The American Heritage College Dictionary
- This board has a zero tolerance policy toward plagiarism.
- All board members are responsible for reading, understanding, and adhering to the board's plagiarism policy!
defines plagiarism as: "to use and pass off as one's own, the ideas or writings of another; to appropriate for use as one's own passages or ideas from another."
The Canadian Intermediate Dictionary
defines plagiarism as: "the act of taking and using as one's own the idea, writing, invention, etc. of another; especially the taking and using of passages, plot, etc. from the work of another writer."
1. "the act of plagiarizing; taking someone's words or ideas as if they were your own."
2. "a piece of writing that has been copied from someone else and is presented as being your own work."
"to use another person's idea or a part of their work and pretend that it is your own."
DEFINITION FROM THE FAN FICTION COMMUNITY:
The following is a direct quote from a Fan Fiction site. The hyperlink is included for reference.
The Library: Fan Fiction for The Sentinel
"It is the responsibility of the fan fiction community as a whole to safeguard itself against plagiarism."
"Plagiarism is stealing the ideas and thoughts of another author and representing them as one's own. An example of this is taking a portion of someone else's story and putting it into your own story without getting permission from and giving credit to the original author. Using sections of a story in which the original portions have undergone minor changes (wording, characters, etc.) but are still reasonably recognizable also qualifies as plagiarism. Plagiarism is wrong and is one of the worst offenses in the writing community because it is the *theft* of another person's creative efforts."
Plagiarism can be broken down into two types: Quote or Copy Plagiarism
and Idea Plagiarism
is easy to spot. When you copy something from another source and you do not credit the source, that is copy plagiarism. Whether you copy a few words, a few sentences, entire paragraphs, or entire chapters... it makes no difference. Copying is copying and copying is Plagiarism. This applies if you are copying from published printed material such as a book; a movie; or a TV show.
Example of copy plagiarism
using the book "The Transall Saga" by Gary Paulsen:
"Thirteen year-old Mark Harrison sat on a white slab
of shale studying a small army
of ants that was carrying off the
crumbs that had dropped from a granola bar he'd just eaten." (p.3)
"Sixteen year-old Liz Parker sat on a white slab
of rock studying a small army
of aliens that was carrying off the
orbs she and her friends had uncovered."
Are you saying I can never quote anything?
: No. You can use quotes of dialog from the show Roswell, for example, within reason, as long as you state in the disclaimer that you will be using it and what episode it came from. Using a few lines of episode dialog is fine. Quoting over half of an episode is not. For legal purposes, it must be done in moderation.
What about quoting material from songs or poems?
Let's say you want use a line from a poem. Put the text you are quoting in italics where it falls in your chapter. For cases where the text will be broken up throughout the chapter, list the title and author in your disclaimer.
In the story "For The Roses" by Tesseract.
At the beginning of each new chapter, she uses a quote from a poem. Notice she references the author directly under the quote and she puts the text in italics.
I’ve wakened to your muttered words
spoken light- or dark years away
as if my own voice had spoken.
Twenty-One Love Poems, XII, vii-ix
What about quoting material from books?
Let's say you will be using a line from a movie or book at some point in your story. Put this fact in your disclaimer like so...
Disclaimer: During the conversation between Max and Liz, Max will quote a line from the Movie "XYZ".
Make sure you write out what the line or phrase is. Put it in italics. From a book or written source, list the title, the author, and the page or chapter number the quote comes from, again in italics.
is taking someone else's idea and using it without crediting the original. We've all seen stories that are "inspired by". Being inspired by another work is fine as long as you take the General Premise
only and then create something from there. What is not OK is following the plot in detail, chapter by chapter, in whatever you write.
Ideas or facts that are considered "Public Domain" do not need to be credited. These are those ideas or facts that are common knowledge or commonly used. They are well documented in many, many texts and sources or used repeated in many sources: Examples: Max was an alien. Antar was the alien's home planet. A UFO crashed in Roswell in 1947. Majestic 12 was a secret government agency. Area 51 is a secret government base that held a UFO or aliens.
Again, using the book "The Transall Saga" by Gary Paulsen:
Mark falls into a red beam of light and is transported to another dimension, which turns out to be an Earth of the future after a nuclear holocaust.
Adapting this idea correctly for Roswell...
Liz falls into the beam of light and finds a post-EOTW situation.
Using the movie "The Omega Man":
Robert is doctor and the last surviving human after a war of biological weapons. A plague caused as a result of the war killed off all of humanity except for a small group of human mutants. The mutants believe technology caused the war and see Robert as the symbol of technology, believing he must die. During the course of the movie, he discovers there are still surviving pockets of normal humans and he tries to save them using his own blood as an antidote for the plague.
Adapting this idea correctly for Roswell...
This example uses the general idea as a starting point then goes off in it’s own direction.
Liz is a doctor. After a war between humans and aliens using biological weapons, a plague kills off all of humanity. A small group of evil aliens remains on earth searching for survivors. Liz discovers a surviving pocket of humans and friendly aliens (Max and the gang). She works with them to try to save themselves and what's left of humanity while battling the evil aliens.
