Due to the understandable questions people may have towards this novel's legitimacy and legality, I think Cassandra Clare or her publisher would do well to issue some kind of blanket statement that the story has been investigated for instances of plagiarism by an impartial editor. Internet buzz is becoming an important marketing tool, nowadays, and the internet remains polarized on the issue of Cassie Clare.
There's a tremendous difference between fanfiction written several years ago by an amateur author (who, I believe, was also a college student) and mass-market young adult fantasy being put out by a major publishing house. Saying that "the Internet remains polarized" is misleading - it infers that the WHOLE INTERNET is talking about this author, which certainly isn't true. Rather than a huge polarization of people, there's a small group of people are still fighting about something that was over and done with years ago. The rest of the Internet has no idea who she is and more importantly, doesn't care. It was a tempest in a teapot - Ms. Clare has moved on, but it's clear that other people just can't seem to let this juicy topic die.
[Deleted by the author on Oct 15, 2006 12:09:43 PM PDT]
Not in the academic sense, no. It verges on copyright infringement, but so does fanfiction in general.
Frankly, I doubt anyone who wasn't involved in Harry Potter fandom cares at ALL. I certainly don't, although I don't know if I'll read the books since I wasn't super-impressed with the writing of hers that I've read.
Incidentally, journalistic ethics and fiction ethics and academic ethics are all completely different and it's not logical to expect a person in one category to necessarily know the rules of the others.
I'll admit that the first part of her Draco Trilogy is not really a well written story (though I found the plot good enough to keep me reading) and I can hardly stand the quality of her TVSD (though it's funny as hell), but her writing quality has increased dramatically over the past few years and the posting of the second and third stories of the Draco Trilogy. So I hope you do read the book and then judge her writing.
I never understood the point of going after fanfic writers/AMV makers, etc. It's not like they're profiting off of it; they just want to have fun with a work or series they enjoy, right? And they want to share the fun. If it skews the point of the work, then that's one thing, but I'd think most people in the fanfic universe aren't like that and just want to share their view.
In this case, it isn't "going after a fanfic writer". The issue isn't that she used JKRowling's characters (especially as most of the people getting annoyed also write HP fic), it's that she used lines and chunks of prose from TV shows and other books.
Contrary to apparently popular belief, the lines were *not* cited. At the beginning and end of the chapter, she would say that she collected quotes and wasn't always sure where they were from, but that she used lines from Red Dwarf, Blackadder, Buffy, &c. To cite, she would have had to point out each unoriginal line and tell which show and which episodes it came from, at the very least.
However, the real trouble came from the passages she took from Pamela Dean (and later, it came to light that she also took chunks of description from The Chronicles of Amber). She had several lines describing action and magical plants which were nearly verbatim from one of Pamela Dean's books. At one point she said that it was from the wrong book, by someone she couldn't remember - which is unlikely, as she would have had to have it open in front of her. She didn't acknowledge any of the Chronicles of Amber lines.