Pissed Off Wednesday

campus01You know that big, time-consuming thing in my life where I write quality (as I hope) lesbian fiction, simply because it makes me happy, and because I enjoy making others happy with it, too?

Guess what does not make me happy: people stealing my stories.

And yes, if someone hosts any of my works anywhere without my explicitly given consent – especially works that have cost me A LOT of work and that I have taken offline in hopes of publishing them – that’s stealing, too. Also it’s ruining a possible business opportunity for me – an opportunity I think I have deserved by working hard.

It’s not just “some stuff that’s only for free”. It is – in case if “Campus” – countless hours of work over a span of seven years that I have chosen to share for free for a very long time, and they I have taken offline because I hope to turn it into a book. And because it is my writing, and my decision, and I would expect everyone to respect that.

Now and then, I google my work or my name – tonight, I was looking for a link – and there are occasions where I wish I hadn’t because it would have saved me the ire and the sadness and the feeling of vulnerability and helplessness. Tonight, I discovered that someone is hosting the entirety of “Campus” as a .doc file on their blog – it’s not linked from the surface, but do a google search for my name and “Campus”, and it’s on page 1. There is no direct contact address, but there are various accounts/pages linked to it and I still have to make my way through it in chances of finding an email address and asking the person behind it to kindly leave my work alone, but right now? Right now I’m just mad and want to vent about it.

I know that Campus has been available for so long that it is still circulating on various fileshare sites. Of course I grit my teeth at it, but it’s not the same as putting it on a personal blog. This is not some bot, this *is* someone.

At best, the person in question is (or was) young and hasn’t through this through, but it does not change the fact that it is NOT. OKAY. When people wonder why I don’t grandly advertise my work, why I enjoy to use various aliases oe post stories on obscure boards run in other languages, or why I like to put up passwords protected posts: that’s exactly why.

And no, it’s not “no big deal” and “just fanfic”. a) even if it were just a little canon-linked PWP, it would still be my decision to share for any length of time I deem fit. b) “Campus” is, by all means, an independent novel (you can debate its fanfic-like qualities, which it is has, no doubt. But it’s not twenty pages I wrote one week when I was bored between exams). “Campus” is huge, and those of you who have been reading my stories for years (many years, in that particular case) know that many tired, sleepless nights went into it, as well as nights and hours shaved off of the tight work schedules of my beta team.

When something like this happens – until now, thankfully, rarely – I just want to take all my writing, place it behind a sonnet cycle of passwords and make it “by invitation only”. But I know that’s unfair to the overwhelming majority of you, many of whom may not feel like checking and and giving feedback or interact at all (much like me in my only fandom years). And, yes, I *do* love sharing my stories – after all what is a story without listeners? (Well, still a story, I suppose, but where is the fun in it?) – but is it really asking too much to leave the hosting and sharing to me, on my terms?

10 thoughts on “Pissed Off Wednesday”

  1. Ugggh! 😦 Hope you do find a way of contacting the blogger and that s/he will be good enough sport to take your work off his/her site (and with apologies, hopefully) ASAP, Anik. This sure sucks indeed.

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  2. I think you have been very mild in your condemnation of this act of stealing, Anik. What you do with your work should absolutely be on your terms and the little sh*t who did the stealing could use a sharp lesson in manners and fair play – there will be an army of your readers lining up to deliver such a lesson! I hope some resolution can come from this debacle.

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  3. I’ve followed your links and have downloaded the entire Campus doc. In “Properties” of the Document it says: created 02/11/2010, 22:24:00, Nikki L. Wirtz. So that Nikki L. Wirtz is responsible for posting your work without permission or your explicite given consent. It’s mail address is nikki@wirtz.ca [taken from her blog].
    I would suggest a mailing campaign showing this person our rejection to her methods and asking her to withdraw your work immediately. Let me know what you think about it.
    I do agree with all said by you in your post and I do understand your feelings.
    About posting and trying to avoid copying/downloading/etc: I generally use Scribd and embed the link for reading chapters of my fanfic or nowadays, the translation of chapters of your The Key novel.
    One of my commercial novels was hung for download in Scribd by some person some time ago; I told them about it and the link was immediately taken away.
    Nevertheless, copying, hackeeing, etc., will always exist as far as there are persons willing to do it around there. 😦

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    1. Thanks, Sam. I wasn’t up to sleuthing last night.
      Of course an MS Office version can always be used by someone else, but the address is a start – though who would do something like this using a MS Word copy with an official mail account?
      In addition, why would someone who apparently fancies themselves a writer, as well, host other’s work without permission in the first place?

      Also: 2010?? So it’s been up there for YEARS?

      I would caution against a “sh*tstorm” pattern, which is not a behavior I associate with any of my regular audience on this blog anyway – you all have far too much class for that. In my current state of disgruntlement, however, I will not discourage notes of protest that adhere to common rules of courtesy.

      I have little desire to make contact on my own at the moment (I will need a few more hours to calm down), though I will. This is not okay, and it needs to be said.

      Other than this email, there is one given at one of their fiction project pages (http://retailhell.net/contact.php), next to various other IDs including Twitter, so I will probably use one of those (if still active).

      — Meanwhile, I’ll be over there in the corner, getting drunk with the rest of the aliens and seething for a while longer.

      Thank you for your support. It means a lot.

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  4. I’m so sorry!! I forgot I had that up there — hell, I forgot why I even uploaded that to my server. I’ll take it down as soon as I get home — I don’t have FTP access to my server on my phone.

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    1. Thank you for your immediate response and according actions. I still maintain that you should not have uploaded it, but if you remove it now, I consider the issue resolved.

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  5. SOrry to hear about this issue. I hope the way it was resolved was fast enough so you could take back control and authority on the writing.
    Best regards,
    R

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  6. Sorry to hear of this crazy, irresponsible event. Campus is one of my all time favorite stories. I would love to read it again. I would happily pay for a published copy. Even an ebook!! Anik I love your stories, keep them coming and let me know when Campus reemerges in any form. Forever fan, Catherine the opera singer

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