Example of this same idea that would be considered Idea Plagiarism…
Liz is doctor and the last surviving human after a war between aliens and humans using biological weapons. A plague caused as a result of the war killed off all of humans except for a small group of mutants. The mutants believe alien technology caused the war and see Liz as the symbol of that technology. Therefore they want her dead. She discovers a surviving pocket of normal humans and aliens and tries to save them using her own blood as an antidote for the plague.
As you can see, this example uses too many of the plot points. It gets into too many of the specifics of the movie.
Good examples of ideas adapted for fanfic on these boards:
Secrets in the Dark
by Starlady: Using the book's general premise as a jump-off point for a fic of her own, but still mentions the book in her disclaimer.
by Deejonaise: She uses the general premise of the movie of "Regarding Henry" but goes in a completely different direction.
I'm inspired by a movie or a book. I want to use it correctly and stay out of trouble. How do I do that?
ALWAYS put the source of your inspiration in your Disclaimer. If it is a movie, list the title. If it is a book or song, list the title and who wrote it. If it is another Fanfic, list the Title, The author, and most importantly... Make sure you get the author's permission BEFORE you write it. As a double dose of prevention, run whatever you are writing past a mod.
What do I do if I read something that is similar to a story I'm writing but I know I didn't intend to plagiarize?
Contact a mod immediately.
Ok, I understand what plagiarism is, but how can you tell? Maybe it was an accident?
: The dead give away is "Patterns". Typically, when something is plagiarized, there are noticeable patterns; Multiple instances in the story in question. When you read a 500 page story and 1 character quote is the same as what is written in another source, that may be unintentional. However, when you read a story and you find several similarities or direct copies of text as another work, that is evidence that it was intentional. Think about it. What are the odds that someone "accidentally" plagiarized someone else's work when you find 3 or 4 or 5 or even more exact or similar passages?
Why does Roswell Fanatics have such a strict policy against Plagiarism?
Among professionals, Fan Fiction writing is not a highly respected area of creativity to begin with just by the nature of the fact that we are borrowing for someone else. By virtue of the grey area we play in, Fan Fiction writers should all hold themselves to the highest level of integrity.
Fan fiction is technically copyright infringement. We violate someone's copyright with every single word we post. Most producers of television shows, professional authors, movie producers, etc turn a blind eye to our passion because it brings them free publicity. It keeps the interest in the fandom alive.
There are producers, actors, writers, and authors that admit to trolling Fan Fiction boards. Don't ever think that the original creators do not know what we do.
Legally any and all of the creators and producers of the television shows, movies, and novels that we borrow our inspiration and characters from have the right to shut us down at their pleasure. They could even round up the best of our work and publish it for their own profit and we wouldn't have a legal leg to stand on.
There are some authors, creators, producers, etc that do NOT approve of Fan Fiction and don't want their works used. Notable names include Anne Rice, Anne McCaffrey, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Orson Scott Card, Dave Duncan, Lawrence Watt-Evans, Robert Asprin, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Terry Goodkind, Mercedes Lackey, Chelsea Quinn Yarbro. A complete listing of those that do NOT tolerate Fan Faction can be found at The Writer's University: http://www.writersu.net/
Dip into their territory in the slightest and you'll get a "cease and desist" letter from their lawyers. Legally they have the right.
For all the reasons above, it is even more critical that we are vigilant on our stance. If a published novelist, for example, were to ever come across one of their works plagiarized in a story on Roswell Fanatics, they could sue and shut us down.
We, at Roswell Fanatics, feel that when a judgment is made, if there is any doubt, it is best to error on the side of caution to protect the board and our community.
An independent plagiarism board has been created to make decisions on any plagiarism case. These people are not a part of the Roswell community and can be counted on to make an impartial decision. The mods and administrators will collect the evidence, but the Plagiarism Panel will decide the final judgment by majority vote.
Plagiarism - The Last Word
These are the plagiarism rules for Roswell Fanatics. Read them, learn them, live them! There will be no second chances. If a writer is proven to have plagiarized a story from a published source or from another fanfiction writer, that person will immediately be banned from Roswell Fanatics.
1) Any fic that is proven to be copied word for word from ANY other written source, even with it being credited, will instantly be deleted and the writer banned from the board. This includes fictional, published works and fics written by other fan-writers in any fandom.
2) Any fic proven to be copied scene by scene from any other written source or any movie will instantly be deleted and the writer banned from the board.
3) If there is any doubt, Roswell Fanatics will error on the side of caution. Fan Fiction in and of itself is copywrite infringement. Rather than taking the chance of being sued and having the board shutdown, we would prefer to be safe rather than sorry.
In the end, not only is plagiarism a betrayal of the writers from which the words and ideas are stolen, it is also a betrayal of your readers. We feel that it is wrong to claim someone else’s work as your own, particularly since so many of us are writers here as well as readers. We pour our blood, sweat and tears into our fics and feel that we should be guaranteed the knowledge that all other writers on this board are doing the same.
Finally, from this point on, there will be no second chances. This will remain posted here and on every board at Fanatics. If you choose not to have read it, that will not be an excuse. Every single user is now held accountable for their actions regarding this very important issue. If you are presently the owner of a thread that has violated one of these rules, even if it was started BEFORE these rules were posted, you will still be held accountable. So if you are, I suggest you get rid of it before we notice. And, trust me, we WILL notice. We have had some very helpful users in the past few days informing us of cases that we are taking very seriously.
If you plagiarize, you will be banned. End of story.