Plagiarism At Its Ugliest

Well I never thought it would happen to me, but it did. I found out this week that some idiot had taken one of my ENTIRE books and plagiarized it. Online, changing only the names of the characters. Didn’t even have the intelligence to change the name of the book, just switched the names of the characters, called the story her own and called it ‘fan fiction’.

Fortunately a wonderful author came upon it and notified me. When I want to the site and looked it over, reading MY words being attributed to some other author, I was shocked. I couldn’t believe someone would have the chutzpah to do this. To claim my hard work as her own. Oh, and the kicker was, she’d called it not very good, one of her ‘earlier’ works, a fluff piece. Geez, thanks. Not only did she steal my work verbatim, she had the gall to insult it. I’d like to sue her on that alone.

What possesses someone to do something like this? Has the internet given people license to think they can get away with stealing? That no one will ever find out? That they are above the law? Did this moron not realize she was violating copyright? That she could be prosecuted or sued for this?

The stolen fiction on her website has been taken down and though the fanfiction link is still there, the books she plagiarized are gone. But the damage has been done already. So now what? How can we prevent these kinds of things from happening? Can we?

Part of me wants to hurt her in some way, to make her pay, to make her see that what she did cannot go unpunished. Part of me wants to laugh at her because she’s so incredibly stupid, so obviously lacking in talent that she had to steal from others because she clearly has not a shred of creativity on her own, had to resort to stealing not only from me but from several other authors, too.

Sometimes I just shake my head…