Identification of plagiarism in online novels

Many people regard novels as a whole, and think that plagiarism is the degree of similarity between one whole and another to constitute plagiarism. Once, I also had this misunderstanding, and it was not until

Many people regard novels as a whole, and think that plagiarism is the degree of similarity between one whole and another to constitute plagiarism.

Once, I also had this misunderstanding, and it was not until I actually came into contact with such practical precedents that I discovered that the protection of original works by the law is meticulous.

However, perhaps because of the special nature of online novels, such as long length, many works, and difficulties in safeguarding rights, there are not many lawsuits caused by infringement of online novels.

Below, based on several practical judgments, I will analyze in detail what rights the authors of online articles have over their own works, what degree of plagiarism constitutes infringement in the legal sense, and what compensation may be obtained.

First of all, the author enjoys the copyright of his own work. It is needless to say. What are the rights contained in the copyright?

Here we only talk about the rights enjoyed by authors of written works (online novels): the right of publication, the right of authorship, the right of modification, the right to protect the integrity of the work, the right of reproduction, the right of distribution, the right of broadcasting, the right of information network dissemination, the right of adaptation, the right of translation, compilation rights;

Among them, the rights of publication, authorship, modification, and protection of the integrity of the work enjoyed by the author are not transferable, and are only enjoyed by the author alone, and the term of protection is not limited.

Copyright is protected by law, and plagiarism is an expressly stipulated infringement in law, “Article 47 of the Copyright Law: Anyone who has the following infringements shall, according to the circumstances, undertake civil liabilities such as stopping the infringement, eliminating the impact, making an apology, and compensating for losses… … (5) plagiarizing the works of others.”

If the work is determined to be infringed, according to Article 49 of the Copyright Law, if the copyright or copyright-related rights is infringed, the infringer shall pay compensation according to the actual loss of the right holder; if the actual loss is difficult to calculate, the infringer may be compensated. The amount of compensation shall also include the reasonable expenses paid by the right holder to stop the infringement. If the actual loss of the right holder or the illegal gains of the infringer cannot be determined, the people’s court shall, according to the circumstances of the infringement, decide to award a compensation of less than 500,000 yuan.

After popularizing the basis of the author’s rights, this article is also considered a formal entry into the topic. Next, I will discuss in detail how plagiarism is determined in practice. As I mentioned above, the protection of a work by the Copyright Law is meticulous in words and constitutes a law. Plagiarism can be broadly classified into the following categories:

1. The plagiarism of individual words, a sentence may seem insignificant, but in the Internet age, because of its shortness and ease of dissemination, the value of sentences may be immeasurable. Don’t talk about the classic advertising slogans such as “Diamonds are forever, one will last forever”, but only on online novels, “Sword Comes” and “Terrorist” for men, and “The people on Mo Shang are like jade, the sons of the world”. Unparalleled”, these words or words are of great significance to the publicity of a novel and related adaptations, and these publicity can really be converted into benefits. Therefore, if individual words are plagiarized, the right holder can also claim the corresponding rights against the infringing party. (The above Jianlai and others are just examples, and we have not investigated whether it is original.)

2. The plagiarism of a plot, the plot of an online novel, is as short as one chapter or even a few paragraphs, but only a few chapters long, such as the most classic “face-slap” plot that all authors will use, from conflict between the pros and the villain to the villain prevailing , mocking, suppressing, attacking the protagonist and then the protagonist’s comeback, an excellent “slap in the face” plot has a great effect on attracting readers to stimulate consumption. There are even authors who can make their works on the bestseller list just by repeating this kind of plot, and earn hundreds of thousands of yuan a month. ” Rebirth of Urban Immortals  is a classic representative.

3. The main storyline is plagiarized. Compared with the above two, online novels are the most difficult to identify because of their length, numerous branch lines, and complicated character relationships. Most of the time, readers feel that this novel is similar to another, but this resemblance is more of a resemblance than a form. Wudong Qiankun and The Great Master are an outline that is used three times, but if it is really analyzed legally, it is affected by characters, world background, cultivation system, etc. If these three works are written by different people, it is difficult to identify plagiarism.

