Discussion Plagiarism and Webnovels

Discussion in 'Novel General' started by Tsubaki -, Aug 8, 2022.

  1. Tsubaki -

    Tsubaki - Unknown Member

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    Hi everyone, this is a short rant.
    Recently I came across an unfinished BL short story on lofter (part 1, 2) and immediately I had to think of DFBB's YLT that was published on jjwxc in 2018. Chapter 01 of the story on lofter is practically identical to the jjwxc webnovel, except that the names have been changed.
    This isn't fanfiction anymore, it's outright plagiarism.
     
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2022
  2. TamaSaga

    TamaSaga Well-Known Member

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    Since I haven't read it, I can give you the benefit of the doubt. But I have to ask whether one chapter is seriously enough to bring out the torches and pitchforks?
     
  3. Tsubaki -

    Tsubaki - Unknown Member

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    I agree that one chapter isn't much and the wording is slightly different too, but the plot points and structure are similar.
    - mc sits in his thatched hut / under a tree and reminisces about his past life's lover and their death
    - he looks at his fingers that were cut off in the past
    - he bribes a higher-up for a position as a guard and takes part in a celebration were he meets his lover again
     
  4. IceLight303

    IceLight303 Well-Known Member

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    This happens a lot. I know of a few novels that are so similar it's almost like they just changed the names. Yes it is a problem but Chinese copyrights are not the best.
     
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  5. deviru

    deviru Well-Known Member

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    ive got to use this on myself too. literally gets pissed whenever the chapter, the story, or anything else doesnt go my way. luckily i still had the patient to just go through with the bullshit author throwing at me.
     
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  6. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    Generally speaking the test for what qualifies as plagiarism is a lot more strict than this. Think of it this way: if you were assigned to write a paper analyzing a play, and you based this entire paper on a piece of commentary about said play, would it be considered plagiarism? Well, if you copied the sentences and words, then it would be; but if you rewrote it all in your own words, then it wouldn't, and it doesn't matter whether your paper contained any original ideas. This is because words and sentences can be copyrighted, but ideas cannot be.

    For a real world comparison, I just finished a book where the protagonist enters the Imperial palace complex as a fake eunuch. He meets a senior eunuch who teaches him martial arts as a way to sabotage him. He becomes romantically involved with a princess and ends up escorting her to a faraway place to marry someone else and they conspire to undo this planned marriage. These plot points are pretty distinctive and they're also found in a super famous book that came out in the '70s. Did this writer read that older book? Absolutely! Did he steal its ideas? Absolutely! Is it plagiarism? Nope - while these plot points are distinctive, they only form a small portion of both books. On looking at the broader picture, it's quite clear that the two books are trying to do different things, and that they're quite different from one another.
     
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  7. Lissi

    Lissi 『Queen of Lissidom』『Holy Chibi』『Western Birdy』『⚓』

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    I don't think this example fits your point. There's a pretty big difference between following a few plot points of what is now a common storyline of its genre (similar to how many stories follow the hero's journey structure), as opposed to outright copying the entire plot in different words.

    This would still be plagiarism. You can plagiarize ideas, though that is usually used more in academic settings than for novels, where similar themes and storyline structures can often be found, especially among others of the same genre.

    If you wanted your paper to not be considered plagiarism, you just have to cite your source, and then you'd be paraphrasing if you summarized, and quoting if you used the original words. Neither are wrong, because the key factor in making or breaking plagiarism is citing your sources and attributing credit correctly.

    It would be plagiarism if you said you came up with it before rewriting the whole story "in your own words."

    --
    I think you should look at more than 1 chapter to judge, and/or quote examples of this similar wording.
     
