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Master of the Universe versus Fifty Shades by E.L James Comparison

Introduction

On Saturday, March 10, 2012, New York Times reported that Vintage, a literary imprint of Random House, had won the rights to republish on a large scale the ebook bestseller trilogy: 50 Shades of Grey, 50 Shades of Darker, and 50 Shades of Freed. The first in the series was number 1 on the combined ebook bestseller list with the second at No. 15 and the third at No. 21 according to the March 11, 2012, NY Times bestseller list. The series has sold over 250,000 copies according to its former publisher, Australian outfit The Writer’s Coffee Shop which specializes in selling fan fiction.

Vintage, a division of Random House, has come forward and asserted that the 50 Shades series is wholly original fiction and that the author has warranted it is original fiction, deviating substantially from the original fan fiction known as Master of the Universe.

As numerous reports have outlined, 50 SHADES OF GREY grew out of a multi-part series of fan fiction called MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE, based on Stephenie Meyer’s TWILIGHT novels, that James (a pseudonym for London-based television executive Erika Leonard) published online between 2009 and 2011 in various venues, including fanfiction.net and her own website. When she contracted with Writers Coffee Shop in early 2011 to publish the works, lightly rewritten to take out any references to Twilight characters and situations, James took the fan fiction versions offline.

Vintage issued a statement to the AP Saturday defending 50 SHADES as an original work, and said to us that James had warranted the books were, indeed original. Messitte added she was “aware of the narrative that [50 SHADES] started as differently titled piece of fiction, but that they were and are two distinctly separate pieces of work.” A request for comment from Meyer’s agent, Jodi Reamer at Writers House, was not responded to at press time.

I clarified with the writer of this piece that Vintage was saying that Master of the Universe and Fifty Shades were two distinct pieces of fiction.  In the Washington Post, Vintage is quoted as reaffirming this position:

Vintage defended “50 Shades” as an original creation with a passionate following.

“It is widely known that E.L James began to capture a following as a writer shortly after she posted her second fan fiction story,” Vintage said in a statement. “She subsequently took that story and re-wrote the work, with new characters and situations. That was the beginning of the ‘Fifty Shades’ trilogy. The great majority of readers, including fan fiction aficionados, have found ‘Fifty Shades’ deeply immersive and incredibly satisfying.”

It is well known amongst the fan fiction and romance reading community that 50 Shades series was originally released as Master of the Universe. The names are changed from the original alternate universe fan fiction (AU) and a few details such as eye color and hair color, but the text of 50 Shades is largely that which was in the original fan fiction, Master of the Universe.  (See the primer)

Percentage Comparison

We ran 50 Shades and the Master of the Universe fan fiction through three comparison engines. This was the result:

Via Yoshikoder, we weighed word comparisons.

Word Appearance in MOTU Appearance in 50 %age in MOTU %age in 50
swan 113 0 0.001731482 0
steele 0 148 0 0.001692744
isabella 148 0 0.002267782 0
anastasia 0 217 0 0.002481929
rose 212 3 0.003248445 3.43124E-05
kate 1 272 1.53229E-05 0.003110989
cullen 211 0 0.003233122 0
grey 12 267 0.000183874 0.003053802
christian 0 405 0 0.004632171
edward 281 0 0.004305722 0
bella 109 0 0.001670191 0
ana 0 135 0 0.001544057
esme 4 0 6.12914E-05 0
grace 3 9 4.59686E-05 0.000102937

Using Diff Doc, we have this as an example. It is the beginning of Chapter Two:

  Double crap – me and my two left feet!  I am on my hands and knees in the doorway to Mr Cullen’s Mr. Grey’s  office, and gentle hands are around me helping to pull me up. to stand.  I am so embarrassed, damn my clumsiness. I have to steel myself to glance up. Holy Crow, cow –  he’s so young… young.

“Miss Hale…” Kavanagh.”  he extends a long-fingered hand to me, me  once I’m stood. upright.  “I’m Edward Cullen. Christian Grey.  Are you all right? Would you like to sit?”

