Plagiarism Sucks Back to Blog

(Thank you SO much to the kind folks who alerted me to this situation.)

I’m being plagiarized. It sucks.

I’m not just talking some similarities in a plot line (that can happen). We’ve all read our share of books with similar story lines.  I’m talking about word for word plagiarism of DEADLY HEAT.

I was alerted that a person using the online name of Misconception76 had posted a story called The Devil’s Dance on fanfiction.net. (Here’s a link for you:  http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7129614/1/The_Devils_Dance).  At the beginning of her work, she includes this disclaimer:

The Twilight Series character names belong to Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended.”

You see, she’s renamed my characters Edward & Bella.  My SSD Agent Kenton–he’s Edward. My tough female firefighter? She’s Bella.

She changes the names, acknowledges that she’s using them from the Twlight books, and then Misconception76 goes ahead to use my entire Deadly Heat story.  She changes the POV (using “I” instead of 3rd person), but everything else is the same. For pages and pages and pages.

She adds comments at the beginning and end of each chapter–talking about how hard it is to write. How the characters can be difficult.

And she steals my work.

Let me just say this–I want readers to like my stories. I want them to care about my characters. To talk about the plots and twists and love relationships.

What I don’t want? For someone to steal my work and act like I don’t exist.

I work hard on my writing. I often go to bed long past midnight because I’m up pounding out stories. I miss sleep. I miss family functions. I live and breathe my stories.

Please don’t steal them from me.

If you want to be a writer, then be a writer.  Use your own imagination and write your own stories. Don’t lie and act like something is yours when you’ve just taken the EXACT words from someone else.

Please, don’t plagiarize me.

Update:

I realize that some folks who haven’t read my work are coming to the site to check out this story. Some may not believe me when I talk about this plagiarism situation. (After all, if you haven’t read my work, how can you be sure? Makes sense.) So I wanted to share a small excerpt from my published book, DEADLY HEAT, with you:

Choosing to run into a burning building probably wasn’t the smartest decision he’d ever made. Then again, sadly, it wasn’t his dumbest either.

Kenton Lake choked in a deep breath of air—already tasted the smoke–then lifted his arm over his mouth. Some jobs just sucked.

He went into the wall of smoke. Ah, hell.

His nostrils burned. Heat scored his flesh, but he heard the voice calling, the same voice that had lured him to the building, lured him across the street and into this inferno.

H-help! Dammit—h-help me!”

His informer. Upstairs. In the middle of the flames and fury.

He jerked off his jacket, covered his mouth, and tried to stay as low to the floor as he could.

His eyes burned, and the ash and fire singed his nostrils. How the hell had this happened? He was investigating arson, not supposed to get drawn into—

Part of the ceiling fell behind him.

Kenton glared up at the long row of stairs. Ten-to-one odds they’d fall away before he got to the top.

Ten to one.

“H-help…”

Weaker.

He took the stairs. One. Two. Three.

And, yep, they gave way just when he reached stair number four. Kenton went down, hard. The broken wood bit into his arms and legs, and the fire flew toward him.

A blast of water shot out, hard and fast, slamming into the flames.

Someone grabbed him, hauled him up, and a hand locked tight around his arm. Kenton found himself staring right at a firefighter.

He caught a smoky glimpse of narrowed eyes behind a clear eye shield. Kenton had a fast impression of a thick, black helmet and a brown uniform—

The firefighter shoved him forward, obviously trying to send him toward the front of the building.

Hell, no.

More firefighters swarmed around him, battling the fire. Some struck out with axes, some scrambled into the rooms.

Couldn’t they hear the voice calling for help?

He tried to break free and jump for those stairs. There was a gap, he could make it, he might—

The firefighter who’d grabbed him before dragged him right back and gave a hard negative shake of that black helmet.

Screw that, he wasn’t leaving a victim behind—

He wrenched away.

Then the firefighter slugged him. Hard. Right in his jaw. Damn, one hell of a hit.