4. Plagiarism of important elements of the novel such as character setting, world view background, cultivation system (including name), etc. The importance of these elements to a novel is self-evident. If a word or a plot can be identified as plagiarism, it is protected by law , then the above elements are more worthy of protection. The “Different Fire” of Fighting Through the Sky, the “Martial Spirit” of Douluo Continent, the infinitely terrifying “Master God Space”, “The World Reincarnation of the Story”, and the “Prehistoric” worldview that Buddha is Tao, all these are many years after the novel is finished. , the content that is still unforgettable, whether a novel sells well, not only the writing and plot, but also the excellent world view setting and excellent characters can attract a large number of readers to pay for it. Ye Xiu, the protagonist of the full-time master, is so attractive that some fans even bought advertising space for him to celebrate his birthday. Such elements are completely worthy of legal protection in online novels. Of course, because there are not many cases at present, there is no mature standard for defining infringement.

In view of the above types of plagiarism, due to the limited space and precedents, this paper mainly analyzes the determination of plagiarism in sentences and plots. (In particular, this article focuses on the plagiarism case of Jinxiu Weiyang. A total of eleven authors including Wen Ruian sued the author of Jinxiu Weiyang and won the case. The relevant judgment provides rich material for the determination of plagiarism in online novels.)

1. About sentence plagiarism

Novels are original intellectual achievements. Each work or each author has its own unique ideas in terms of word choice, rhetoric, detailed description, and plot design. Except for a few coincidences, the works created by different authors do not. There may be similarities, which is why there is a style of writing. Things written by different people, especially mature authors, are easy to distinguish. There are many examples of the online literary world wearing a vest and finally being discovered by readers.

Specifically, sentences can be defined as expressions composed of words, words or phrases, which are used to describe ideas, and copyright law is precisely to protect expressions but not ideas. The special rhetoric and detailed description created by the author, or the specific sentences used to describe the characters and describe the plot, are all specific expressions protected by copyright law.

Of course, literary creation is often inseparable from learning and reference. It is not uncommon for the same idioms and allusions, common rhetorical devices, grammatical sentence patterns, and everyday common expressions to appear in different works. The standard of the object of protection, but without the subject of rights, belongs to everyone.

Nor is there complete protection against such customary expressions. Some individual sentences in some sentences, if viewed in isolation, may belong to the common expressions of literary works, but if the combination of these sentences can reflect the author’s unique idea as a whole, the sentences composed of these sentences are still original on the whole. sex.

Therefore, in determining whether the same or similar sentences constitute plagiarism, the court does not merely treat sentences, phrases or words in isolation and compare them, but considers the degree of similarity and quantity of the words, and considers the connection of the context. The overall identification and comprehensive judgment of infringing sentences can be roughly classified into the following three types:

First, they all use unique metaphors or specific expressions;

The second is to use the same or similar details to describe characters or things;

The third is a similar combination of a large number of commonly used languages.

Here is an excerpt from the judgment of Wen Ruian and Qin Jian in the case of copyright infringement dispute (2017 Jing 0105 Min Chu No. 62752):

In this case, the 13 sentence infringements alleged by Wen Ruian all have the same or substantial similarity, which can be divided into the following three situations:

One is the use of unique metaphors or specific expressions that describe them. For example, in the second part of ” Tender Knife “ , “her eyes twinkled like stars falling from the dark sky in her eyes”. ” Splendid Weiyang “ is “at this moment, her eyes are very bright, like stars falling into her eyes from the dark sky”.

The second is to use the same or similar details to describe characters or things. For example , the second sentence of the first section of ” Jianqi Yangtze River “ “But the opponent has four more swords, and they come suddenly. The first sword shook the green flute, the second sword stabbed the wrist, the third sword blocked the escape route, and the fourth sword The tip of the sword suddenly stopped: and the tip of the sword stopped at her throat.” ” Splendid Weiyang “ reads : “Ge Wanzhou’s fan has already attacked, the first one knocked his double swords flying, and the second one stabbed him. Injured his wrist, the third slap blocked his escape route, and the fourth slap had the tip just above his throat.”

