It wasn't that Claire was writing fanfiction, it was that she was copying word for word entire passages from other books and claiming them as her own work. The passages weren't even from harry Potter they were from Pamela Dean's Secret Country Trilogy, and other books. Huge pieces of prose were taken from Pamela Dean's books and she was never given any credit for them. Claire played it off as if she had written them when she hadn't.
If you want to read more about it look at this. It gives a full account of the scandal. You'll find that it was far more severe than just a little poorly written disclaimer http://www.journalfen.net/community/bad_penny/8985.html
Cassandra Claire -- who, yes, is the same person as Cassandra Clare -- is known widely throughout the fanfiction community for her set of stories about Draco Malfoy (from the Harry Potter series), and the Very Secret Diaries (which takes place in the Lord of the Rings 'verse). While they were wildly popular for some time, for a variety of reasons, they have all but vanished from the 'net ...
You have to be kidding, right? Poorly worded disclaimer? She stole...STOLE...entire sections from other people's novels. Are you understanding that? STOLE. Lifted WHOLE SECTIONS OF TEXT from several novels without their author's permission and then had the nerve to claim it was her own. Not to mention blatantly ripping off whole scenes pretty much verbatim. No disclaimer can excuse plagiarizing.
Ok, I think we need someone to explain what fanfiction is as it seems some people have little to no understanding. A fanfic writer uses the characters and/or universe that someone else created. They CLEARLY state they do not own/did not create either the universe or the characters. What fanfic writers do is use the universe and/or characters in new ways with new stories, situations, environments (which they create)that never came up or were used in the actual series. Another way is to change something that happened in the series that the writer or fans didn't like. Heck, fanfic writers also simply explore how things might have gone.
At no time do they cut and paste sections of others' text and claim it is their creation. They do not write up whole scenes verbatim from the series and claim credit for them. They do not claim they are the ones who came up with the brilliance of the original. Plagiarist do that. Clare did that and seems to still be doing it.
Because she has a built in fanbase. A lot of the people that read her fanfiction were like "OMG who cares if she plagiarized?! She's sooooo great, you're just jealous!" I think the publishers were cashing in on the fangirls that would buy anything Cassandra Cla(i)re published, plagiarized or otherwise.
Actually she did make money off of it. As mentioned above, her fanfiction's popularity is one of the main reasons that she got her current book deal. Also in 2004, her laptop was stolen and her fans donated to buy her a new one:
and I highly recommend the journalfen link above if you're interested in learning more.
R. M. Treviizo: Fanfiction violates copyright, and some authors say yes to allowing it, like J.K. Rowling, while others say no, like Anne Rice, but most say nothing, particularly since it is a way of paying homage (when done right) and lets amature writers practice creative writing.
It wasn't that she was writing fanfiction that was the problem though. The problem was, in her fanfic, she stole passages of text from a published book and passed it off as her own work in her fanfiction. Aka, we have two completly seperate issues here. And no... plagerism doesn't mean word for word, which was one of the arguements she tried making. There was also too much to simply be sited.