Kenton went down.

The firefighter’s arms wrapped around him. Another grabbed him. Another.

Then they dragged his ass out of the flames.

***

And here’s the material that Misconception76 posted on FanFiction.net:

~Edward~

Choosing to run into a burning building probably wasn’t the smartest decision I’d ever made. Then again, sadly, it wasn’t my dumbest either.

I choked in a deep breath of air – already tasted the smoke – then lifted my arm over my mouth. Some jobs just sucked.

I went into the wall of smoke. Ah, hell.

My nostrils burned. Heat scored my flesh, but I heard the voice calling, the same voice that had lured me to the building, lured me across the street and into this inferno.

H-help! Dammit, h-help me!”

My informer. Upstairs. In the middle of the flames and fury.

I jerked off my jacket, covered my mouth, and tried to stay as low to the floor as I could.

My eyes burned, and the ash and fire singed my nostrils. How the hell had this happened? I was investigating arson, not supposed to get drawn into–

Part of the ceiling fell behind me.

I glared up at the long row of stairs. Ten-to-one odds they’d fall away before I got to the top.

Ten-to-one.

“H-help…”

Weaker.

I took the stairs. One. Two. Three.

And, yep, they gave way just when I reached stair number four. I went down, hard. The broken wood bit into my arms and legs, and the fire flew toward me.

A blast of water shot out, hard and fast, slamming into the flames.

Someone grabbed me, hauled me up, and a hand locked tight around my arm. I found himself staring right at a firefighter.

I caught a smoky glimpse of narrowed eyes behind a clear eye shield. I had a fast impression of a thick, black helmet and a brown uniform–

The firefighter shoved me forward, obviously trying to send me toward the front of the building.

Hell, no.

More firefighters swarmed around me, battling the fire. Some struck out with axes, some scrambled into the rooms.

Couldn’t they hear the voice calling for help?

I tried to break free and jump for those stairs. There was a gap, I could make it, I might–

The firefighter who’d grabbed me before dragged me right back and gave a hard negative shake of that black helmet.

Screw that, I wasn’t leaving a victim behind–

I wrenched away.

Then the firefighter slugged me. Hard. Right in my jaw. Damn, one hell of a hit.

I went down.

The firefighter’s arms wrapped around me. Another grabbed me. Another.

Then they dragged my ass out of the flames.

***

See what I’m talking about?  And she does this for my entire book.  On Twitter, Evening_Shadow recommended that I tell people how to report The Devil’s Dance as abuse. View the material at: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/7129614/2/The_Devils_Dance, and click on the drop-down menu in the lower left-hand corner of the screen.  Then just select the “Report Possible Abuse” and click “Go”.   Hopefully, if enough people report this, The Devil’s Dance will be removed.

Thank you.

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148 Responses to “Plagiarism Sucks”

  1. Ashley says:

    I sent a report. This person is seriously disgusting. Don’t they have any morals?

    I hope she gets shut down soon. You don’t deserve to be stolen from.
    Good luck!

  2. Tara says:

    I reported as well. Love your work, you’re on my permanent “Buy” list! Thanks for the stories and a chance to escape, the moments are greatly appreciated!

  3. Lissa says:

    I reported this for you as well. It’s really disgusting, sad, and totally pointless! Why does the plagiariser want feedback on something they didn’t even write? Why would they go through all the bother of changing it all to 1st person instead of just writing their own fanfiction? it’s beyond me.

  4. Breeana says:

    Hi Cynthia,

    So sorry this happened. :( I’m debating with myself whether to actually click on the link to what she did — I want you to get the hits and publicity for your books, not her.

    Neil Gaiman has a really interesting video on YouTube about pirating and the idea that any publicity for your stories is good publicity, and has always resulted in more sales for him.

    I’m hoping that’s what will happen for you. That this unfortunate thing that has happened will, in reality, generate more sales for you and turn out to be a good thing.

