Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

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Heavenli24
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Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby Heavenli24 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 4:01 am

Okay, so this has been bugging me for a while and I wanted to get it out there and see what others thought about it. A few months ago, I wanted something new to read, so I headed over to Twilighted.net to see if there were any good Twilight fics around (All-Human, since I'm not keen on the Twilight canon). I've found a few good ones (although I still feel that the Roswell fandom has much higher quality writing in it), but I've just been amazed (not in a good way) at the attitudes of authors towards plagiarism and the ownership of their stories.

There have been a ton of the most popular Twilight stories that have been pulled from the internet by the authors because of plagiarism or because their stories have been flamed by feedbackers. One day the story is posted online, the next, the author won't let anyone read it anymore because someone tried to plagiarise it or said nasty things about it. Some authors have even gone as far as to legally copyright their characters and stories so that they can't be plagiarised by others (although I'm not sure how 'legal' this is, since the characters weren't theirs to start with).

It just seems completely backwards... here at Fanatics, if anyone finds that a story is being plagiarised, then the plagiarist is called out and banned and the original fanfic remains. But in Twilight fic, if a story is plagiarised, the author takes the story off the internet and either refuses to send anyone a copy or posts it on a private account and makes everyone open an account and get 'approved access' from the author to read it (i.e. you will only be approved if you have left feedback for the story before and the author recognises your username). For one fic, there's actually a note that says: "Once you have access, do NOT discuss the fic ANYWHERE, nor are you to share it. EVER." It's just so over-the-top and dramatic... it's not like us fanfic writers have many legal rights anyway, since fanfiction is a often sore subject with published authors and TV/film writers.

It just makes me so angry that authors can be that self-righteous and selfish with their work (it's like they think that they have the right to choose who reads it... but it was posted on the internet where anyone can access it... and also that their work is in such demand that it's not safe to keep online because others will plagiarise it too). There have been two stories that I wanted to read that were pulled by the authors before I got a chance... when I emailed them to ask if I might be able to get a copy to read, one refused outright and said 'subscribe to my blog to see if it will be posted again in the future' and the other never even bothered to reply. There seems to be a general consensus in the Twi-fandom that no one should save or share copies of a story unless it has been approved by the author (but, of course, it seems that none of the authors will let you read it). I can understand pulling a story if you're going to re-work it for publishing and can't have it online anymore (although it does appear that a lot of Twilight fic writers think they can get published), but otherwise, I don't get it.

What does everyone else think? Should stories be pulled from the fandom just because someone tried to plagiarise them or flamed them? Is it right to withhold a story from readers who love it just because someone once tried to plagiarise it?

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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby nibbles2 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:02 am

Wow. There's a reason that Twi-hards have such a bad reputation - they're nuts! :lol:

If I'd spent months (years in the case of GD) writing a fic and then somebody else came along and was passing it off as their own, then I would be completely pissed. I may have no legal ownership of the characters but it's still my work and I do feel that I should have some form of ownership over that. I'm not talking about legal ownership, but there is generally agreed code of conduct on the internet about these things and plagarism is a no no. The only person who should be run off the internet is the person who was doing the plagarism. (I can't for the life of me understand plagarists, what is the point of posting somebody else's work. None of the praise is really directed at them so it can't fill the emptiness in their life, can it?)

That being said, I believe that locking your fics away and only letting a limited few read them is the height of ridiculousness. I bet the 'special few' who get to read are only going to post gushing feedback and any dissenting voices will quickly find themselves on the blacklist.

If an an author I was reading decided she was special enough to pull that stunt, we'd quickly part company. There are only a very few people that I would be willing to jump through hoops to read and part of the reason that I love them is because they wouldn't be this asinine.

I don't think that I would ever pull a fic from the internet just because somebody had plagarised it, even though I probably would be upset and angry. At the end of the day, what's the point of writing fics if not to share them with others?

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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby Heavenli24 » Sun Jul 04, 2010 6:18 am

nibbles2 wrote:At the end of the day, what's the point of writing fics if not to share them with others?


Exactly - I was just reading through the forum thread of the fic that was pulled and posted on LJ so only approved readers could read it (this one happened over a year ago, but fics are still being pulled all the time) and one user posted some very valid points (I've taken out the name of the author of the pulled fic though):

...However, every artist has a responsibility. Throughout history, there has always been a vivid discussion about the term author and about an author’s creation. Part of that discussion is the question if an author serves anyone and if yes, then whom. Along with the question who the created piece of literature belongs to.
The moment an author shares his creation with others, he also starts to share the rights to it. Not the rights in an economical sense of word. But as he reveals a world to his readers, he entrusts them with it, leaves his creation to be formed in their minds.

