Tracey Alley - plagiarist

Gaming Tonic

First Post
And as history has shown us time and time again, people are willing to forgive immoral and criminal acs...IF you 'fess up. Coverups & denials- and she has made many denials- really tick people off on a whole other level.

See that is the rub. The fact that somebody would go on the offensive when caught in the act and threaten legal action or what not. For that there is no coming back. It is sad because this individual probably enjoyed Mystara and I wonder if a Kickstarter to get the license or something would have been a better use of her time.
 

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Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
Supporter
Yep. Her initial statements in response to this have poisoned her resume.

She could become a world-class writer, but this incident will dog her from now on. A lot of people familiar with this won't care about what her future writings may be like. I haven't read her stuff, and now I probably never will.
 

Dethklok

First Post
I wish more people saw these issues the way that I do. There was no theft; there was never any theft. Ideas can't be stolen, only copied. The copyright holders still have the ideas she used, and nothing she has done affected anyone else's ability to use those ideas in the slightest.

What Tracey Alley really did was lie, and break the law for personal gain. Yes, I agree that the world would have been better off hadn't done this. But I don't agree at all that we need copyright laws. Such laws do not protect ideas at all. They protect profit, and ensure the livelihood of a class of priests we refer to as lawyers.

Is making one's livelihood on technicalities and legal disputation really any more honorable than plagiarism? I'm open to being persuaded that it is; maybe wealthy lawyers and incredibly complicated legal codes do genuinely offer something to society. But the ancient Greeks outlawed lawyers entirely, and they seem to have done perfectly well for themselves.
 

Hand of Evil

Hero
Epic
I wish more people saw these issues the way that I do. There was no theft; there was never any theft. Ideas can't be stolen, only copied. The copyright holders still have the ideas she used, and nothing she has done affected anyone else's ability to use those ideas in the slightest.

What Tracey Alley really did was lie, and break the law for personal gain. Yes, I agree that the world would have been better off hadn't done this. But I don't agree at all that we need copyright laws. Such laws do not protect ideas at all. They protect profit, and ensure the livelihood of a class of priests we refer to as lawyers.

Is making one's livelihood on technicalities and legal disputation really any more honorable than plagiarism? I'm open to being persuaded that it is; maybe wealthy lawyers and incredibly complicated legal codes do genuinely offer something to society. But the ancient Greeks outlawed lawyers entirely, and they seem to have done perfectly well for themselves.
The problem, she is making money off of someones work, this was not ideas, it was time and effort that people put forth that she claimed as her own.
 

Mike Eagling

Explorer
But the ancient Greeks outlawed lawyers entirely, and they seem to have done perfectly well for themselves.

Firstly, that's factually incorrect but I digress.

As far as I can ascertain this author has written original stories that are entirely her own work (according to her, at least. I've never heard of her before this all kicked off). Assuming she's being honest about that then these stories are her own and she owns the copyright to that arrangement of words. However, they appear to be a derivative work of the Mystara setting, which is a violation of copyright law because someone else owns the intellectual property in which her stories are set. She also appears to have infringed the copyright of the artists or owners of the artwork used on her covers--a further set of violations.

I've read a whole bunch of websites today where (a minority of) people have bemoaned how truly awful copyright law is, how it impinges upon creativity, and how the world would be truly lovely if we got rid of lawyers and laws and intellectual property. Apparently the world would be shiny and new and covered in pastel pink and blue flowers in a ratio of two to one.

I'm not claiming the legal systems of 21st century Earth are perfect but I'd rather live in a world where should I create a fictional setting it isn't ripped off by someone else unless I say it's OK first.
 
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Umbran

Mod Squad
Staff member
Supporter
Legally it's wrong, but morally?

But I don't agree at all that we need copyright laws.


Some folks seemed to have missed my point above. Please allow me to reiterate:

Feel free to discuss what the law actually is, how it is interpreted, how the laws apply here, or discuss the facts of the case. But don't bother going into whether or not we should have copyright laws in general. This is not an appropriate venue for discussing whether copyright laws are good to have, morally correct, whether we need them, or what have you. Not that it isn't a fine discussion to have - there are some really interesting points to consider on the matter. However, we have a pretty solid "No politics" rule on EN World, so this isn't the place to have that discussion. Thanks, all for your time!
 

AdmundfortGeographer

Getting lost in fantasy maps
I believe she's got talent, probably honed through prolific fanfic. This likely developed out of her fanfic vaults and she just lost track of the heritage. If her writing kept to the realm of free fanfic, we'd all not be the wiser.

Her appropriating the art though, that's got no positive explanation.

I sense we have a reason to expand Echohawk's Mystara compendium with a possible sidebar. ;) For a short moment in time, Mystara had an unwitting novel expansion!
 

Mike Eagling

Explorer
One possibly interesting fact in all the scorn being poured on Ms. Alley (given the recent discussions about sexism) is that she doesn't appear to have received any threats to her personal well being, unlike some other women being savaged by the genre crowd.

I hasten to add: that's a good thing!
 


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