 He’s so young… young –  and attractive. attractive,  Very attractive. He’s  Tall, dressed in a fine grey gray  suit, white shirt shirt,  and black tie with unruly bronze dark copper colored  hair and intense, bright green gray  eyes that regard me shrewdly.

   “Err… actually,” It takes a moment for me to find my voice, and voice.

   “Um. Actually-”  I think my mouth has plopped open in astonishment. mutter.  If this guy is over thirty then I’m a monkey’s uncle… uncle. In a daze,  I extend place  my hand to him in a daze, his  and we shake. As our fingers touch touch,  I feel a strange current go an odd exhilarating shiver run  through me. I withdraw my hand hastily, and embarrassed. Must be static.  I can feel myself blinking… blink  rapidly, my eyelids  matching my heart rate.


Turnitin

We processed 50 Shades as a student paper against another student paper (MoTU).  According to Turnitin, the similarity index was 89%.  There are whole swaths of text wherein just the names were changed from MoTU to 50 Shades.  Click on the thumbnail for an example.  The red is the text that is the same in both pieces.

Turnitin comparison

Textual Comparison

Randomly I selected passages from the Fifty trilogy and searched MOTU for comparison. Here are some selected comparison.

Fifty Shades of Grey

MoTU I Fifty Shades of Grey
There‘s a knock at the door and Blond Number Two enters. “Mr Cullen, forgive me for interrupting but your next meeting is in two minutes. There’s a knock at the door, and Blonde Number Two enters. “Mr. Grey, forgive me for interrupting, but your next meeting is in two minutes.
As I leave the city limits behind me I begin to feel foolish and embarrassed. Surely I‘m over-reacting to something that I‘m imagining…. Okay, so he‘s very attractive, confident, commanding, so at ease with himself. But on the flip side he‘s also arrogant, and in spite of his impeccable manners, he‘s very autocratic, and cold… well on the surface, and an involuntary shiver runs down my spine. He may be arrogant but then he‘s accomplished so much at such a young age, and I can tell he doesn‘t suffer fools gladly, why should he? I am irritated again that Rose didn‘t give me a brief biography. As I leave the city limits behind, I begin to feel foolish and embarrassed as I replay the interview in my mind. Surely, I’m overreacting to something that’s imaginary. Okay, so he’s very attractive, confident, commanding, at ease with himself – but on the flip side, he’s arrogant, and for all his impeccable manners, he’s autocratic and cold. Well, on the surface. An involuntary shiver runs down my spine. He may be arrogant, but then he has a right to be – he’s accomplished so much at such a young age. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly, but why should he? Again, I’m irritated that Kate didn’t give me a brief biography.
“What about our arrangement?”"We don’t have an arrangement yet.”He narrows his eyes at me, then seems to remember himself. Releasing my hand, he takes my elbow and leads me out of the room. “This conversation is not over,” he whispers threateningly as we enter the dining room. Oh crapola, don‘t get your panties in such a twist… and give me back mine. I glare at him.The dining room reminds me of our private dinner at the Heathman. A crystal chandelier hangs over the dark wood table and there‘s a massive, ornately carved mirror on the wall. The table is laid and covered with a large linen table cloth, a bowl of pale pink peonies as the centre piece. It‘s quite stunning, and then I remember Edward mentioning that Esme was an interior designer. “What about our arrangement”"We don’t have an arrangement yet.” He narrows his eyes, and then seems to remember himself. Releasing my hand, he takes my elbow and leads me out of the room. “This conversation is not over,” he whispers threateningly as we enter the dining room. Oh, crapola. Don’t get your panties in such a twist… and give me back mine. I glare at him.The dining room reminds me of our private dinner at the Heathman. A crystal chandelier hangs over the dark wood table and there’s a massive, ornately carved mirror on the wall. The table is laid and covered with a crisp white linen tablecloth, a bowl of pale pink peonies as the centerpiece. It’s stunning.
Edward, embarrassed or frustrated by the lavish attention I‘m receiving from the remaining Cullens, grabs my hand and pulls me to his side.”Well let‘s not frighten her away or spoil her with too much affection,” he grumbles.”Oh Edward, stop teasing.” Esme scolds him indulgently, her eyes glowing with love and affection for him. Somehow I don‘t think he‘s teasing. I surreptitiously watch their interaction. It‘s obvious Esme adores him, with a mother’s unconditional love. He bends and kisses her stiffly. Christian, embarrassed or frustrated by the lavish attention I’m receiving from the remaining Greys, grabs my hand and pulls me to his side.”Let’s not frighten her away or spoil her with too much affection,” he grumbles.”Christian, stop teasing.” Grace scolds him indulgently, her eyes glowing with love and affection for him. Somehow, I don’t think he’s teasing. I surreptitiously watch their interaction. It’s obvious Grace adores him with a mother’s unconditional love. He bends and kisses her stiffly
The apartment is achingly empty and unfamiliar. I have not lived here long enough for it to feel like home. I head straight to my room and there, hanging limply at the end of my bed, is a very sad deflated helicopter balloon. Echo Charlie, looking and feeling exactly like me. I grab it angrily off my bedrail, snapping the tie, and hug it to me. Oh, what have I done? I fall onto my bed, shoes and all, and howl. The pain is indescribable… physical, mental, metaphysical… it is everywhere, seeping into the marrow of my bones. Grief, this is grief, and I‘ve brought it on myself. Deep down, a nasty unbidden thought comes from my inner goddess, her lip curled in a snarl. The physical pain from the bite of a belt is nothing, nothing compared to this devastation. I curl up, desperately clutching the flat foil balloon and Taylor‘s handkerchief, and surrender myself to my grief. The apartment is achingly empty and unfamiliar. I have not lived here long enough for it to feel like home. I head straight to my room, and there, hanging limply at the end of my bed, is a very sad, deflated helicopter balloon. Charlie Tango, looking and feeling exactly like me. I grab it angrily off my bedrail, snapping the tie, and hug it to me. Oh – what have I done? I fall onto my bed, shoes and all, and howl. The pain is indescribable… physical, mental… metaphysical… it is everywhere, seeping into the marrow of my bones. Grief. This is grief – and I’ve brought it on myself. Deep down, a nasty, unbidden thought comes from my inner goddess, her lip curled in a snarl… the physical pain from the bite of a belt is nothing, nothing compared to this devastation. I curl up, desperately clutching the flat foil balloon and Taylor’s handkerchief, and surrender myself to my grief

