Heidi8

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Information on the three big plagiarists in the August 2006 Harry Potter plagiarism scandal
People and organizations Heidi8 has threatened with legal action
Where people stand in regards to the Cassandra Claire plagiarism scandal
Chart that explains not all Harry Potter fans are plagiarists.
Mentions of Heidi8 on Technorati in the past year as of August 4, 2006
Technorati 360 day chart for Heidi8 generated on April 14, 2007.

Heidi8 was a Harry Potter fan fiction writer from Florida. She was one of the founders of FictionAlley.Org, on which she was a board member.[1] According to some reports, she provided the majority of FictionAlley.Org's funding from her own pocket[2], though an official source naming her as primary funder is not available.[3]

She was also on the board of directors of HP Education Fanon, Inc., the nonprofit organization responsible for several Harry Potter fandom conferences.[4] She was specifically mentioned as being involved with Nimbus in 2003.[5] In 2004, she was mentioned as a staff member at The Leaky Cauldron.Org.[6]

She has been frequently interviewed by the press as a representative of Harry Potter fandom; examples appear below.

On LiveJournal, she used the username Heidi8; on JournalFen, she used the username Heidi. On some other forums, including the Fandom Wank Wiki, she has used the username Gigaprincess.

Note: On September 7, 2006, Heidi8 requested that her last name be removed from the wiki, and it has been generally removed in accordance with this request.[7] However, most of her fandom activity has been under her full name, and most sources which quote or mention her use her full name. No attempt has been made to redact direct quotations or eliminate links to quotations, as such redaction would render articles inaccurate.

Contents

History

Timeline

An extensive timeline of the involvement of Heidi8 and Cassandra Claire in the Harry Potter fandom can be found on the wiki. This history is summarized below under Summary; citations for all uncited material below may be found in the timeline.

2000:: See Cassandra Claire/2000 - Discuss

2001:: See Cassandra Claire/2001: January to June - Discuss

2001:: See Cassandra Claire/2001: July to December - Discuss

2002:: See Cassandra Claire/2002 - Discuss

2003:: See Cassandra Claire/2003 - Discuss

2004:: See Cassandra Claire/2004 - Discuss

2005:: See Cassandra Claire/2005 - Discuss

2006:: See Cassandra Claire/2006 - Discuss

2007:: See Cassandra Claire/2007 - Discuss

Summary

Heidi8's first appearance in Harry Potter fandom dates to July 7, 2000, when she made what was, according to Heidi8, her first post to the group HPforGrownUps. According to this post, she discovered the group based on an article in The Washington Post.[8]

In Harry Potter fandom, Heidi8 was commonly known to be an intellectual property attorney. This is specifically mentioned in the disclaimers of her fan fiction story, Surfeit of Curses in its postings on the Yahoo! group, HP_Paradise, and is brought up several times when Cassandra Claire was later blacklisted from FanFiction.Net for plagiarism.

From the disclaimers of Surfeit of Curses, posted in March 2001 on HP_Paradise:

  • Disclaimer: The characters in this section all belong to JK Rowling, but if her people want to come after me, I can defend myself under both New York and Florida law.
  • Disclaimer: The characters in this section all belong to JK Rowling, but if her people want to come after me, I can defend myself under both New York and Florida law. Almost the entirety of this work is from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, but the copyright's expired on her work, so there is no copyright infringement. Consider it an homage, not plagiarism!

As a lawyer, her opinion has been sought on legal matters affecting fandom and fan fiction such as copyright infringement[9] and use of the MPAA rating system by fan fiction archives.[10][11]

Historically, Heidi8 was part of Cassandra Claire's inner circle of friends. On August 27, 2000, Heidi8 recommended Cassandra Claire's fan fiction story, Draco Dormiens, on HPforGrownUps. Not long after, in Heidi8 was listed by Cassandra Claire as one of her beta readers. This close association of fan fiction writer and beta reader would continue for several years.