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  8. Tsubaki -

    Tsubaki - Unknown Member

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    I would agree with you, if the wording weren't as similar as it is.
    ---
    For clarification, both webnovels are fanfiction of Jin Yong's Smiling Proud Wanderer. The jjwxc version uses the original names, while the lofter version changed them. I'm aware that the setting and plot of the original novel inevitably leads to certain plot points and descriptions being discussed: for example, Dongfang Bubai's appearance or Yang Lianting's power grab. But, these two webnovels don't just share similar plots, but similar wording as well.
    ---
    The examples below are taken from the first chapters of 东方不败之杨莲亭重生 (jjwxc) and 驿寄梅花 (lofter).
    The chapters begin with the mc feeling cold and leaning against a wall / tree.
    jjwxc: 寒气沁入了骨子里,杨莲亭抱着胳膊,唇色发乌,打着哆嗦,整个人颤抖着靠在墙边的角落里。
    lofter: 寒气侵入了骨子里。罗一舟抱着胳膊,唇色乌黑,整个人颤抖着靠在高大的香樟树上。
    The mc thinks of his lover, who is always dressed in red and wears make-up.
    jjwxc: 那人扮红妆,做女红,放下身段,软了音调,百般温柔的讨好着他,为了让他多停留片刻,为了让他多看他一眼,竟是糊涂地将这日月神教所有的权利,都交在了他一人手上。
    lofter: 那人扮红装,做女红,抹脂粉,放下身段,软了声调,百般温柔的讨好他,将日月神教通天的权利交与他,最后却落的个心殒身死的结局。
    He also thinks that his lover deliberately catered to his tastes.
    jjwxc: 可现在想来,那一张脸,那一身装扮,怕全部都是那人,为了迎合自己,讨好自己,才刻意做出来的吧。
    lofter: 现在想来,那样的装扮,那样的腔调,怕全都是那人用来迎合自己,讨好自己。
    He describes the attack of their enemies.
    jjwxc: 前世,那一日,是他最后一次见到那人。他只想着那人武功天下第一,所以不管不顾的,带着令狐冲任盈盈任我行一行人,上了山,破了机关,到了那人的院子里。
    lofter: 那一日,是他二人最后一面。他只想着那人武功天下第一,便不管不顾带着江愁予一行人上山破了机关,来到那人的院子里。
    He wanted to rise from rags to riches by any means possible.
    jjwxc: 他从小贫苦,做了太久的人下人,受了太多的屈辱鄙夷,所以他发了疯似的渴望权利,发了疯似的想要凌驾于众人之上。所以他费尽心机的走进那人,讨好那人,哪怕是发现了那人的残缺,也能够装作若无其事一般的曲意逢迎,一直到那人彻底将心托付于他。
    lofter: 受过太多的屈辱鄙夷,所以他极度渴望权利,疯狗一般的想要凌驾于众人之上。所以他费尽心机的接近那人,哪怕是发现了那人的残缺,也能装作若无其事的曲意逢迎,一直到那人完全将真心托付于他。
    The mc is reborn at age 17.
    jjwxc: 这辈子,一直到现在,辗转反侧,甚至是他重生回到了十七岁,都日日夜夜,难以释怀,甚至只要一闭上眼,就会痛彻心扉,挥之不去。
    lofter: 可那人死去的时刻,一辈子,甚至他重返17岁,都日日夜夜,难以释怀。只有一闭眼,痛彻心扉,挥之不去。

    I could go on, honestly.
     
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2022
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  9. ToastedRossi

    ToastedRossi Well-Known Member

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    On the legal front plagiarism is a pretty murky affair, and what does and doesn't count is going to differ by jurisdiction. Generally speaking any plagiarism and other copyright infringement cases will get settled by the parties before a court gives a legal ruling so it's mostly going to stay pretty murky. But I don't think that the specifics of the legalities are all that important (especially as they can greatly differ between different places) compared to the moral implications.

    And on that ground, it's generally pretty accepted for writers to outright copy, up to and including characters, plots, and settings. Think about it, if I were to write a retelling of the Illiad, I might make a choice in what parts of the story to concentrate on and how I wanted to tell it, but I wouldn't have to come up with anything original and nobody would say a peep about how much I was copying.

    Yeah, this is definitely plagiarism.
     
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  10. Dahna

    Dahna (-, – )…zzzZZZ

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    Well, isn't this case the example of why jjwxc's authors usually write on novel description something like "Please don't plagiarism my work by change MCs for yy purpose"?

    The one you found on lofter has CP is Yang Lianting and Dongfang Bubai from Invincible East fandom. I guess the writer almost copy-paste the story from the original, and changed the MCs name just for ship purpose, lol.

    This problem has happened a lot from more than 10 years ago until now, and it always annoys the author tho.
     
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