50 Shades of Darker

MOTU I 50 Shades of Darker
I have survived Day Two Post Edward, and my first day at work. It has been a welcome distraction. The time has flown by in a haze of new faces, work to do and Mr. James Smith. He smiles down at me, his dark blue eyes twinkling, as he leans against my desk.”Excellent work, Bella. I think we‘re going to make a great team.” He beams at me, knowingly.Somehow, I manage to curl my lips upwards in a semblance of a smile. I have survived Day Three Post-Christian, and my first day at work. It has been a welcome distraction. The time has flown by in a haze of new faces, work to do, and Mr. Jack Hyde. Mr. Jack Hyde… he smiles down at me, his blue eyes twinkling, as he leans against my desk.”Excellent work, Ana. I think we’re going to make a great team.”Somehow, I manage to curl my lips upward in a semblance of a smile.
I awake with a jolt. My head is fuzzy and I am too warm. Edward is wrapped around me. He grumbles in his sleep as I slip out of his arms, but he doesn’t wake. I sit up and glance at the radio alarm… three in the morning. I need an Advil, and a drink. I swing my legs out of bed and make my way up the hallway towards the great room.In the fridge I find a carton of orange juice and pour myself a long glass. Hmm… it’s delicious, and my fuzzy head eases immediately. I awake with a jolt. My head is fuzzy and I’m too warm. Christian is wrapped around me like a vine. He grumbles in his sleep as I slip out of his arms, but he doesn’t wake. Sitting up I glance at the alarm clock. It’s three in the morning. I need an Advil and a drink. I swing my legs out of bed and make my way to the kitchen in the great room.In the fridge, I find a carton of orange juice and pour myself a glass. Hmm… it’s delicious, and my fuzzy head eases immediately. I hunt through the cupboards looking for some painkillers and eventually come across a plastic box full of meds. I sink two Advil and pour myself another orange juice.
He chuckles mirthlessly, then winces. Fuck, his ribs. Still sore from the swift kicking Cullen’s henchman delivered. He replays the scene in his mind.”You fucking touch Miss Swan again, I’ll fucking kill you.” That c___ will get it good, too. Yeah – get what’s coming to him.He settles back in the car seat. Looks like it’s going to be a long night. He’ll stay and watch and wait. He takes another toke of his Marlboro red. His chance will come. His chance will come soon. He chuckles mirthlessly, then winces. Fuck, his ribs. Still sore from the swift kicking Grey’s henchman delivered. He replays the scene in his mind.”You fucking touch Miss Steele again, I’ll fucking kill you.” That m__f__ will get it good, too. Yeah—get what’s coming to him.He settles back in his seat. Looks like it’s going to be a long night. He’ll stay, watch, and wait. He takes another toke of his Marlboro red. His chance will come. His chance will come soon.