Around October 2000, Heidi8 began posting her own fan fiction to the group HP_FanFiction and to FanFiction.Net, and later to HP_Paradise when that group was established in February 2001. HP_Paradise was primarily founded to showcase the fan fiction of Ebony, Jana, Heidi8, Al, Yael, John Walton, Viola, Rave, and Jim Ferer.[12]

Heidi8 was heavily involved in the discussion of Cassandra Claire's June 22, 2001 blacklisting from FanFiction.Net. One month later, on July 22, 2001, she would become a founder of the FictionAlley.Org fan fiction archive. As of September 11, 2006, all domain names associated with FictionAlley.Org-- Schnoogle.Com, Riddikulus.Org, TheDarkArts.Org, AstronomyTower.Org, and FictionAlley.Org-- were registered in Heidi8's name, and she was frequently described as the president of FictionAlley.Org, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of FAWA and HP Education Fanon, Inc., the nonprofit organization which ran several Harry Potter conferences, including Nimbus in 2003.

Controversy

Heidi8 was a highly influential figure in Harry Potter fandom due to her association with Cassandra Claire, and due to the popularity of her FictionAlley.Org archive. However, she was not without controversy, much of which had to do with her close association with Cassandra Claire.

Legal Threats

In 2001, Heidi8 accused Cairnsy of libel for claiming that people were being banned from the ParadigmOfUncertainty list for disagreeing. Implied in this accusation was disagreement with the list's official position that Cassandra Claire was not a plagiarist.[13][14]

Heidi8 has repeatedly accused Michela Ecks (a.k.a. Laura Hale) of actionable libel and/or defamation of Cassandra Claire.[15] According to Heidi8's comments, the specific reason for these accusations is Michela Ecks' claim that Cassandra Claire plagiarized in 2001. Examples follow:

On Wikipedia:

Hi - this is Heidi, Cassie's attorney - I didn't get an email from the person who posted above me, but I can be reached at heidi @ heidi8.com (I'm traveling this month, so that's the best way to catch me). Yes, the posts that an individual or group of individuals persists in posting here are actionable libel, and they must stop. Examples of defamatory statements in the entry include things like "It would take Cassandra Claire four years to fix her disclaimers on her stories", which is a clear lie, given the existence of this entry in the WayBack Machine - [1]. I am cheered that earlier claims that no sourcing had been done by Cassie in her fic have now been corrected to read "The disclaimer did not attribute an author and cited the wrong books" - I wonder if the person posting here on Wikipedia finally read my post at the Fanthropology LJ, where I clearly [2] pointed out that no plagiarism had taken place because Cassie had never said that the scene was original to her. We have been having this argument for well over four years now, and it has to stop because it has gone beyond any actual discussion, if such a thing ever existed, and is now a personal vendetta by a person or persons against Cassie. She is not a plagiarist - she is a young woman who did not cite a book that she admitted to incorporating material from, with chapter and verse when she posted a fanfic in December of 2000. Stop posting defamatory accusations that she plagiarised, or we'll have to take this into the Wiki dispute zone, per the site's Terms, and that sort of thing can get those who defame banned from Wiki.[16]

On Fandom Wank's Greatest Hits:

Actually, it would be best if the mods removed *all* of your posts, given they contain defamation, but I understand if they want to leave them up for some reason or other.[17]

Note: Michela Ecks is the owner of the Fanhistory.Com wiki, though she is not the primary author of this article.

Plagiarism

Heidi8, like her friend Cassandra Claire, was alleged to have plagiarized from published novels in her fan fiction stories. Specifically, text from published novels is alleged to have been incorporated directly into her fan fiction, either with no citation, or with a disclaimer at the end of chapter noting the novel was used for "inspiration."

The following example was taken from her incomplete story, Surfeit of Curses:

Never did Draco find anything so difficult as to keeping himself from losing his temper when he was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. "It makes me feel as if someone had hit me," he had said once. "And as if I want to hit back. I have to remember things quickly to keep from saying something ill-tempered." The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage, but around Lucius, it had to be done.


Never did she find anything so difficult as to keep herself from losing her temper when she was suddenly disturbed while absorbed in a book. People who are fond of books know the feeling of irritation which sweeps over them at such a moment. The temptation to be unreasonable and snappish is one not easy to manage.

