From Fan History Wiki
Cassandra Claire was a fan fiction writer who has been shown to have plagiarized material in her writing. Her short comedy series The Very Secret Diaries and the extremely long Draco Trilogy were popular and influential works in Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter fandoms, respectively. She attended a university.  Her first book, City of Bones, was published in March 2007, and marked the change of her pen name to the name Cassandra Clare. She lives in New York City.
In late November 2001, a flamewar occurred between the Gryffindor Tower and Cassandra Claire/FictionAlley factions. Cassandra Claire had requested Harry/Ginny fic recommendations, and after she read Imogen's Alpha and Omega she expressed a strong dislike for the story and for Imogen and Chryslin. Imogen sent a complaint to Fiction Alley moderator Simon regarding this. Simon never took any action regarding this. It is speculated that if Simon had stepped in to ask Cassandra Claire to stop that StalkerGate would never have happened. Imogen's friend, Chryslin, had written fanfic in Imogen's universe, and Chryslin's husband, Jeff, sent several angry emails (relating only to Imogen's fanfiction, and not CC's plagiarism) to Cassandra Claire, some of which included her real first name, and a young girl named Emily as a result. Later, it was revealed that Cassandra Claire had received emails on the same subject from another member of GT, and her provocative response to those implied that she had not been blameless in the fight with Jeff. The exact contents of Jeff's emails are unknown, but:
- Note she doesn't come right out and say that he said this to her. She just speculates that he thinks that. But how many of her fangirls would note the difference. I also found it laughable that she'd attribute such a dramatic turn of phrase to Jeff, since, while this was going on she described him as a "sub-moronic troglodyte".
In October 2001, Arabella, Moey, Moey's husband, and GinnyPotter from the Sugar Quill attended a lunch in New York City with Cassandra Claire and Ashley from FictionAlley.Org. The story according to members of Sugar Quill is that meeting MelissaTLC from The Leaky Cauldron was Heidi's primary motivation for wanting to go to New York City. At this meeting, the issue of Claire's possible stalker was not brought up but Cassandra Claire’s real name was revealed. It was this revelation that would later lead Cassandra Claire, Heidi Tandy and Stacey to believe that Sugar Quill had provided Cassandra Claire’s real name to Jeff. The two groups did not get along. Their problems dated back to HPforGrownUps in 2000, and were further enflamed by the Cassandra Claire plagiarism situation. Relations continued to degrade because of various fic reviews and fic discussion groups, and discussions on FictionAlley Park threads, as well as some at Sugar Quill. Cassandra Claire's request for recs and subsequent comments occurred a few days later. 
Shortly after this meeting Cassandra Claire, Heidi Tandy, and Stacey came to the women of Sugar Quill with the issue of the stalker, asking for IP address information for Jeff to further implicate him as the one sending death threats and harassing Cassandra Claire.   They also referenced the legal situation and the police having been contacted, as well as the fact that only they knew Cassandra Claire's name. In the end, Sugar Quill capitulated, and also removed Chryslin's fanfiction from their site. 
These events seem to have concluded, to a certain degree, by the end of November. Jeff sent Cassandra Claire some rather unpleasant comments--flames--as he defended his wife or mentioned the plagiarism. There is nothing to suggest from that account that there was any perception of stalking going on, nor that Jeff knew Cassandra Claire's real name and address aside from the references which come directly from Cassandra Claire.
Cassandra Claire began posting The Draco Trilogy, a Harry Potter fanfic, on FanFiction.Net in 2000, and became relatively well known in the Harry Potter fan fiction community for her work. One of the hallmarks of her fiction was allegedly playing games with her readers: putting in quotes from sources such as Buffy The Vampire Slayer and Red Dwarf and leaving the readers to guess what was quoted.
In mid-June 2001, Avocado e-mailed Cairnsy, an administrator at FanFiction.Net, with evidence that Cassandra Claire had inserted, without citation, a significant portion of fantasy writer Pamela Dean's work into the ninth chapter of Draco Sinister, the second installment of The Draco Trilogy.  The complaint was not an official plagiarism complaint, but rather a question if it was and what she should do about it.
Cairnsy recognized that inserting this much uncredited text with only a vague and inaccurate disclaimer ("Credit for the inspiration for this conception of the wizarding afterlife goes to a book called The Secret Country, alas, I no longer recall who wrote it") was not the same thing as using well-known quotes from television series. Cairnsy told the reader that this would be taken care of. (Note, an official report was never filed.)