50 Shades of Freed

MOTU II 50 Shades of Freed
I stare up through gaps in the seagrass parasol at the bluest of skies, Mediterranean blue… I can‘t help my contented sigh. Edward is beside me, stretched out on a sun lounger. My husband – my hot, beautiful husband, shirtless and in cut-off jeans – is reading a book predicting the collapse of the Western banking system. By all accounts it‘s a page-turner… I haven‘t seen him sit this still, ever. He looks more like a student than the hotshot CEO of one the US‘s top privately owned companies. I stare up through gaps in the sea grass parasol at the bluest of skies, summer blue, Mediterranean blue with a contented sigh. Christian is beside me, stretched out on a sun lounger. My husband—my hot, beautiful husband, shirtless, and in cut-off jeans—is reading a book predicting the collapse of the Western banking system. By all accounts it’s a page-turner; I haven’t seen him sit this still, ever. He looks more like a student than the hotshot CEO of one the top privately owned companies in the United States.
“You confound me, Mrs Cullen,” he murmurs.”Confound you?” He shifts so that we‘re face to face.”Yes. You. Calling the shots. It‘s… different.”"Good different? Or bad different?” I reach up and trail a finger over his lips. His brow furrows, as if he doesn‘t quite understand the question. Absentmindedly he purses his lip to kiss my finger. “You confound me, Mrs. Grey.”"Confound you?”He shifts so that we’re face to face. “Yes. You. Calling the shots. It’s… different.””Good different? Or bad different?” I reach up and trail a finger over his lips. His brow furrows, as if he doesn’t quite understand the question. Absentmindedly, he purses his lips to kiss my finger.
“Well, fact is I saw it when your BlackBerry fell out of your jacket. While I was undressing you because you were too drunk to undress yourself. Do you have any idea how much you‘ve hurt me, going to see that woman?”He pales momentarily but I‘m on a roll, my inner bitch unleashed. “Do you remember last night when you came home? Remember what you said?” He gazes at me, green eyes blazing hot, the rest of his face frozen.”Well, you were right. I do choose this defenseless baby over you. That‘s what any loving parent does. That‘s what your mother should have done for you. “Well, fact is I saw it when your BlackBerry fell out of your jacket while I was undressing you because you were too drunk to undress yourself. Do you have any idea how much you’ve hurt me by going to see that woman?”He pales momentarily, but I’m on a roll, my inner bitch unleashed. “Do you remember last night when you came home? Remember what you said?”He stares at me blankly, his face frozen. “Well, you were right. I do choose this defenseless baby over you. That’s what any loving parent does. That’s what your mother should have done for you.
“So you want to play?” he murmurs.”Yes.” He says nothing, and I risk a quick glance… up his jeans, his denim clad thighs, the soft bulge at his fly, the open button at the waist, his happy trail, his navel, his chiseled abdomen, his chest hair… his green eyes blazing, and his head cocked to one side. He‘s arching an eyebrow. Oh shit.”Yes what?” he whispers.Oh. ”Yes, Sir.”His eyes darken and my breath hitches.  ”Good girl,” he murmurs, and he caresses my head. “I think we‘d better get you upstairs, now,” he adds. My insides liquefy and my belly clenches in that delicious way.
Oh I love this man: my husband, my lover, father of my child, my sometimes Dominant… my Fifty Shades.
“So you want to play?” he murmurs. “Yes.”He says nothing, and I risk a quick glance . . . up his jeans, his denim clad thighs, the soft bulge at his fly, the open button at the waist, his happy trail, his navel, his chiseled abdomen, his chest hair, his gray eyes blazing, and his head cocked to one side. He’s arching an eyebrow. Oh shit.”Yes what?” he whispers.Oh. ”Yes, Sir.”His eyes soften. “Good girl,” he murmurs, and he caresses my head.  ”I think we’d better get you upstairs now,” he adds. My insides liquefy, and my belly clenches in that delicious way.  He takes my hand and I follow him through the apartment and up the stairs. Outside the playroom door, he halts and bends and kisses me gently before grasping my hair hard.“”You know, you’re topping from the bottom,” he murmurs against my lips.

