A Trip Inside The Mind Of The Plagiarist
First, I was just plagiarized on ff.net by someone calling themselves Cedric17. Their story (like mine) is called Skinny Dipping
and was posted on 7/11/06.
My story Skinny Dipping
was posted on my own site and adultfanfiction.net
on 7/12/2003. Please take a moment to contact Fanfiction.net to let them know to take it down. You just click the Review button and there's an option to report abuse.
That said, I am not surprised. A lot of Harry Potter fanfiction writers have been plagiarised. I have been prepared for this since my first fanfic in Harry Potter, and have gone through great trouble to spread my fic far and wide -- with my name stamped in neon
across it -- to prevent it from succeeding. The more people who recognise my stories, the more likely the plagiarist will be caught. ( My first beta for Primer to the Dark Arts was extremely strange. )
, and cybele_san
were plagiarised, I wondered what on earth the plagiarist got out of this? In all cases they grabbed an obscure story, not one that would garner a lot of attention (Skinny Dipping is Harry/Percy, not exactly a magnet pairing). Then, once they were caught, they got all kinds of nasty reviews. What could they accomplish?
I have dealt with in my life two millionaire con-artists (one of whom faces criminal charges if he sets foot in the US, the other was arrested and is being investigated by the IRS), one petty con-artist who ripped off an employer and myself, a coworker from a well-to-do family who stole tens of thousands from an employer of mine, and one online con-artist who attempted to scam myself and a number of other people in the Harry Potter fandom in 2004. Apparently it's my karma.
Drawing on my experience with such people, I would like to take you on a trip inside the mind of the plagiarist
. Bring a flashlight. It's a scary, dark place. With spiders.Entitlement.
First, these types all seem to believe that they are owed something by the rest of the world. They all have this song and dance about how hard their life was compared to others, it was so unfair -- the world (by which they mean you
) owes them. They are not ripping you off, they are being given their due. The means are acceptable because, the world being unfair, they won't be given what's rightfully theirs otherwise. What is their due? Why, everything they want, of course.Arrogance.
Second, it's fun for them. They enjoy the scam. They like what they can get out of it if they win, sure... the money, the reviews, the attention. But the process itself boosts their ego. Every person they fool makes them feel smarter than the rest of the world. The more clever the scam, the more loops they manage to slip, the better they feel. It's proof that yes, they are owed more, because look how much smarter they are than these suckers. When they're caught, all they do is try to figure out where they slipped up so they can play the game better. Any police officer can tell you that murderers and bank robbers will admit what they did was wrong, but con artists never do. Minimizing.
Third, they all seem to say, yes, "everyone does it" and "these idiots would be taken by someone, so why not me?" They believe that there is no harm done and that the world is unaffected by their actions. This "stupidity" (in their eyes) is a like a terminal disease: the end is inevitable.Laziness.
Fourth, it's easier to take what someone else has than to work for it yourself. Writing a story can take days of effort, while plagiarising only takes minutes -- with the same results (in their minds). And fewer risks. Why marry a woman who might gain weight, when you can steal someone else's wife after seeing exactly how she turned out, post-wedding? Envy.
Fifth, and this goes with that sense of entitlement, these people seem to want so much. There's no end to it. They look at a beautiful house, and instead of seeing "hey, what a nice house" they say, "why isn't my house that nice?" And once they've stolen something or conned someone into buying them that house, they just want something else. Self-absorption.
Sixth, and this varies in degree from con to con, but inevitably they are far more important than anyone else in the universe. It's almost childish, their focus on "me." One extreme is the sociopath (and yes, I have run into this). As it was explained to me, they don't even view people as beings with thoughts and feelings like themselves. People are like furniture to them. They may like that piece of furniture but they don't have any personal feelings towards it, of course not. So they can be very pleasant... and then slit your throat for your wallet. Nothing personal. They just needed the wallet.
The less extreme cases figure out ways where their victims "deserve it." They'll say "oh, well, he's a rich asshole" or "that person's a BNF." It's similar to the way the military brands their enemy as "Japs" or "Terrorists," stripping away the human underneath, leaving a label instead. ( How's that flashlight holding up? )
Okay, now into the light... What Do You Do? (beyond the obvious of course)
Knowing what we know about the con (and make no mistake, although plagiarism is theft, its purpose is to con people into thinking they wrote that story) what do you do? You can't reform the plagiarist or con-artist. They are not concerned with the feelings of others. Instead, you have to lay down the law.
1 - get "their" story taken down. Take away the object that they want. Take away the house. Take away the stuff -- that's what they want.
2 - rob them of the pleasure of fooling people. Cut off that feeling of superiority. Let them know they were caught, and how easily. How transparent they were. Public humiliation works best.How will the con-artist respond?
Have your evidence ready. For plagiarism this is pretty easy. But be aware:( The con-artist invariably plays their role to the hilt. )
Great news! It's been pulled. It's gone. The plagiarist is done for. FF.net yanked the story within twenty-four hours. Thank you all for sending the Abuse reports. *Icarus breathes a heavy sigh of relief*