Cairnsy shared this information with others on FanFiction.Net staffers including Xing Li, Meimi, Stephen Savage and Michelle Savage. Another administrator, Flourish, who was in charge only of maintaining FanFiction.Net's Terms of Service at that time, was not informed. A few other people in the "inner circle" of FanFiction.Net administrators were also informed but were told to keep quiet. Nonetheless, one of them e-mailed Cassandra Claire anyway, informing her that she had been reported to FanFiction.Net for plagiarism and suggested that the story be revised before Cassandra Claire's account was deleted from FanFiction.Net. Claire, who later claimed to be on vacation at that time, did not respond to this or other warnings regarding the disputed passages in her fic.
See Cassandra Claire's Plagiarism for further details
State of fan fiction
Cassandra Claire has removed her fan fiction from sites where she has officially housed it. She has stated she cannot stop fans from circulating it and sharing it without her consent. However, reviewers of her books who are familiar with her fanfiction have claimedthat a good percentage of her fanfic has been copied and pasted into her professional work.
Other fandom stuff
Cassandra Claire has profited from her fan fiction. The story of her receiving financial and material rewards from her fan fiction started around 2002. The first example dates to February 15, 2002, when she posted a PO Box address to her LiveJournal.  She claimed that fans hadpestered her into caving in and accepting their gifts. The timing and phrasing of this leads to some speculation, because in the same post she referenced a stalker who she claimed was trying to contact her. In March 2002, she referenced gifts that people had sent her.  One comment in her LiveJournal helps to understand the nature of these financial rewards:
- When are you going? If I drop something off for you at the address you posted a few posts ago, will you get it? Don't think of it as payment for writing fan fic, rather, think of it as a bribe to continue writing fanfic.
- - Emily 
This type of request was repeated on April 23, 2002 on ParadigmOfUncertainty.  She again asked for her fans to send her presents, but this time the request was not made in what can be argued as the personal space of a personal LiveJournal but on a very public mailing list which was in part dedicated to her fan fiction. This list had a membership numbering in the thousands.
On May 6, 2002, Cassandra Claire opened a CafePress store of merchandise based on the Very Secret Diaries.  The amount of profit from the store is unclear. The context of Cassandra Claire's post seems to indicate that the profits were going to her, with no mention of donating this money to charity. This leads to confusion in that Lar deSouza, in a post dated August 2, 2002, implied the profits were going to charity.  At no point did Cassandra Claire or Lar deSouza spell out what charity that was, nor did either provide financial information regarding how much money was made. At no point in the available comments about the store's opening did Cassandra Claire thank people for buying for supporting her charity. 
On May 26, 2002, the store was closed down. The announcement read:
- OOPS! Cafe Press has issues with the use of any of Tolkiens names/places in the T-Shirt designs and have asked Cassie to get permission from Tolkien Enterprises before the items in the stores can be sold again.
- Even tho there is alot out there on the net on Copyright Laws regarding Parody, and these designs may very well be covered under these laws, Cassie has decided to pull the stores till it can all be worked out.
- Sorry for any inconvenience. 
The profit-for-fanfiction situation did not end with the closure of the Cafe Press store. At an undetermined date, the store opened up at a new location. It was referenced in several places. One of these references dated to November 9, 2002. No references to a charitable aspect could be found.  By December 14, 2002, the store had closed again.  The reason for this time was never explained but the store was open again by December 23, 2002.  The store would close again not long after that. At least two web pages claimed that the reason the store had closed was because Tolkien Enterprises had sent CafePress and Cassandra Claire a cease and desist letter for trademark violations.
Whether these rumors are true are not is up for some debate because Claire herself never publicly indicated she had been contacted by Tolkien Enterprises. In a LiveJournal entry dated February 11, 2003, she said of her official contact with the powers that be:
- Someone also asked me if I had gotten a Cease and Desist letter from the Tolkien people telling me to stop writing these. This posits an alternate universe in which they care about the Very Secret Diaries, but the answer to that would be, obviously, no I haven't. I don't know anything about how issues of fanfic stand in the LOTR fandom because I'm not in it, but there seem to be plenty of slash archives that exist with no issues so I can't imagine why TPTB would want this fairly mild stuff off the net. On top of which, obviously, if I had gotten a C and D I'd have had to take down what ALREADY exists, not just stop writing new material. That's how these things work, AFAIK. The only semi official missive I have ever recieved from anyone Tolkien related is a letter from the Tolkien Society saying they'd read the VDSs at a meeting and were amused. 
