Re: Serial plagiarist copying RRL works

#1
So a bunch of authors on RoyalRoad Legends have been finding their works being posted on Amazon under fake names. Some of these have been successfully taken down, others haven't yet. The thing is, I've been looking at the Amazon pages, and I'm seeing so very many similarities in all of these stolen publications. I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed this, or posted about it yet, but I'm pretty sure that all of these works are being copied and published by the same guy, using a variety of different fake names. We've got a serial plagiarist on our hands, folks.

Common elements of all plagiarized Amazon publications include:
  1. Cover pages that use the same art style and bear few or no similarities to the stories beyond "they look cool and have a single person with a weapon and/or magic".
  2. Cover titles that don't include the author's name.
  3. Book summaries that are almost exact copy-pastes of the RRL Fiction Page summaries.
  4. Author pages that have one book and no author details.
  5. Author names that range from unimaginative to puns to ripoffs themselves.
I don't have any evidence beyond a hunch, but there are just too many similarities for it to be multiple people.

EDIT: Okay, I've had another go through Amazon, and another look around the internet. Turns out this guy isn't just plagiarizing from RoyalRoad; some of the fics I wasn't able to identify before are from Webnovel.com, the Chinese webnovel site for English Language speakers. I'm gonna have to figure out how to contact those guys too, but I bet anything that they'll drop on Amazon like a ton of bricks; Webnovel.com is way more monetized than RoyalRoad, and has enough lawyers to ruin anyone's day. I'll split this into two lists.

A list of plagiarized works that I've been able to identify follows:
~~~
  • [Original RoyalRoad work] by [author] -> [Ripoff Amazon copy] by [Pseudonym]
  1. Wake of the Ravager by Macronomicon -> "Ravager's Wake" by "Kelthus Zad" (Really? Kel'Thuzad? He's that lazy?)
  2. Dungeon Mage by YesorNo -> "Worldbreaker" by "Rex Limm"
  3. To Break The World by LordFraxinus -> "Quantico" by "R Stenburg"
  4. Life of Numbers by sryanr -> "Number Game" by "Lauren Ramos" (This one's just stupid, Life of Numbers is already legally posted on Amazon.)
  5. Dragon, Silver Dragon by MArienach -> "The Dragon Master" by "Kyle Larisen"
  6. Demon Hero Reaper Saviour by mushashi -> "A Knight's Promise" by "J.S. Green"
  7. The Predator by Nneeil -> "Silent Storm" by "Jim Harriels"
  8. Slip Hero by PerfectDeath -> "Quarantined Fighter" by "Lee Markson"
  9. The Infinity Project by Mirrond -> "Project Infinite" by "Mike McKean"
  10. Seeker of Myths by Akamaaku -> "Master Knight" by "Liu Cheng"
  11. The Stone-Hearted Enchanter by thedaidontstop -> "Last Knight" by "Nelson Nache"
  12. Dungeon Games by LionsDeathDealer -> "Dredge Knight" by "Ted Byrde"
  13. Powerless by AMR -> "Relinquished Power" by "Brandon Kieran" (Reused the name "Brandon")
  14. Getting Hard by _GD_ -> "The Hardest Game" by "Lawrence Ral"
  15. The Great Conqueror by A-salaxashi -> "Conqueror of Legends" by "Megan Crowe" (Kudos to ammportal for finding this one)
  16. The Merge by Mickr4 -> "Survivor Merge" by "James Capall"
  17. Use... Everything! by thedaidontstop -> "Gamer Reborn" by "Senna Hadelf"
  18. Bloodlust by DefinitelyNotJormlung -> "Holy Order" by "Kyle Baker"
  19. Indistinct Instinct by Reiders -> "Mark of Gods" by "Kyle Fan"
  20. A Hero's War by jseah -> "War of Gods" by "Derek Bills"
  21. Living Life as a Game: Through and Through by Vermillion Yormsky -> "Life of the Game" by "Jocelyn Sanders"
  22. To Protect by Galen Chronicler -> "Overlord of Dragons" by "Drew Davids"
  23. Sundered World Online by Brynch -> "Guardian Sword Online" by "Jon Moone"
  24. Stop Calling Me a Demon King by BakaGrappler -> "The Reaper King" by "K. Lawrence"
  25. Anti-Hero: Journey of Fear by  -> "Fear's Thrall" by "Norman Robson"
~~~
And here's an interesting trifecta. Our plagiarist copied three works off RoyalRoad, but mixed up the content.
~~~
  1. My Job is a Tailor by van -> "He Who Slays Kings" by "Brandon Jones" (Blurb from Slayer of Kings)
  2. Slayer of Kings by Dark_Reality -> "Shadow Chaser" by "Lance Bakerton" (Blurb from J'nk: Refuse Refuge)
  3. J'nk: Refuse Refuge by durakken -> "Lord of Misery" by "Noah Legend" (Blurb from My Job is a Tailor)
~~~

