A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

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Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by sloth4 » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:48 pm

Leaty wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:43 pm
That's now happened to me three times. (At least once on the Reddit.)
I remember the one on here that was practically verbatim, and the subsequent beatdown from you and others before the thread was locked down. I'd never seen something so brazen before. It was so peculiar that I wasn't even outraged, I was just confused.

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Re: A Butterfly Dream - Iwanako/Hisao Inversion

Post by ProfAllister » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:47 am

As someone who has been giving Downix feedback , reviews, and advice, I feel somewhat responsible for some of this, and as such, feel I should throw in my two cents.

When I initially read the draft of this fic, I hadn't read MTtB - I had no reason to think it would be necessary, and little time to justify reading the entire thing at the time. Since then, I have begun reading MTtB, and I will grant that the similarities between the two works are significantly more than incidental, and more than I personally would be comfortable with. Had I had that familiarity with MTtB, I would have strongly recommended more effort be taken to differentiate the two.

Between his two publications here ("Within a Looking Glass" and "When The Puddles Dry") and unpublished works I've read, it seems very evident that Downix had no intention to pass Leaty's work off as his own. Rather, it appears to me that what we have here is really a fanfic of a fanfic. Very much like what MTtB did with the original KS scenes, Downix seems to have done with MTtB. Frankly, I'm not 100% where I come down on this, other than that I wouldn't be likely to do it myself.

I will grant that the intro for this fic, where context is given, is poorly worded at best. It certainly looks to downplay the extent of similarities between the two works. (I'd also say it would have been a good idea to include a link, but...)

That being said, what is being lifted from MTtB vs what isn't? Mostly, to be frank, it's irrelevant set dressing - some degree of basic background information, certain clips of dialogue, etc. As I said, very much like MTtB's lifting from KS. But what's different? Right off the bat, the Iwanakos are pretty dramatically different, as is half of the supporting cast. Some story beats are quite similar, but many of those tie back to the logical extension of what would happen in relation to the common KS root (e.g., similar physical impact from Emi running into Iwanako).

However, I feel it important to note my understanding that Downix sent Leaty a PM about this fic back in February or March, and proceeded to sit on this project for several months, until July. After 4-5 months without a response, I find it somewhat indefensible to condemn him for using his own judgment. In my opinion, if, over the course of four months, you can't be bothered to reply with a "hey, I'm alive, but busy. Let me get back to you when things calm down", you don't get to be indignant when he moves forward on the assumption that you don't care enough to give input on how your work is used.

If you're less than happy with how the fic was presented or contextualized, a quick "Hey, I'd appreciate it if you gave me some co-writing credit" or "Hey, this seems like it's more than just an incidental similarity between our works; would you mind being a little more clear about their relationship?" would probably be ideal. He initially approached with deference, and gave you plenty of time to respond. Saying "This is the third time my work was stolen" ignores the fact that you were contacted for your input, misrepresents the degree of effort to differentiate the works in order to create something new, and generally throws the conversation into an unnecessarily adversarial tenor from the get-go.

Frankly, I would suggest Downix and Leaty discuss the matter through PMs or some other medium, figure out some mutually agreeable resolution, and quietly implement it. As it is, the accusations and recriminations cast both fics in a negative light. We don't need that kind of drama here.
Current Project: Misha Pseudo-Route

Discord ID: ProfAllister#9754

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