Let’s take a step back to analyze one aspect of the whole Bad Art Friend case [Larson vs. Dorland].
The Chunky Monkeys, Celeste Ng, and Sonya Larson were upset that the plagiarism system that protects us all as writers worked for Dawn.
They were angry about that. Why? Why would you be angry that the system works? Chunky Monkeys – did you think that the very system put in place to protect YOUR words shouldn’t work for someone else?
Answer: entitlement attitudes, weaponization of a race card, and superiority complexes.
Let’s review the facts.
Fact: A claim of plagiarism had been made.
Fact: When allegations of plagiarism are reported to any organization or publishing entity, the project is taken down until the courts can make a decision on whether the material infringed can or cannot be used in the context it was.
Fact: If a lawsuit is started, and injunctions are filed, the plagiarist must hold off further distribution. The infringed party has the right to notify organizations it is certain are in possession of the infringed material to cease distribution, and to even take down the material until the matter can be addressed in court.
Fact: Sonya Larson knowingly, with brazen disregard of Dawn’s rights, submitted a plagiarized copy of “The Kindest” to the Boston Book Festival. When the BBF found out, they were angry.
Fact: Sonya had the option NOT to plagiarize Dawn. She chose to do it. This is what happens when you copy and paste things, and the creator takes issue with it. The original creator has RIGHTS to stop you further while addressing it in court.
This is how it works, my friends. The system worked. We should be happy.
For many of you, that may sound like it sucks. Sure. It does. But Sonya Larson was not left without options here. She could have not plagiarized another’s words from the start. She could have written her own words. But Sonya chose NOT to. And the creator of those words (Dawn) chose to exercise her rights.
The Chunky Monkeys and Sonya Larson were clearly upset that Dawn was able to stop further distribution of her work. They were mad that she was legally allowed to file a counterclaim of copyright infringement. They were outraged that Dawn and another reporter contacted a book festival about the plagiarized material.
The Chunky Monkeys were mad that Dawn was trying to mitigate damages to her material.
Think about it: the Chunky Monkeys were upset that the same system that will work to protect their own writing if they are ever plagiarized worked as it should for Dawn.Think about it: the Chunky Monkeys were upset that the same system that will work to protect their own writing if they are ever plagiarized worked as it should for Dawn. Click To Tweet
It’s that just insane? To have this sort of mentality that the systems we have put in place shouldn’t apply to someone because they hated her so much? That Dawn should just be able to be plagiarized by Sonya Larson without her being able to do anything about it?
My friends, this Boston writing group’s behavior who call themselves the Chunky Monkeys are just beyond comprehension. The full list of Chunky Monkeys members is here.
All of this backbiting, hostility, group efforts to silence and ice her, the treatment of her at the GrubStreet writers events – all of it was completely unnecessary.
We want systems that prevent plagiarism like this to work when things happen to our work and people copy it without our consent. This is the way the world works. It doesn’t matter if the person who was plagiarized is “difficult” or “insufferable”. That’s all moot. This is exactly what we want to have happen when there is an allegation.
– The projects halt, and injunctions get filed.
– Cease and desist letters are sent.
– You can no longer distribute the alleged infringed material.
– You further open yourself and other organizations up for lawsuits if you act against what has been ordered by the infringed party.
Protest all you want, Chunky Monkeys and supporters of Team Sonya and Celeste Ng. You don’t get to verbally abuse and gang up on a writer because she has laid valid claim to her own work. As writers, we WANT it to work this way. And you would, too, if it happened to you.
Adam Stumacher, Jennifer De Leon, Calvin Hennick, Celeste Ng, Sonya Larson, Alison Murphy, Alexandria Marzona-Lesnevich, Christopher Castellani, Chip Cheek, Whitney Scharer and Grace Talusan – I don’t want to hear a single peep out of you if you are ever plagiarized. Period.