And now, our newly-added list of Webnovel.com stolen books! Let's see here, what do we have...?

~~~
  • [Original Webnovel.com work] by [author] -> [Ripoff Amazon copy] by [Pseudonym]
  1. Way of the Knights by Hateful_Fellow -> "Technology Master" by "Kane Brickson"
  2. Reincarnation of a Living God by zad1333 -> "Living Again as a God" by "Jason Harminn"
  3. A Magical Destination by Flip -> "Realm of Magic" by "Dorian Vick"
  4. The Gamer's Apocalypse by HellionPrime -> "Gamer Haven Online" by "Clint Maxwell"
  5. World Domination System by KillerHemboy -> "Domination of Worlds" by "Aubrey Sloane"
  6. Starting from Zero by Thunderstorm -> "Zero Beginning" by "Thomas Thunder"
  7. Immortal Era's Crafting Master by PopcornSectMaster -> "Immortal Crafting Master" by "John Baker"
  8. Dimension System by Zicon -> "System of Dimensions" by "Kappel Trouser"
~~~

There's a few other possibles that I haven't been able to pin down yet. They're not definitely plagiarized, but they meet all of the above criteria. Please post if you can identify them.

~~~~~~

That's all I can find for now; if anyone spots more on Amazon, just drop me a line and I'll check them and amend the master list. Remember: they can be spotted by the generic fantasy cover, always showing a single person, never a landscape or an animal, which has a title but no author name on the cover, and there's only one book to the author's name.

Also, given what a slacker this guy is, it's very likely that the cover pictures are plagiarized as well, so if someone can figure out which DeviantArt creator or whoever is being robbed from, please get in touch with them or post it here.

EDIT LOSTCOUNT: An admin has added a helpful post here regarding RR's What To Do if Your Work's Been Stolen advice. If anyone finds more ripoff ebooks, please drop the admins a line at the RoyalRoad Support page or email them at [email protected] Feel free to crosspost here as well, and let me know if any of the Amazon pages go defunct so I can move them to the inactive list.

Re: Serial plagiarist copying RRL works

#6
Hello,
What sad news to start the day with. We will be notifying the concerned authors regarding what happened and we will recommend the steps that they can follow in order to get these listings down. According to previous experiences, amazon tends to remove reported listings that infringe on copyright fairly quickly. 

While this is something that is plaguing the industry in general, we highly commend bringing this issue publically. We encourage reporting any plagiarised novel you see, preferably directly to us in order to not miss any report - so that we can follow up with the authors (assuming the authors are on Royal Road) to notify them of what happened.

To report such a thing you can open a support ticket (preferred) https://www.royalroad.com/support or via email [email protected]

We encourage this, as we can provide steps for the authors to get the listing removed. We believe that if we can catch this quite early, we can make it clear that messing with any of the stories on our site is more trouble than it is worth. Thus hopefully deterring future attempts as well. But at the very least stopping current attempts.

We genuinely care about making sure no one posts plagiarised content on our site, and we will try out best to make sure nothing is posted elsewhere. So if there is anything we can help with, never hesitate to contact us.

In the meanwhile, if you are an author and wondering what you can do in such a situation. 
These are our current recommendations:
https://www.royalroad.com/blog/14/plagiarism-copyright-infringement-and-content

We updated the post to also include steps that can be followed in regards to Amazon specifically.


Edit 1: Message sent to all the RR authors listed in the above list. If there are any new authors please report it to us directly. 
 