  5. Samantha says:

    I reported this for you also. I can’t believe this person had the nerve to steal your work and then want feedback from it as if it were their own! Love your work and hopefully that site will shut that person down soon!
    Good luck!

  6. Filed a report. It was almost verbatim. Disgusting!

  7. I reported it. I also retweeted it. And while I’m not that big of a romance fan, I’ll also be picking up your book this afternoon. I found out about this via Ilona Andrews–so the internet is good for something, I promise!

  8. Sadie Hart says:

    I reported this as well. Hopefully Fanfiction.net will soon get the hint and take it down. :( This is just beyond wrong. Good luck, I hope it gets taken care of soon!

  9. The LiveJournal group called “Stop Plagiarism” has an excellent track record in dealing with situations like this. I suggest you contact them.

    http://stop-plagiarism.livejournal.com/

    –Jaye

  10. vbfb1 says:

    I have to say that I actually read the FFn story adn thought it was brilliant before it was brought to my attention that it was plgiarised. I felt so duped when i realised the story i had thought was excellent fanfiction was actually stolen from a published author. The good news is that all that the stuipd stealer did was inspire me to go out and buy your books because I really want to read the other two books in the series. just wish i could find them in ebook

  11. AnnaLund says:

    well, it’s got a good thing though: I now know about you from the Fandom, and will get your books!
    cheers
    anna

  12. Carol says:

    I also sent the report. That being said, i am discovering that I really like your writing, and I put your books on my “buy” list. :)

  13. JuliaGD says:

    Reported it too. Shame that things like that happen.

  14. desiree says:

    I am sorry that happened to you. I really hope that enough of your fans out there are able to spread the word to make sure people know this is your story not hers. From the sounds of some of the posts you might have a few new fans as well.

    I love all your books and will continue to buy them when they come out.

  15. Laura says:

    I just found this in FF group on FB. I am on my way to report now. My best friend has also had her works stoln by someone posting on FF. We managed to get the story pulled after three weeks of constant hounding. The thief then went through, changed some names, added a poorly written flashback, and REPOSTED it again yesterday. This sort of thing makes me sick. Perhaps your publishing house may also be able to bring some pressure to bear on fanfiction.net?

  16. Lexie says:

    Wow…this is sooooo stupid! I cant believe someone would do that.

    I hope everything works out and she gets whats coming to her.

  17. Bob Creutz says:

    I see this type of infringement all too often. I used iThenticate to compare Misconception76’s plagiarized version to your original. Despite POV changes, Misconception76 version shows 89 percent similarity to yours (378 of 412 words). IP attorneys would have a field day with your case. Shame on Misconception76. No scruples. Great to see your readers rallying. Coordinated effort is a large part of eradicating plagiarism.

  18. Sorry this has happened to you. I know from experience how upsetting this can be. I’m an indie writer/publisher and have just dealt with my 10th case of plagiarism. It’s usually teens who either want attention via ‘reviews’ and don’t understand what plagiarism is or don’t care and believe they won’t be caught.

    The hosting sites are very good at dealing with the situation once it is brought to their attention. The last case I reported was just yesterday and it’s already downn. (Someone had plagiarized my story and even photoshopped the cover, removing my name and putting hers!)

    Hang in there and try to think positively. In a strange way, being plagiarized is a compliment and it does bring publicity – not quite the way you would have hoped of course!

  19. Am says:

    Hey, I went through and reported the chapters. I am sickened that someone could go so far – and for what? I mean, you can’t even feel a sense of pride, right? I am a writer and I can’t even imagine how it would feel to know that someone would go that far…even if it doesn’t involve monetary gain.

    My support is behind you <3

  20. Rowan says:

    I just wanted to say that I came across your site because I read a story about plagiarizing of your book on Fan Fiction. I’m really sorry to hear this because it really takes a lot of time, creativity and imagination until characters and plot lines are truly developed.

    I checked the Fan Fiction site and the story is still up but what I noticed in the reviews, was that a lot of posters mentioned your name and the book involved. Since “misconception76″ wanted to do a follow-up, those original reviewers will return and I assume might check up on the other reviews.