Further examples and commentary may be found in a post on the JournalFen community, Bad Penny, which broke the story of Heidi8's plagiarism on August 9, 2006.[18]

Heidi8 responded to the plagiarism accusations.[19][20] Excerpted from one of her responses:

And, of course, amid all that, I had YMs and emails calling me a plagiarist because I didn't do MLA citations for a fic that I wrote over five years ago, or because I stupidly forgot to cite a Prefab Sprout song, or a Shel Silverstein poem, or three lines from Cicero. Yes, I was stupid to forget to cite them, and I am sorry that I did, and that in the ensuing years, I didn't go back and reread the fic and realise it at some point along the way. I went onto FA yesterday and fixed them there, and I think I've caught everything, and I don't think it's up anywhere else but on the Paradise list - I've emailed Yael about editing those in the files section. If I didn't, please feel free to follow FA's copyright infringement policy from the Terms of Use - if you do, the usual procedure will kick in as it did this past weekend, and I'll have to correct it or have the fic pulled down. I don't know, at this point, if I'm going to opt to leave everything up there going forward, but I also don't feel capable of making that kind of decision at this time. It's been a very long month and a very long week.[21]

Heidi8 was initially alleged to have received death threats in the wake of the plagiarism allegations, though the existence of specific threats directed at her were never substantiated.[22][23][24]

Stalker Gate

In late November 2001, the set up for what was to become the "Jeff, the Stalker" incident took place. Charlotte Lennox described the situation as follows:

The admins at GT didn't like this. At all. The ones who didn't like it the most were Imogen and a woman named Chryslin who had written another fic in Imogen's Alpha and Omega universe called (I believe) Deconstructing Harry. Anyway, there was turmoil, flame wars, angry emails, etc. Chryslin had a husband named Jeff, and Jeff, bristling in defense of his wife, her friends, and their beloved ship, sent Cassandra Claire and a teenaged girl named Emily some exceedingly nasty emails.

This is confirmed in an FLocked LiveJournal entry of a member of Gryffindor Tower, discussing this event which clarified it as:

It started with (as told in Charlotte Lennox's tale) CC asking for H/G fic recs and reading and dissing Imogen's fic. I have no idea what Jeff might have written to CC, but if he wrote anything to her it would have been regarding Imogen's fic and not the plagiarism. Perhaps he addressed that part as well, but the plagiarism wasn't the catalyst of all this.

A comment in that entry from a Gryffindor Tower member, regarding the events as they went down, described it as this:

I have no idea what CC's reply might have been but I'm going to say something here that I haven't told anyone (outside the GT admins) since all this went down. When CC dissed Imogen's fic on FA, I contacted her as well. I did not use profanity, but I was cold and disapproving. CC saw fit to reply to me not once, but twice, the second time CCed to Heidi. The first might have been as well, but frankly I didn't notice at the time, and I no longer have copies (unfortunately, I deleted them when GT closed, as I didn't think I'd have any need for them). While neither of CC's replies to me were profane, they were nasty and provocative. In the second email, she specifically said (I remember this much) that she wasn't expecting a reply. Basically she was throwing down a gauntlet for me to reply to her, to engage her, whatever. I didn't. Call me passive-aggressive, but I wasn't going to give her what she wanted (and frankly in retrospect, it was the right thing to do).
So while I have no idea what specifically CC might have said to Jeff, I can easily imagine that she was just as provocative to him as she was to me. I can easily see how it was all a pissing contest. From all appearances, that's what she was trying to get into with me.
I do not know what Jeff emailed to CC at all through the whole fiasco, but I do recall CC making posts long after the fact that seemed embellished to me. She'd post things like "Jeff thinks I should be garroted with a piano wire".
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 November of 2001, Sugar Quill had a summit in New York City. It was one of several they would have and summit meeting notes were posted to Sugar Quill’s message board. These message boards are no longer available. The November 2001 summit had several people from FictionAlley.Org show up for a demanded sit down lunch to ostensibly discuss fandom unity. This meeting had Arabella, Moey, Moey's husband, and GinnyPotter from the Sugar Quill and Cassandra Claire and Ashley from FictionAlley.Org at it. According to sources who attended, Heidi8 was scheduled to show up at the meeting but could not get to New York City that weekend. Heidi had really wanted to attend because she wanted to meet MelissaTLC from The Leaky Cauldron. The story according to members of Sugar Quill is that this was Heidi's primary motivation for wanting to go to New York City. At this meeting, the issue of the stalker was not brought up but Cassandra Claire’s real name, Judith, was revealed. It was this revelation that would later lead Cassandra Claire, Heidi8 and Stacey to believe that Sugar Quill had provided this information, Cassandra Claire’s real name, to Jeff. The meeting has been described by some people as tense and uncomfortable. 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.