The third is to describe similar combinations and turns of the same historical story, but in a lot of similar language. Some individual sentences of these sentences may belong to common expressions describing the same historical story in isolation, but if the combination and turning of these sentences can reflect the author’s unique idea as a whole, the sentences composed of these sentences still have the same characteristics as a whole. originality. For example , the fifth place in ” A Gentle Sword “ is “Wang Xiaoshidao: There is another story. Cao Cao sent troops to attack a place, but he was unable to attack, and the rear failed again. The sentence ‘chicken rib, tasteless rib’ made his subordinates puzzled. When a wise man heard it, he said, “Let’s pack up, the prime minister is about to retire. Colleagues asked him why he made this judgment? The wise man said : Chicken ribs means tasteless food and a pity to abandon. This is the moment when the desire to retreat is already budding, but the decision is still undecided. Everyone listens, thinks it makes sense, and prepares to withdraw. Cao Cao found this situation, and he , Surprised, how could the wise man Xiaodao know what he was thinking… Speaking of which, Wang Xiaoshi said: Guess what Cao Cao did to the wise man? Bai Choufei said: Not good, but right. When the two armies were at war , The commander has not yet issued an order, and a smart person is smart, affects the morale of the army, and depresses his ambitions. As a general, of course, he must be killed to show the public. Wang Xiaoshi sighed softly: However, if a person is too smart, he can’t help showing his feelings. Clever, it’s not worth it to cause death like this. Bai Choufei turned his face slightly, stared at Wang Xiaoshi with his white eyes, and said: You are not talking about stories, but history. Wang Xiaoshi said: In fact, it’s not just history, It’s a fable. He also hoped that Bai Choufei said: The characteristic of history is that it will repeat itself again soon, and the beauty of fable is that the behavior of people who satirize often cannot surpass their mode.” ” Splendid Weiyang “It was “Tuobazhen suddenly said: County Lord, have you ever heard of a story? Li Weiyang turned his face and raised his brows, Tuobazhen poured himself a glass of wine: There was a very powerful monarch in the previous dynasty. , personally sent troops to attack the southern border, but unfortunately he was repeatedly unable to attack, and he was defeated in the rear. He had to be persuaded by countless people to retreat, but he insisted that he would not, just wandered outside the military tent, and then left the word chicken ribs on the ground. I can’t understand it. Only a wise man listened to it and immediately went back to pack his luggage. Others asked him why he wanted to leave. He said that the emperor had already said that tasteless food was a pity to be abandoned. His Majesty was just about to retire Meng, but when he is still undecided, he will definitely retreat in the future, so he must make plans early. The others heard it and thought it was reasonable, and they were all ready to withdraw. The emperor found this situation, and he was shocked and said here. , Tuoba Zhen said: Guess what the emperor did to the wise man? Tuoba Zhen didn’t blink his eyes: That’s right, when the two armies were at war, the commander hadn’t issued an order. As the main general, of course, he must be killed to show the public. Therefore, it is best for a person not to be too smart. Even if she is really smart, she should not show this smartness in front of others. It’s not worth it. Tuoba Zhen drank a glass of wine, and his eyes flashed a cold and sharp light: Li Weiyang, I’m not talking about stories, but the history that really happened, and history is very strange. It will be repeated in a few years, assuming you are the smart person, do you think I will kill you?”

The above sentences all describe the story of “Yang Xiu’s death” in “Romance of the Three Kingdoms”, but ” Splendid Weiyang ” not only uses a large number of sentences that are the same or similar to ” Gentle Swordsmanship “ , such as “If you fail to attack again and again, you will be defeated in the rear.” Chicken ribs means tasteless food and a pity to abandon. It is at the time when the ambition to retreat is already budding, but still undecided.” Of course, he should be killed to show the public.” He also made a turning point in questioning at the same position in the story, such as “Speaking of this, Wang Xiaoshi/Tuoba Zhen said: “Guess what the emperor will do with that wise man? “”You/I’m not talking about stories, but history/history that actually happened”.

Therefore , ” Splendid Weiyang “ uses similar combinations and transitions with a large number of similar language in ” Tenderness “ , which constitutes substantial similarity with the relevant sentences in ” Tenderness ” .

2. Plagiarism

The plot refers to the development process of the life events formed by describing the activities and relationships of the characters in the works, and is often composed of a series of specific events that show the characters and the relationships between the characters. Plot presentation is described by sentences. Although the sentences themselves are also protected by copyright, similar sentences alone may not constitute plot plagiarism, and at the same time, dissimilar sentences may not constitute plot plagiarism. Students who write papers must be familiar with translating Chinese into English and then into Chinese. This is a common way to avoid duplication checks. The online literature community has a very vivid explanation for plot plagiarism. Chinese translation (Chinese to Chinese translation) ). Because of the characteristics of online texts, the refreshing plot plays a very important role in the sales of novels. It is not uncommon to copy a paragraph from the east to the west without copying the full text.