This section contains the perspective of a participant or observer. It is intentionally not neutral in order to provide multiple perspectives on an event. Information in this section may need to be integrated into the article to ensure that the overall article is neutral.
September 10, 2009
I do not know what Cassandra ever intended with her half of the CafePress shop profits but mine went into my bank account. I do not recall making any posts regarding charity but then I can be forgetful :) I did deliberately keep the mark up on the shop items to a single dollar, as the base prices for items were already kinda high. I did not receive any official C&D letters from the Tolkien Estate or New Line or WB, but rather was asked by CafePress, who felt the caricatures could be in violation of fair use copyright. I later relaunched many items with non caricature artwork but it never did as well and after a few months more I closed the shop down. Cassandra had very little to do with the creation and marketing of the CafePress shop. Our correspondence was very minimal I'm afraid. I just sent her cheques as they came in. Hope that clears up that point.
Around December 2003, the dveritas shop on CafePress was opened.  It is mentioned at The Nine Muses dot Net saying proceeds went to charity but the page's creator did not specify or link to any charity.  Cassandra Claire does not speak of the charity or who got the profits in her LiveJournal. There is no public accounting for the funds, which once again implies that profits went to her.
There are also other events called into question: On March 6, 2004, Cassandra Claire posted to her LiveJournal "Everyone really does have an Ipod but me!"  One of Claire's fans responded with the comment:
- You will soon! I promise. Sorry this is taking so long. But if it makes you feel any better, I'm getting you one before I get myself one :P
- Thank you for DV14. Best use of thirty minutes I could otherwise spend doing homework EVER :D 
And others left comments like:
- If you want it so badly why don't you just buy one? It is not that expensive.
- I will buy you one if you want just so you can stop thinking about it and start writing DV and as a special favor you can tell me the ending:)
- Just e-mail me your name and address 
It is an unknown if anyone actually sent Cassandra Claire an iPod. It is not out of the realm of possibility as Cassandra Claire's PO Box information was still available at that time on ParadigmOfUncertainty and her LiveJournal. Claire is consistent on the number of iPods she received--one--though given the nature of the comments by her fans there is still some speculation on this issue. These examples are by Cassandra Claire and were posted to FanFicRants in response to LapTopGate:
- 3) No "minions" coughed up Ipod money. My friend Heidi bought me an Ipod, and I think a few friends helped her out with it. Nobody ever posted asking for Ipod money. 
- I did not know that. I got an Ipod from Heidi, and she told me that the only people who contributed were people who were going to get me something anyway. I never saw any of the friendslocked entries about the Ipod because they were locked away from me. I don't know exactly who contributed but I assume they were friends because the posts Heidi made were friends-locked. 
- I never got an Ipod from fans, so it seems unlikely that I would have posted and said that I did. Heidi bought me an Ipod for my birthday, and a few friends chipped in. 
- Yes, many people posted on my LJ saying "I'll get you an Ipod!" but I never thought they meant in particularly or that it would come to anything. And it didn't. I got an Ipod from Heidi, and she told me that the only people who contributed were people who were going to get me something anyway. I never saw any of the friendslocked entries about the Ipod because they were locked away from me. I don't know exactly who contributed but I assume they were friends because the posts Heidi made were friends-locked. 
- It was done for her by her good friend who honestly I think had a lapse in sanity in assuming that Cassie would be okay with that--it was an attempt to take a collection to by her a group birthday present from the fandom. I honestly don't know how it turned out--I don't think Cassie said anything about it publicly though which leads me to believe she somehow heard about the idea and shot it down before it had a chance to lead to the inevitable wank. 
- Well, here's at least where she hints and then gratefully takes in the offers. Personally, I just like to snark at her coyness, not so much because I think it's wanky -- if people want to buy her iPods for writing plagiarized and/or overwrought Harlequins, more power to her -- but because her fangirls are just so damned funny. And annoying. And then funny again. Hell, the ones here on JF are hilarious. But very annoying. 
There are still many questions open as to the nature of the iPod(s).
Cassandra Claire had already apparently benefited materialistically because of her fan fiction. Then came the post that her apartment had been broken into, and that her computer (and roommates' computers) had been stolen. According to the story by mlleelizabeth, Claire's friend Heidi originally asked for contributions to buy Claire a new computer behind an FLocked LiveJournal entry, requesting assistance. She was asked to unFLock the post so that others could help. Heidi Tandy did so and fans responded.  In some cases, fans contributed money with the hope that Claire would write faster. Heidi updated the post to include how much was donated and who donated. It's said that Claire intended to write hand written thank-you notes to people, as the amount they needed was exceeded beyond what they could have envisioned.