“What?” I don’t understand what he’s talking about.


The epilogue appears to be completely new fiction not represented in the original fan fiction. The MOTU I & II contains several extra scenes.

Conclusion

Vintage says of MOTU and 50 Shades, “they were and are two distinctly separate pieces of work.” Turnitin says they are 89% the same.

With the success of Alternate Universe fan fiction and the successful leveraging of that fandom into seven figure economic rewards, the influx of fan fiction into professional publishing is likely to begin at greater levels than previous. Some publishers give public guides as to how to disguise one’s fan fiction.  St. Martin’s Press is publishing books that are being marketed as an homage to the Brady Bunch. I think its important, if we go down this route, that provenance is stated. It’s no different than the “First Publication” markers on prolific authors like Nora Roberts. It’s an indicator to readers that they may have encountered this before and it gives the fandom that propelled the author to success a nod. At the very least its courteous. At the most, its truthful advertising.

DA will be presenting a series of posts on fan fiction as a creative form, the fan fiction community, and the legal and ethical issues involved in reworking fan fiction. We will be posting those in the coming days, and we would love for our readers to join the discussion. We’ll be hosting interviews with a legal scholar who has also written fan fiction and is committed to supporting the creative endeavors of the community, as well as with authors and other participants in the community.

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

443 Comments

  1. Can Writers Reuse Their Own Work? | Jami Gold, Paranormal Author
    Dec 11, 2012 @ 07:32:22

    [...] author, and changes the names. The infamous Fifty Shades of Grey falls into this category. The Turnitin plagiarism software found an 89% similarity between Fifty Shades of Grey and its fanfi…, meaning only the names were changed and some very minor rewording was [...]

  2. Fifty Shades Of Grey: How The Sexual Trilogy Is Making Fan Fiction Mainstream | VentureBreak
    Dec 18, 2012 @ 18:05:39

    [...] of character names, with Bella and Edward becoming Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey. One blogger compared the two with Turnitin, a service used to compare student papers to other student papers. The [...]

  3. 50 Shades of Copyright
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 07:33:33

    [...] Werk gelesen (jedenfalls gibt es keiner zu), aber Leser, die beide Versionen gelesen haben, sehen Gemeinsamkeiten, so etwa im Blog „Dear Author“ („A romance review blog for readers by readers“). Auch bei Galleycat kann man einen Blick in [...]

  4. valid reason
    Jan 28, 2013 @ 08:17:04

    [...] gibt es keiner zu), aber Leser, die beide Versionen gelesen haben, sehen Gemeinsamkeiten, so etwa das Blog „Dear Author“. Auch bei Galleycat kann man einen Blick in die ursprüngliche Version von „50 Shades of [...]

  5. Looking at Other Industries to Predict the Future of Publishing | Monica Leonelle
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 06:58:05

    [...] because I am also an advocate of piracy. We have seen this happen with 50 Shades of Grey, which is 89% fan fiction of Stephenie Meyer’s vampire series, and which was originally published online. Meyer’s reaction to E.L. James’ success is one we [...]