I don’t condemn the decision [the author] has made. It is not my place to do so. But seeing that she has talent and the will to share, I hope that one day, she’ll grow to be an artist in every sense of the word and be able to see that right now, she is not acting according to her responsibility. And I don’t mean her personal responsibility, but the one as an author.

I do sympathize with her reaction, but as an author of a handful of published books, let me give this advice: The author never chooses his readers, they choose his creations. And that in itself is an honor. It is not the authors place to decide who is “allowed” to read whatever he has created to be shared. That defies the point of literature. If every author, who is attacked, pulled his pieces off the market or decided, that “only good children” were allowed to read it, then none of us would’ve ever seen any piece of literature and [the author] would’ve been robbed of her inspiration to start writing, before it even had a chance to grow.

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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby Misha » Sun Jul 04, 2010 1:39 pm

Wow... that is... sad.

First of all, you cannot please everyone. Someone, somewhere, is going to hate your work, and in internet, you are probably going to find that someone rather soon :roll: I once witnessed an author who got such a thrashing on a PM that she actually deleted the entire chapter. She believed the reviewer was right, that the chapter she'd posted was just crap and no one should read it. Of course, all the other readers who loved the story had to campaign the whole week to get the author's confidence back, but it does drive the point that she had every right to a) delete her work and b) stop writing. Sadly though, neither of these options will actually help the author to keep writing and sharing with the world. Worst, I as a reader felt cheated that because someone out there wrote a nasty review, I would never get to know the end of the story. That's the author's responsibility: tell the story.

What I've experienced with the twilight fandom is that most of them are very immature, or very new to the world of fanfiction. No one likes to get a bad review, granted, but you have to suck it up and either learn from it, or ignore it. Otherwise, what are you going to do? Stop writing because someone told you so? Especially some stranger over the internet who you will never meet? I guess bad reviews stay with us way longer than a hundred great reviews, because it somehow feels like we fail to at least one person. But part of writing is dealing with it, and write the story you want. Sure, there's always room for improvement, but that's where the mature part comes into play. Learn and keep going.

If I found that someone is taking my own work as her own I would feel robbed, indeed, but I certainly would make it my business to tell everyone, "THIS is the real story, this is how it ends, because I wrote it / I'm writing it and not this person". That's all the ownership we fanfic writers have, really. We should know when we start in the fanfic world that we do not own any of these characters, and that the actual authors might just feel the same, that we are robbing him/her.

I have met fanfic authors who do write "copyright year" on their fics, because they say that even if the characters are not theirs, the situation and original characters they create are. I still feel that's insane. If I want ownership, I'll create my own universe from scratch. But that's me, and none of us fic writers will ever get paid or recognition beyond our fellow writers, so I guess that's why it matters to us so much that people know it's our work. It's the only reward we can aspire to.

Do I have the right to deny access to my fics? I guess yeah... but then, it is sort of a silly attempt once it is on the internet. Someone will copy it, and distribute it. Someone will hate the writing no matter what I do. And worst of all, if only people who love it read it and leave comments, you'll never grow as an author. You'll leave on your own bubble. Comfy, sure, but don't pursue a writing career... the real world is gonna hurt too much :shock:
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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby Heavenli24 » Tue Jul 06, 2010 10:11 am

Misha wrote:What I've experienced with the twilight fandom is that most of them are very immature, or very new to the world of fanfiction.


Yeah, I agree - it seems very strange to go into this new fandom and find that the rules within it are so different from every other fandom I've come across. I've been reading fanfic for over 10 years now (first Buffy and Angel, and then Roswell) and there are just certain unspoken rules that are adhered to in both fandoms... in Twilight fic, it seems that the readers and writers don't have any idea of the common courtesy that applies in all the other fandoms I've come across. I also get the impression that the fans think they were the first to invent fanfiction :P!