Re: Serial plagiarist copying RRL works

#7
Hello, guys.

I would like to advance the following proposal:

Let's petition amazon or implement such a system ourselves, here, in rrl, which is similar to the website turnitin.com.

Said website identifies instances of plagiarism.

I believe we can identify enough heuristics, and key in enough statistics to start a basic one. Amazon could certainly use this though. The internet certainly needs its balance of statism and anarchy.

Yours sincerely,
A hopeful author.

P.S: I think those of us who are in amazon or who have legal recourses could look into this.

Re: Serial plagiarist copying RRL works

#10
I'm assuming this is a plagiarist copy of a RR story.

https://www.amazon.com/Magicians-Trade-Morgan-Coff-ebook/dp/B0868WT6X7/ref=pd_rhf_dp_p_img_1?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=FG7DS6GMPJX1RM5N72S3

Book on Amazon:  Magician's Trade   by   Morgan Coff

Hopefully someone here can confirm or deny if it is a plagiarized copy or not.  As I'm just assuming it's a RR story (I believe I read it here a long time ago, not sure because I can't find the story on RR) I don't want to make a Ass of myself by claiming it's plagiarism and then finding out the author actually published it.

Re: Serial plagiarist copying RRL works

#12
Also, quite some of those stories listed in the first post have been removed from Amazon.

Going to list those that are still up on there.



Life of Numbers by sryanr -> "Number Game" by "Lauren Ramos" (This one's just stupid, Life of Numbers is already legally posted on Amazon.)

The Stone-Hearted Enchanter by thedaidontstop -> "Last Knight" by "Nelson Nache"

Dungeon Games by LionsDeathDealer -> "Dredge Knight" by "Ted Byrde" (author has been gone for years)

Powerless by AMR -> "Relinquished Power" by "Brandon Kieran" (Reused the name "Brandon")

The Great Conqueror by A-salaxashi -> "Conqueror of Legends" by "Megan Crowe" (Kudos to ammportal for finding this one) (author has not been online since January this year)

Use... Everything! by thedaidontstop -> "Gamer Reborn" by "Senna Hadelf"

Indistinct Instinct by Reiders -> "Mark of Gods" by "Kyle Fan" (author has been gone for years)

Living Life as a Game: Through and Through by Vermillion Yormsky -> "Life of the Game" by "Jocelyn Sanders"

To Protect by Galen Chronicler -> "Overlord of Dragons" by "Drew Davids" (author has been gone for years)

Sundered World Online by Brynch -> "Guardian Sword Online" by "Jon Moone" (author has been gone for years)

Stop Calling Me a Demon King by BakaGrappler -> "The Reaper King" by "K. Lawrence" (author has been gone for years)

My Job is a Tailor by van -> "He Who Slays Kings" by "Brandon Jones" (Blurb from Slayer of Kings)

Slayer of Kings by Dark_Reality -> "Shadow Chaser" by "Lance Bakerton" (Blurb from J'nk: Refuse Refuge) (author has not been online since february)


All those webnovel.com stories listed here are also all still up.

All of those are currently still up on Amazon, either because the author is gone, or has not taken action yet.

I am a bit worried about those where the author is gone, how are they going to be taken down?





Re: Serial plagiarist copying RRL works

#15
I swear the guy has some kind of connection with the name 'Kyle'. When he posted my book(he just changed the name a little and didn't put any effort in trying to change even one word from the story. Made me very angry. At least put some effort you lazy, witless buffoon!) on amazon, his name was 'Kyle Grass'...

For me, my initial request to remove it where I just put just the link to my fiction got rejected by Amazon. Later I went back and provided the first chapter of my book for comparison, the date I posted it and some other stuff I don't exactly remember, only then they removed it...