    I hope that you get something out of this deal, like additional readers. For my part, I never heard of you until today, I’m not into paranormal but the Deadly series looks interesting, so I will read the excerpts and then see if I will and them to my to-read pile. BTW, I also posted your site here in two forums where people read and write for Fanfiction. They are always looking for something new to read, so I hope this will help.

  21. Meg Magruder says:

    I was notified that the story I read on Fan Fiction was truly yours. I was appalled! See being an honest person I would never think to do what Misc76 did. I have reported the abuse today.

    On a bright side! I an adding your books to the TBB list (to be bought). I truly feel I need to buy Deadly Heat since I have read it and you were not given credit!

    I am spitting mad! Good luck and I look forward to reading more of your works!

    Best of Luck.. Meg an aggie in frisco

  22. Michael says:

    Thankfully, the story is down now.

    Misconception76 has now posted a ‘confession’.

    Something to do with her mom’s friend… or friend’s mom, she can’t seem to remember.

    http://www.fanfiction.net/u/3023156/misconception76

  23. fetish fanfic says:

    I’m sorry this has happened to you. No excuse from the plagerizer is good enough. Fortunately those in the twific fandom are pretty well on top of their game and are really pretty ruthless when we find something like this has happened. Like myself, many of us write in the fandom too and work just as hard to create our stories. Many of us have been plagerized as well so we know or can imagine how horrible it feels.
    I happen to know that one of the very first to discover the work was plagerized was @kitsushel (on twitter). As you can see, we police our own. I hope you don’t think worse of all of us because of this incident. Many now have said that they will be buying and reading your books. I truly hope you get more readership and sales out of this otherwise terrible incident. Good luck to you in all your future writing.

  24. Darcy says:

    As a reader I get infuriated at the piracy of authors work. I know they put their heart and soul into what they write and it is a work of art to me the reader. I don’t want to know that the authors I love to read, and support through promoting their books are being ripped off. Not only of their work of art, but by their income as well. The U.S has become a place without moral and ethics being taught by the parents and this is an end result. It angers me that anyone would believe there is any reason or right to anothers work. They deserve a punishment for these broken laws. and the offenders are not caught enough nor punished enough.
    I am so sorry that your art was stolen, and I hope you get more sales as a result. The person who did this needs to be ashamed of herself.
    Wishing you all the success in the future, adn you have gained a fan in me as well….*S*

    Darcy

  25. [...] Smart Bitches, Trashy Books points out, romantic suspense and paranormal romance writer Cynthia Eden has been plagiarized. A fanfic writer calling themselves Misconception76 has taken the words of Cynthia Eden’s [...]

  26. pezibc says:

    I see that the link you posted now brings up a “Story Not Found” page. I wonder how many of us came over from Reddit and reported the theft? I love Internet Justice. “Get a rope!”

    It looks like they are not banning the user (a member for less than two months), but the person has posted a pretty good apology.
    ……………………..

    http://www.fanfiction.net/u/3023156/misconception76

    Okay…confession time. What people said I did, I really did do. It was an experiment with a friend of mine. Her mom is totally addicted to the site, and it made me wonder. How many people actually copy other stories and claim them as their own. Well, now I know. Probably not many at all. I’m sorry for all the crap that I caused, and I promise to never show my face again. When my mom’s friend found out what we did, she was livid to say the least. I don’t blame her, or you for any words or actions you brought my way. I totally deserved it.

    Once again, I’m sorry.

    Misconception

    • Allie says:

      Personally I feel their apology is very weak. This person is extremely lucky that their account have not been revoked and any further set up with that email address banned.
      Basically this person is saying the stole another person’s work as a “test” to see if other fanfic readers pay attention to what they read and how many other fanfic writers are “fake” writers and just steal others work.
      What crap.

      She did a huge disservice to the fanfiction world. There are some authors who despise fanfiction in all forms and that idiot just gave them more fuel to the fire.

