Recently, I became the fandom Agony Aunt against my will. This is absolutely not a complaint so if you've written me for advice and gotten it, don't think I'm being an asshole about it. In fact, this post isn't even a complaint about that aspect--it's about the subject of the last FOUR emails I've gotten.
You see, four different authors in multiple fandoms have come to me in the past month to discuss plagiarism. They've had their work taken, sometimes reworked and posted publicly with little or no credit. One was so outrageous and blatant that I could do nothing but stare at it in shock. I have a pretty strict rule on remixing my work -- the answer is always no. It's always going to be no. Explore my ideas and themes your own way-- yes. But I find it offensive as fuck that anyone would take my work, edit it to suit themselves (like my work is inferior and needs to be fixed) and claim it for themselves.
I gave each of these authors the same basic advice: You have every single right to be unhappy and say so. Also, I've got your back if shit gets ugly.
Yes, we can be inspired the work of others--that's the basic foundation of fandom but don't take other people's works for your own. Remixing should never, ever be done without permission. And really, most of these people aren't even "remixing" in the true sense of the word. They're just taking someone's story and changing it to suit themselves because the author did something they didn't agree with or whatever. It's extremely ugly fucking behavior and posting it online is just another layer of disrespect.
Let's just be good citizens and remember -- don't be an asshole.
Got a fandom problem you'd like me to answer in public? It can be as anonymous as you'd like -- Fill out a contact form and choose the subject "Fandom Agony Aunt": http://keiramarcos.com/contact-me/