19 September 2014

Fanfic v Plagiarism

A friend on Facebook brought an article to my attention yesterday. A person who purports to be a young mother concerned for the religious state of her children's souls decided to "improve" J.K. Rowling's Harry Potter by rewriting it. So "Ann Grace" copied each chapter word for word and changed anything to do with magical aspects into far right Super Christian/anti-everyone-else-but-my church spew.

Here's the mess: http://www.tickld.com/x/this-woman-just-changed-harry-potter-for-her-kids-seriously

I don't care about her religious soapbox. That's her poison to choose. What really bothers me is that she 1) claimed she was writing "fanfic", 2) was "new" to fanfic, and 3) thought the books were "inappropriate and evil" because they contained witchcraft. Let's look at this for a moment, shall we?

1) FANFIC. Short for FAN FICTION. Fan being short for FANATIC, as in a supporter. If you hate a book, you can't write a "fanfic" version of it by definition. You could write satire, but that's not what this is and it takes intelligence to write, so uh, no.

2) She obviously has no clue that fanfic has guidelines and rules to NOT infringe on an author's copyright. If she's so new to it, how did she find a site to publish her horrid production?

3) If you think a book is inappropriate, why would you even consider letting your children read a bastardized version of it? There are a virtual ton of Christian-themed books and videos already available for children, from Veggie Tales on--why would you not simply purchase those books for your kids? If you can't comprehend that FICTION means it is NOT REAL, then don't buy books that are labeled Fantasy in the Fiction section.

What is scary about this is her overt plagiarism and hubris to think she could or even should change a few words around but keep everything else Ms. Rowling created, and then call it "fanfic." She posted the entire thing on a writing site, which is considered to be PUBLISHED, even if she did not sell it to anyone.

Let's call is what it really is: STEALING.  Explain how that fits into the "Christian Values" you claim to be so very concerned about.  If fantasy, magic, and witchcraft are all so very evil, how much worse is it to break your own religion's tenets? Is it not covetous to want to rewrite someone else's creation? Is it not stealing to copy and paste entire sections of someone else's work to change a few words here and there to subvert its meaning? I believe those are two out of ten commandments...

I hope Rowling's people slam down hard on this sort of crap. It could happen to any author in the name of "fanfic" by people who neither are "fanatic supporters" nor understand the concept of fiction.

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