There was a discussion on the Twilight forums recently where a few writers and readers were saying that they couldn't stand it when other writers went more than a few days without updating. Someone even said it shouldn't take an author more than a year to write a fic (there are some amazing stories here on Fanatics that have been going for over 3 years!). Obviously, though the Twilight fandom is still at a stage where authors are eager and enthusiastic (and have never experienced writer's block before), and don't have much else going on that prevents them from writing. When I pointed out that sometimes real life and writers block can get in the way (I pointed out some of the things I'd dealt with in real life over the last couple of years, such as doing my masters degree and moving 5,000 miles away to a different continent), one of the replies I got was:

"Exactly! You know you're wanting to go back to school so why are you adding more to your plate. Do some one shots. Stop being so long winded and detailed and write a short story. It's so much easier all around. For readers because they get the finished product and for you because it saves you from the wrath of bitchy readers and you from being perceived as whiny and holier-than-thou when you say "My life comes first""

I was so shocked by that reply (and the poster's lack of understanding about the process of writing.. I don't believe she's a writer herself) that I've pretty much sworn not to write anything for Twilight in the near future! I can't just 'write some one-shots' simply to please the readers, I can only write what I'm inspired to write, be it a long or short story, and right now, I have no one-shot stories to write. Also, I feel that my writing has grown and evolved over the years and I am now able to write longer, more detailed stories (hopefully in preparation for the original novel that I'm planning on writing... eventually) - just writing one-shots would be a step back in the learning process for me.

Misha wrote:No one likes to get a bad review, granted, but you have to suck it up and either learn from it, or ignore it. Otherwise, what are you going to do? Stop writing because someone told you so? Especially some stranger over the internet who you will never meet? I guess bad reviews stay with us way longer than a hundred great reviews, because it somehow feels like we fail to at least one person. But part of writing is dealing with it, and write the story you want. Sure, there's always room for improvement, but that's where the mature part comes into play. Learn and keep going.


I agree completely. Thankfully I haven't had many bad reviews, but I have had constructive criticism before and you just have to take it in and use it to improve your writing. In some cases, when readers question why the characters have done a certain thing, I will reply with an explanation of why I wrote it that way, so that they can see where I was coming from with it.

Misha wrote:If I found that someone is taking my own work as her own I would feel robbed, indeed, but I certainly would make it my business to tell everyone, "THIS is the real story, this is how it ends, because I wrote it / I'm writing it and not this person". That's all the ownership we fanfic writers have, really. We should know when we start in the fanfic world that we do not own any of these characters, and that the actual authors might just feel the same, that we are robbing him/her.


Yeah, I'm not sure what I'd do if someone plagiarised my stories, but it wouldn't prevent me from writing or from posting my work.

Misha wrote:Do I have the right to deny access to my fics? I guess yeah... but then, it is sort of a silly attempt once it is on the internet. Someone will copy it, and distribute it. Someone will hate the writing no matter what I do. And worst of all, if only people who love it read it and leave comments, you'll never grow as an author. You'll leave on your own bubble. Comfy, sure, but don't pursue a writing career... the real world is gonna hurt too much :shock:


Sure, we do have the right to deny access to the fics and that's our decision, but it's the circumstances that it's happening in with Twific that I don't understand. Surely the Twilight fanfic authors aren't so God-like that everyone will want to plagiarise their stories if they leave them up on the internet? From what I've read of them, the really popular stories in the fandom aren't all that great anyway (the ones that haven't been pulled, at least - as the majority of the 'best' and 'most influential' fics are no longer online... deleted because they got 'too popular'). They can't even compare to some of the amazing work I've read in the Roswell fandom over the years. I tried reading 'THE Twilight fic everyone should read' a few months ago and got bored within a couple of chapters (I've been told to keep going with it because it's so good, but I haven't got past chapter 6 of about 50 yet)!

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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby Misha » Tue Jul 06, 2010 12:16 pm

and you from being perceived as whiny and holier-than-thou when you say "My life comes first""


:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

They never fail to amuse me, that's for sure.

If fanfiction writing were to happen that way, without us posting until we have a finished product... Well, I guess we would be reading the best long stories about a couple of years after the main story was finished, and then some other three years for the other authors to be inspired... Imagine that! :roll:

I'm gonna give them the benefit of the doubt and say they are just too new to how fanfiction and writing in general works. I read from the Superman fandom, and there are a few stories there I would wait five years if I have to for the next part. Do I wish I have them already finished? Hell, yeah! But if we waited a year or two to get the next HP book, it's not like fanfiction writing is that different... Instead of book, we just take our time between chapters :wink:

There is, indeed, a risk when you post updates too separately from each other: Readers will get bored with waiting and leave, or just plain forget what it was supposed to be about and get lost. But hey, it's not like they are paying us :P I guess we have sort of a non-spoken contract: I'll write it, you'll read it / I'll read it, and I'll decide if I want even to leave you a comment, (not even saying a constructive comment) and see if I'm interested enough to keep coming.