In determining the plagiarism of the plot, the court does not simply judge whether the sentences are the same or not, but comprehensively considers the character setting, character relationship, detail comparison, and process arrangement of a plot.

Of course, because copyright does not protect ideas, there are some popular scenes (such as the protagonist being looked down upon, and finally revealing his identity to shock four people), as well as some specific scenes (such as the aforementioned scenes taking place in a class reunion, KTV, cocktail party, etc.), And some public domain elements (Fan Jinzhongju is a classic Shuangwen bridge, copying Fan Jinzhongju is of course plagiarism, but it does not constitute infringement). , and finally confirm whether the plots are the same or constitute substantial similarity.

The following is an excerpt from the judgment (2017 Jing 0105 Min Chu No. 982) of the copyright infringement dispute between Cheng xx and Zhou Jing, the author of ” The Marriage ” :

“The plot listed by Cheng xx is the “tea fighting technique”. After the plot is gradually abstracted from the bottom to the top, it is basically the same in terms of character setting and relationship, the connection between the front and back of the story, and the design of specific details, which constitutes substantial similarity.

” Marriage of the World “ describes that in winter, Mrs. Lu invited the ladies of the family to a party, and Lin Jinrong’s appearance was outstanding. The tea art was popular in this dynasty, and Lin Yuzhen wanted Lu Yun to perform the tea-splitting skills in public, and even took out the hairpin on his head as a trophy. Lin Jinrong performed his superb tea skills in public, and at the end of the tea soup, a plum blossom bloomed and came out on top. Lin Yuzhen tried her best to cover up her anger, and handed the hairpin to Lin Jinrong with unwillingness and pain.

The relevant plot of ” Splendid Weiyang “ describes that in the winter, the ladies gathered together, and Li Changle’s appearance was outstanding. The tea art was popular in this dynasty, and Li Weiyang’s tea soup was praised by everyone. The tea art was prevalent in this dynasty, Li Weiyang performed superb tea skills in public, and a peony flower bloomed in the tea soup at the end. Everyone saw that Li Weiyang was wearing ill-fitting clothes, and the eldest lady lost face, tried her best to cover up her anger, and took out a hairpin to Li Weiyang in public.

In the above-mentioned plots, both books portrayed very specific characters such as “the heroine with amazing tea skills” and “the lady who covered up her anger”, and designed the same background of “tea art is prevalent” and “flowers blooming in tea soup” and “delivery in public”. The specific conflicts and details such as the heroine’s hairpin”, the two plots are similar in composition, and the above plots do not belong to the usual plots.

Therefore, in the above-mentioned plots , ” Splendid Weiyang “ adopts the original background setting, appearance arrangement, contradictions and specific plot design of ” The Marriage of the World ” . World Marriage “ copyright infringement.

Supplement: A friend of Long mentioned the problem of habitual routines. It is not difficult to see this example here. Although KTV and classmates meet face slaps are routine routines, in the specific plot, who is responsible for ridicule, who is responsible for following ridicule, and how the protagonist responds , how to slap the face, the order of appearance of the characters, etc., the flesh and blood that constitutes the plot is the criterion for determining whether or not to plagiarize.

Written here, I believe that everyone has a relatively clear understanding of the plagiarism of words and plots. If the author of the online article sees this, there should be a question. This kind of plagiarism of words and plots can be obtained by the original author. How much compensation?

As far as the eleven precedents of the Jinxiu Weiyang case are concerned, the compensation is basically between 50,000 and 100,000, which includes the original author’s legal fees and notary fees due to rights protection.

Article 48 of the ” Copyright Law ” stipulates: “If the copyright or copyright-related rights is infringed, the infringer shall pay compensation according to the actual loss of the right holder; if the actual loss is difficult to calculate, the compensation may be made according to the illegal income of the infringer. The amount of compensation It should also include reasonable expenses paid by the right holder to stop the infringement.”

This amount is not high, especially compared to the income that the authors of Splendid Weiyang received from this book, but I believe that the above-mentioned original authors including Mr. Wen Ruian did not pursue this lawsuit. these compensations.

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