sincerity even after these years and copiers. Keep up the work!

    On a side note, you keep on saying Chapter 67, but we haven't even got chapter 66 yet. Does this mean you'll be updating for 2 chapters very soon?

  5. I was very sad when i saw this Wish-Chan. Now out there in the Internet are many "people" plagiarizing other´s authors fanfics. I´ve seen hundreds and hundreds fanfics plagiarized on not just on CCS but also on many others anime series.

    Sure it´s a lot easy if we just copy a story and we change some things to make seem original but if it´s not from our own mind, heart and dedication those fanfics are just fakes.

    Keep the head up Wish-Chan because an author which is working on a fanfic for more than 10 years, I remember those Dial Up Modem I had one on those years, is a truly dedicated author. Honestly I think you are the only one dedicating more than 10 years on a fanfic and that´s admirable.

    Your truly one of a kind Wish-Chan, please keep up the excellent work that you´ve been making for so many years.

    About the next chapter it´s ok you don´t have to cut down Wish-Chan, I would read and re-read those 97 pages, if it was 100 it would be awesome, even if it takes hours and hours. The last chapter took me 3 hours to read it all lol.

    Also I noticed that you mentioned chapter 67 and not 66. Does this mean there will be 2 chapters on a row or it´s just a future chapter you´re already working on?

  6. Please, do not feel silly about this post Wish-Chan. As long as the process of writing this post helped you in figuring out this situation, it was not a waste of time.

  7. Oh, silly me. It IS chapter 66 that I have to post up first. I have been working on Chapter 67 as well, and I start getting frazzled when I work between two chapters. Update: Chapter 66 is over 97 pages, and will be posted first, but Chapter 67 is probably half-done as well. ^_^

  8. Wow... that really sucks =/ I'm sorry to hear this happened to you. I remember some years back when it happened to a friend of mine. Regardless of that, no author deserves something like this.

    On another note though, I really thank you for all these years that you've stuck with NT (: you have so so many readers supporting you. Can't wait for the upcoming chapters!

  9. I can't believe someone would actually plagiarize. It really sucks, especially since you've worked on your story for so long. It's awesome that you're taking this so well.

    That being said, I can't wait for your chapter! And no, don't shorten the chapter! I would love to read everything, no joke. And you've already written so much - there's no point in holding back haha. :)

    Again, love love love your work! You're an amazing author.