We writers get the gratification of putting our work out there, and if we are lucky enough, to get feedback. But both parties are doing it for fun. And ultimately, it's our choice as a readers if we want to invest our time on an unfinished fanfic. Some years ago I decided I would only read completed fics, because too many were left out there without an ending. I did manage to stick to that for a couple of years... but then, well... I'm back to waiting on fanfics :)

It is mighty annoying when a writer leaves their work hanging there, I won't deny that, but I would never tell a person that their life comes second to my entertainment. It is tempting though... :lol:

I have read a very few exceptional twifics, that did take weeks and months to get updated... so not all writers and readers of that fandom are... err... so impatient. They are the only fandom where I have read author's notes apologizing for a chapter being too long (and this coming from people who are fans of a book!), but they are certainly not the first fandom to feel sorry they couldn't update more often. We are an "old" fandom, I guess, so we are used to this, we know how this works.

Surely the Twilight fanfic authors aren't so God-like that everyone will want to plagiarise their stories if they leave them up on the internet?


Well, you never know what they are thinking... :lol: I can recommend some fics if you want. Hopefully, they'll still be there ;)
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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby KiaraAlexisKlay » Fri Jul 23, 2010 8:02 pm

Twilight as a whole disturbs me ... the majority of the authors who write Twi-fic are just plain frusterating. Granted, at the ripe, wise age of twenty-four :lol: I have been reading and writing stories and books from such hard core "Old" fandoms as Laurell K Hamilton's Anita Blake and Merry Gentry series'; Anne McCaffrey multi-series: Talent, Hive, Dragonriders, the Ships; Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire, the Vampire Lestat; Bram Stoker's Dracula; Patricia Brigg's Mercy Thompson and Alpha and Omega series' ... these are all on what I consider a more mature level of writing. Books and authors and fanfic writers who aren't afraid to let a little bit of reality into the mix, or to hash out the harshness of real life.

That's something that I find lacking in Twilight. I do agree, just from the "feel" of the writing, the poor grammar, the abhorrent formatting, the silly and unbelievable storylines, that the authors behind most of the Twilight fanfiction are in fact very young, immature people. When I say young, I am imagining fifteen, sixteen, or even younger writers, the very target group that Ms. Meyer geared the book toward. This immaturity is present in the very arrogant and superior way that these authors portray to their reader base and each other, and their lack of respect to the courtesies the good, matured author's learn.

There are few Twilight fics that I enjoy reading, finding a good, well thought of story in Twilight fandom is like finding a golden needle in a vat of putrescent goop. Very rare. I think, that as these author's grow up, literally and figuratively, and if they continue to improve upon their writing style, than eventually they will straighten themselves out.


Until then, it is up to us authors, war veterans of the world of fanfiction, to stand by our fandoms and show an example of what REAL fanfiction is about. Not just the story and oh my gosh i want bella with edward because he is so hot and how dare you think otherwise! kind of mentality.

That and we can point and laugh and shake our heads and go Hah! Our fandom is so much more developed than yours! :lol:
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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby RoswellOracle » Fri Jul 23, 2010 11:52 pm

Well, I don't read Twilight fanfic, but I can certainly say that Twilight isn't the only fandom where stories are pulled or dropped from the internet. Unfortunately it happens in Roswell fanfic as well at an alarmingly increasing rate.

The circustances are a bit different, however. I am talking about the number of Roswell fanfic sites that are closing, and the fanfic is lost forever unless you happen to have it saved to your computer.

As people move on from Roswell they lose interest in the show, their websites, and any fanfic that is posted on it, not to mention they don't want to continue to pay to keep it going, and that is completely understandable. It is just so sad that all of the hard work and creativity that went into those fics is lost, especially if they are not posted anywhere else.

Over at Roswell Heaven we are making an attempt to repost as much fanfic as we can from closing or closed sites so it won't be lost. But sometimes the authors just will not give permission for their work to be reposted. They would rather have it lost than hosted by someone other than themselves.

I think that is sad, and somewhat selfish, especially if the story is well-known and well-loved. The story belongs to the author of course, but when it has been online for so long, it also belongs to the people who loved reading it so much, as well as being a part of the fandom and the Roswell show history. I believe that is what every writer would want for their story, so it is hard to understand why they would let their work disappear or be pulled from the internet.
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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby Heavenli24 » Sat Jul 24, 2010 2:39 am

RoswellOracle wrote:Well, I don't read Twilight fanfic, but I can certainly say that Twilight isn't the only fandom where stories are pulled or dropped from the internet. Unfortunately it happens in Roswell fanfic as well at an alarmingly increasing rate.

