Fanfiction is a tricky genre of writing. Instead of writing something from scratch with an original idea, writers who wish to become published authors use existing stories and give them a twist, a new direction. A term abbreviated as ‘fanfic’, this genre is becoming more popular every day, but the link to it with plagiarism is becoming more concerning, too.
When writing in fanfiction, authors use a ready framework for a story, including recognizable settings, characters, and other features. They use this and add their own design and creativity into them. While they have more to use compared to authors that write custom content, their task is neither simple, nor fast.
This is mostly because the creation of fanfiction is often questioned for copyright and plagiarism. This is why, the anime fanfiction community above all else, is frequently using plagiarism detection tools in their work.
Plagiarism in Written Works
Plagiarism is not allowed or encouraged at any period of a person’s life, not just when it comes to art plagiarism. In college, students can study and learn from books, but when they are tasked to write, their content needs to have zero percentage of plagiarism in it – and all sources need to be properly referenced. The main reason why plagiarism is wrong is because you are using someone else’s effort instead of creating something on your own. If you want a risk-free way to check content, this tool to check plagiarism is used by many students around the world.
Whenever you decide to publish an anime text to impress the community or simply to express yourself, you should make sure that it is plagiarism-free. Detection tools will check your content for mistakes and copied content, and tell you what you need to change or eliminate to avoid getting into trouble.
Plagiarism in Anime Fanfiction: How to Avoid It
Fanfiction is protected under copyright laws and falls under ‘parody’. However, the laws explicitly mention ‘fair use of fanfiction’, which means that only a certain, acceptable level of plagiarism is allowed. While this is the case, writers often see this as an opportunity to almost entirely steal someone else’s work and add minor tweaks to gain exposure. To this date, there’s no judge decision establishing if this type of content constitutes fair use of infringement or not.
This type of content is frequently created and published in the anime community. However, thinking that the community will simply ‘let it slide’ if you don’t worry about plagiarism is a big misconception. In the rush to publish something, anything, many skip the part where they check for copied content and eliminate it. This is a huge mistake, especially now when everyone has access to free and affordable plagiarism tools.
Plagiarism tools serve a grand purpose in detecting content that is copied from other sources. In a writing style that’s based on using someone else’s original work, this is more important to use than ever. Thanks to plagiarism checkers, writers can check their work, but also train themselves on the very specific, tricky writing process that comes with fanfiction.
Some of the greatest pieces of fanfiction are the ones that are repurposed to become fresh, entirely new story. In some cases, these have become larger than the source material. One such example is Fifty Shades of Grey.
Truth is, the fanfiction community is more rigorous than ever. They’ve established the rules of conduct for writers. In a market flooded with new pieces, this is the only way to find the ones that are really worth a chance. The biggest critics are fans of the anime and fanfiction world, people who are familiar with the source and know how to differentiate a story with original elements from plain plagiarism.
Plagiarism in the Fanfiction Anime Community
Some of the anime works actually mention plagiarism to show the audience how wrong it can be. Some examples of these are:
- Action Heroine Cheer Fruits
In these short series, when the protagonists make their own merchandise, the Kamidaioh IP owners serve them with a Cease and Desist. Later on, the girls watch a clip from Action Heroine show where the plot is the same as they wanted to use, so they have to throw out their script and start over.
- Case Closed
A popular detective series, this one deals with people who are murdered because they stole other people’s ideas. The Kindaichi Case Files has a similar message to this one.
Plagiarism is never a smart idea. While on some level it is expected in fanfiction, it cannot lead to any good if you copy someone else’s work entirely. Thankfully, there’s something as simple as a plagiarism scanner where you can just paste your work and look for plagiarism to eliminate it.
Karl Bowman is a screenplay writer and a blogger in the film industry. He’s working mostly in the anime world, crafting the works for short series and movies. His blogs discuss the anime community and stories about the content creation in this field.