Several days after the Sugar Quill Summit, the kerfluffle involving Imogen’s stories took place. This was when Cassandra Claire asked for fic recommendations and Imogen’s Harry/Ginny story one was offered. It was then that Cassandra Claire wrote nasty things about various fans, including Imogen and Chryslin. [25] 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 Stalker Gate would never have happened. In any case, what was done was done. During the subsequent kerfluffle, Jeff sent Cassandra Claire negative feedback, a defense of his wife and, or more comments regarding Cassandra Claire being a plagiarist.

It was shortly after this meeting that Cassandra Claire, Heidi8, and Stacey approached the women of Sugar Quill with the issue of the stalker. They claimed that they were trying to track do down the IP address information for Jeff to further implicate him as a guilty guy who was sending death threats and harrassing Cassandra Claire. [26][27] Cassandra Claire, Heidi8 and Stacey demanded of the Sugar Quill women IP address information. They also referenced the legal situation and the police having been contacted. In the end, the Sugar Quill folks gave the FictionAlley.Org crew what they wanted.

LapTopGate

LapTopGate is discussed in greater detail elsewhere. In brief, Cassandra Claire posted in her LiveJournal on December 5, 2004 to say that her apartment had been burglarized, and three laptops stolen-- one belonging to Cassandra Claire; one belonging to her roommate, Rubydebrazier[28]; and one belonging to Cassandra Claire's boyfriend, Tromboneborges ("Josh"), who had been visiting for the weekend[29]. Heidi8 organized a "whip-round" to replace the missing laptops on her LiveJournal with the assistance of other prominent fans in the Harry Potter community, including Copperbadge ("Sam Vimes").

According to Mlleelizabeth, the post requesting donations was originally FLocked, and Heidi8 was asked to unFLock the post so that others could help. Heidi8 did so.[30][31]

The post was later updated to include solicitations for donations to replace a box of action figures allegedly stolen at the same time as the laptops. According to the posts, the action figures were in their original packaging, and intended for donation to the hospital at which Rubydebrazier worked. On Fandom Wank, Heidi8 would indicate that those who had criticized donating to replace stolen laptops should donate to purchase toys for the hospital.[32][33]

Heidi8 also posted on the Cassie and rhysenn mailing list to solicit donations; the Cassie and rhysenn list had over 4000 members at the time, and was dedicated to fan fiction written by Cassandra Claire and Rhysenn.[34][35]

The posts soliciting donations on Heidi8's LiveJournal and the Cassie and rhysenn mailing list would draw heavy criticism due to apparent profiteering from fan fiction[36][37], and several would question the existence of stolen action figures.[38][39]

Heidi8 updated her post on LiveJournal to include how much was donated and who donated[40], but a final accounting of the total amount raised and its exact disposition was never disclosed.[41]

Invidereliana, the daughter of cancer patient, Christina, contacted Heidi8 by posting in her LiveJournal to request assistance in raising money to assist her sick mother.[42][43][44] This contact would eventually lead to Charity Wank.

Charity Wank

slackerbitch on JournalFen summarizes the Heidi8/Charity Wank situation up as follows[45]:

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, etc., etc., etc.

It should be noted that many of these "anonymice" turned out to be Msscribe.

Ships

Fanfiction by Heidi8

Member of past and present

See Also

External links

Press appearances

Discussion regarding Heidi

Heidi issuing legal threats

Heidi engaging in historical revisionism


The Msscribe wank
Msscribe supporters:

Aja - Ari_o - Babygrrl - Cassandra Claire - Ebony - Evil_erato - Flourish - Heidi8 - Irina - Ivyblossom - Jlh - Muffinbutt - Nostrademons - Plumeria - Praetorianguard - Rubydebrazier - Simon - Sisterpandora - Taotheannoying1 - Tromboneborges - Zorac - more...

Msscribe detractors:

Angua - Arabella - Ashwinder - Bohemianvixen - Carissa Lyn - Charlotte Lennox - Dianora - Dr. C - Imogen - Kvader - Magoo42 - MaidMarian - MegD - Minerva_fan - Rune - Sapphsmum - more...

Organizations in the crossfire:

Bad_Penny - Fandom_Wank - FictionAlley.Org - Gryffindor Tower - Gt_hidden_room - Nimbus - SugarQuill


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