The circustances are a bit different, however. I am talking about the number of Roswell fanfic sites that are closing, and the fanfic is lost forever unless you happen to have it saved to your computer.

As people move on from Roswell they lose interest in the show, their websites, and any fanfic that is posted on it, not to mention they don't want to continue to pay to keep it going, and that is completely understandable. It is just so sad that all of the hard work and creativity that went into those fics is lost, especially if they are not posted anywhere else.

Over at Roswell Heaven we are making an attempt to repost as much fanfic as we can from closing or closed sites so it won't be lost. But sometimes the authors just will not give permission for their work to be reposted. They would rather have it lost than hosted by someone other than themselves.


I don't have any problem with fanfics being pulled because the author has lost interest in the fandom or because the sites are closing because that's fair enough. If the author would like to leave their fanfics posted online, then that's great, but I completely understand if they would prefer to take their work down because they are no longer part of the fandom.

However, what's bugging me is the fact that Twilight authors are pulling their stories down simply because they are popular and because they think they are such amazing writers that if they don't pull them everyone will start plagiarising them! Can you imagine if some of the best, most well-known Roswell fics were pulled by the authors in the middle of posting them because they were too popular! Some of the Twilight fics have only been online for a few weeks or months when they are pulled - in fact, if you look up the most influential Twilight fics over the course of the fandom (which is only 2.5 years so far), the majority of them are no longer available online. If you look up the most influentual Roswell fics (over the last 10.5 years), almost all of them are still online to be read by anyone.

Imagine if some of the greats in Roswell fic had just turned around and said: 'Sorry everyone, I'm taking this down because someone in China tried to plagiarise it and I don't want it to be read by anyone I don't know in case it happens again. I will never post it here again, no one is allowed to ask me for a copy and no one must distribute copies to anyone. However, a select few of you may be given permission to read it on my blog if you ask nicely and you have left me feedback before and I recognise your username when you add me as a friend. If you use a different username or have never left me feedback, you will not be given permission to read it.'

These writers aren't 'letting' their work disappear after a long period of time, they're deliberately taking it down a few weeks after they finish it (or before it's finished) to cause drama and to make themselves feel important (at least that's the impression I get)... they say it's because too many people are trying to plagiarise it and/or they are getting flamed in reviews and their feelings are hurt.

Another reason they pull it is because they are reworking it for 'publishing'. For a while I wondered how it was that so many Twilight authors can get 'published' when writers here in the Roswell fandom (and others) can struggle for years to try to get published with only a handful managing it... I've finally realised why this is:

Several Twific writers are reworking their stories and either self-publishing or publishing them via 'Omnific' which is an online publisher specifically for people who have established themselves as online writers (i.e. they are fanfic writers). Some of the site staff are ex-fanfic writers themselves and have also got novels on the site (almost all of the authors on there were Twilight fanfic writers originally). One published author endorsing the Twilight fic sites was caught up in a big scandal for plagiarism in the Harry Potter fandom several years ago (she copied whole excerpts from books and TV shows in her writing without crediting the sources). Somehow, she has managed to publish several books, despite being a known plagiarist in her fanfics (many Twilight authors don't seem to know about her past though).

The whole thing just doesn't sit well with me - the site claims it does not accept fanfic submissions, only original work, but a lot of their published novels are re-worked fanfic (with different names) from the Twilight fandom and the authors readily admit to once having the story published online! So all of us hopeful novelists have to slog away for years in the hope of being able to publish eventually and Omnific specifically seeks out well-known Twilight fanfic authors (because several of the staff are Twilight fic authors themselves) and offers to publish their fics as novels if they change a few bits here and there to make them original - a couple of the authors have only been writing fanfic for a year or two, but they're already published!

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Re: Pulling fanfics from the internet - your opinions?

Postby RoswellOracle » Sat Jul 24, 2010 12:31 pm

Not really seeing the difference. If it is pulled, it is pulled, and for whatever reason the story is no longer able to be read.

Maybe the Twilight and Roswell authors have lost interest in letting people read their stories. :lol:

All of it just seems silly to me. What is the point of writing for an online audience if you don't want it read by other fans?
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