      And she did an even bigger disservice to published authors by purposely and willingly stealing another persons hard earned work and daring to claim it as her own. Making other authors become wary of fanfiction writers whereas before they may not have even been terribly concerned about it.

    • pezibc says:

      There was no waffling in the apology. That’s a big plus. Non-apology apologies are the big thing these days.

      I suspect that we’re talking about a kid here. It was just a dumb thing to do and years from now they will probably be grateful to have been caught and slapped down hard.

  27. [...] immediately went into action trying (unsuccessfully) to get her story taken down.  She wrote a scathing blog and now  Cynthia was kind enough to answer a few questions for [...]

  28. Jennifer says:

    I was going to report it, but as others have said, it’s down now. Glad to see another case of plagiarism taken down.

    I just reported an eBay link to some publishers, because someone took 100 romance novels (including major works by Diana Gabaldon, Julia Quinn and Jennifer Crusie) and put them on CD and is or was trying to sell it. Stealing authors’ work seems to be all the rage these days.

  29. I followed a link on Kindleboards to this blog post. I really feel for you – to put the time and effort into writing and then have someone just steal it. It’s flattering in a way, I suppose, but it’s still a really low thing to do. Good luck in dealing with it.

  30. Karen Wapinski says:

    That’s absolutely disgusting. No one deserves to have their work stolen for them.

  31. [...] can read more about this on Ms. Eden’s blog and this post on [...]

  32. [...] can read more about this on Ms. Eden’s blog and this post on [...]

  33. Kathleen Charles says:

    I do have a question.
    —–
    Allie says: (August 16, 2011 at 10:59 am) “Personally I feel their apology is very weak. This person is extremely lucky that their account have not been revoked and any further set up with that email address banned.”
    —–
    Are you kidding me? Why wasn’t their account revoked and account banned? Plagiarism is a crime, punishable by law. By not revoking/banning this plagiarist, FanFiction is by default condoning plagiarism.

    • Allie says:

      Not up to me, I don’t run fanfiction.net. I was saying the same thing you are basically. I can’t believe they didn’t revoke her account. She was wrong wrong wrong.

  34. Cynthia Eden says:

    Hi, everyone. Thank you for all of the comments and kind words. With the story down now (thank you!!!), I can sure say that the online community of writers and readers is a powerful force. I can’t thank everyone enough for reporting the situation and for helping me to get the story taken down. The reports of abuse were VERY helpful to me. Without the support I’ve gotten, I would have felt totally lost. So…thank you.

    • Kim S. says:

      So, yes–the story is down. Wondering, however, what else the “writer” has out there, I visited her ff.net bio page…and she had the audacity to post the following:

      “Okay…confession time. What people said I did, I really did do. It was an experiment with a friend of mine. Her mom is totally addicted to the site, and it made me wonder. How many people actually copy other stories and claim them as their own. Well, now I know. Probably not many at all. I’m sorry for all the crap that I caused, and I promise to never show my face again. When my mom’s friend found out what we did, she was livid to say the least. I don’t blame her, or you for any words or actions you brought my way. I totally deserved it.

      Once again, I’m sorry.”

      I call shenanigans. An “experiment”? The whole thing smacks of “oops, got caught! BACKPEDAL.” I don’t think she can get away with an apology and half-backed explanation. (Certainly not now!)

  35. Kim S. says:

    *ahem*

    Kim should read all comments first!

    (Late to the boat, as it were.)

  36. [...] Cynthia Eden (the injured party) describes the situation below: “I was alerted that a person using the online name of [...]

  37. Tatiana says:

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. I working one of my books now and I can’t imagine how I’d feel if someone took my idea. On the bright side I love these type of books and am adding you to my to-read list. Best of luck.

  38. FilledeMarius says:

    As a fanfiction writer of seven years, I would like to apologize for what happened to you. Not all of use are like that and what she did is considered the lowest of the low, in all fandoms.

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