When the money topped the cost of the laptops stolen, Heidi and Claire began mentioning that some action figures were also stolen and that all excess would be donated to buy new toys to help children for Christmas. The money was not turned off. In fact, Heidi went out and solicited for more money because of this new cause, going as far as to tell people on discussions related to this incident that she expected them to donate if they commented on the issue.
The amount of money raised versus the amount that went to the laptops is not public knowledge. It is known that Claire and Ruby received their laptops. Heidi was not financially transparent in this, as she claims to have just cut a personal check to send to the charity in question:
- Many of you saw the email I posted last week re Cassie's computer, as
- well as those of her boyfriend Josh and her roommate Ruby - they (and
- a number of other things in the apartment) were stolen last Saturday,
- and over hte last week, a number of Cassie's friends and members of
- the online communities she participates in have chipped in to the
- drive I organized to get a new laptop for each of them, and to replace
- the toys which Ruby had collected for the Holiday Toy Collection
- Thingy at the hospital where she's a resident.
- I'm sending a check to the hospital today which will more than replace
- the toys that Ruby had collected to donate, but if you're interested
- in sending a toy or a contribution directly to the organization that
- supports the hospital's toy drive, here's the information, directly
- from Ruby's LJ 
There was a considerable amount of money involved. At one point, on Heidi's LiveJournal, the number was quoted at being over ten thousand dollars. How much ended up with Cassandra Claire is unknown. As with the issue with the profiting from the Very Secret Diaries, no accounting was provided for funds collected.
By June 11, 2005, there was a CafePress store run by OhShush.Com which was selling a poster and calendar featuring Draco Veritas.  There is no mention of the profits going towards a charity. The store was done with Claire's permission. None of the profits from this were laid out. How much money Cassandra Claire made from this shop is unknown.
Claire got a book deal in 2006 after Holly Black read her fanfiction, became friends with her, and promoted her to her agent. This led to a three-book deal with an imprint of the publisher Simon and Schuster. She again appears to be capitalizing off her fan fiction and her fannish name by publishing under Cassandra Clare, announcing it in her LiveJournal, having her fannish friends promote her book, and pasting swaths of her fanfic into her novels.
CC: laptops stolen
Heidi8: organizes whip-round
CC: gets $ to cover missing laptops
Heidi8: makes post explaining that, huzzah, fandom takes care of its own
sapphireisle: replies to said post, saying hey, if fandom takes care of its own, can you help me raise money for my mom? (mom = Christina = cancer patient w/ no health insurance)
Heidi8: replies sorry, nope
sapphireisle: posts to own LJ grumbling about how fandom doesn't really take care of its own, it just takes care of BNFs
Heidi8: gets offended, points out said post to her flist / CC fangirls
fangirls: proceed to respond angrily on sapphireisle's post, as well as finding Christina's LJ and making angry comments there
wank: gets posted to FW
Most people on FW went ".... there are people FLAMING someone with CANCER? Over a BNF ego bruising?!?"
Others, particularly the anonymice, implied that she was running a scam, that she wanted the surgery for cosmetic weight-loss, and so forth.
See Charity Wank for more details
In August 2009, news came out from mundiesource on Twitter that Cassandra Claire's Mortal Instruments trilogy was being made in to a movie.   Fandom responded swiftly to this news. ohnotheydidnt had over 7 pages of comments. Many people commented on how she was an embarrassment to fandom and brought up her plagiarism. Other people fondly recalled her Very Secret Diaries and other fan fiction.
- A thought on the state of the fanfic: jediowl
- Why is Cassandra Claire so popular?: fanthropology
- Discussion of Cassandra Claire becoming Cassandra Clare: bad_penny
- Discussion of Cassandra Clare at Dragon*Con: fandom_lounge
- Aja - Me & CC; or, BNFs do not have more fun: bnfshavemorefun
- Harry Potter Fanfic Writer Getes Movie: tryxkittie on ohnotheydidnt on August 22, 2009
- In Which I Associate Names: crumpeteer on August 22, 2009
- Draco Trilogy fan fiction
- Draco Trilogy en Español
- Cassandra Claire birthday community
- Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Claire/Cassandra Clare - Must be friended to view
- The Very Secret Diaries
As an interest
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