  6. Fanfiction: 50 Shades of Copyright
    Feb 06, 2013 @ 13:00:03

    [...] gibt es keiner zu), aber Leser, die beide Versionen gelesen haben, sehen Gemeinsamkeiten, so etwa das Blog „Dear Author“. Auch bei Galleycat kann man einen Blick in die ursprüngliche Version von „50 Shades of [...]

  7. A Sporking of the Synopsis of the News About Fifty Shades on a Fansite | Writerling
    Feb 09, 2013 @ 17:32:26

    [...] she’s referring to is this link. And it wasn’t a copy of Twilight they analysed, you clod, it was a copy of the Master of the [...]

  8. Jessica Gates
    Feb 14, 2013 @ 04:22:56

    Personally, being from the fanfiction community I don’t care that she has taken a fanfiction to make it an original piece. After all, besides the characters; Master of the Universe wasn’t very similar to Twilight, was it? Having read MOTU, it didn’t have any vampire or werewolf characters in it and it was set very differently from Twilight with a different plot etc. So really, if she wrote the plot for fanfiction, she still wrote it! I do however think that more work could have been done to change the characters appearances and names. You can read the book and immediately pick out which characters were originally written as Bella, Edward, Bella’s dad, Jacob etc. and that is the only thing that annoyed me about it. If she had spent a bit more time changing the characters into her own ones then it would be a completely original piece of work and it shouldn’t matter that the original plot idea was used as a fanfiction story.

    ReplyReply

  9. Sofia
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 03:56:57

    Lawl. My previous review was pretty aggressive.
    Wondering how to delete it.
    Meh.
    I guess just saying ‘ I hate fifty shades’ would have summed it up.

    ReplyReply

  10. melissa Ivory
    Feb 15, 2013 @ 17:06:03

    @Jessica Gates: You obviously haven’t paid any attention to any of the comments or the post itself.

    ReplyReply

  11. nickroll
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 06:40:15

    @Anne:

    Wow, for someone who is claiming that other people see reason, you sure are acting like an arrogant child. It’s not a matter of listening to some random strangers on the internet, it a matter of beating a dead horse, and sweetie, that horse is all but bones now. This thread just screams ‘trollsville’, not one legitimate comment from either sides, just immature bickering over some story. But I will say this to those who oppose the book, so what if people enjoyed the book? It was a decent story, if you hated it because it didn’t meet your reading standards then by all means you are entitled to your opinion; however, you’re not necessarily helping your stance when you’re calling those who liked the books ‘groupies’ and other distasteful slurs to help prove your point because in all seriousness, you’re the ones being looked at from a bad light, and appearing like morons. Grow up.

    This is a sad excuse of a thread.

    ReplyReply

  12. Anne
    Feb 18, 2013 @ 07:05:10

    @nickroll:

    You call the thread trollville and yet… here you are trolling it yourself when most of us have moved on. A clear case of pot, kettle, black don’t you think? And why particularly pick on me? There were plenty of other comments on the thread. I don’t think I know you, but you might be one of those sad people who trawl around the internet looking for people to bully. Well, you pick on the wrong person here. I don’t give a hairy little rat’s tushy what you think of my comments which actually were valid, just as many others were.

    However you obviously have to get your jollies somewhere, so take your best shot and if that comment above was that shot, then you are sadly lacking.

    It’s been a while since I actually commented on here, I have had too many more important things to do, so I can safely assume that you are deliberate in singling me out. Please, do feel free to go and buy some semblance of a life from somewhere instead of re-hashing a conversation thread that should have more or less had its day.

    ReplyReply

  13. Fifty Shades of Grey – Porno Version of Twilight: a Book Review | distadee ad absurdum
    Mar 13, 2013 @ 07:09:31

    [...] Swan menjadi Anastasia Steele, Erdward Cullen jadi Christian Grey. Kalian mungkin ingin membaca ini, sebuah artikel yang membahas bahwa Fifty Shades dan naskah asli FFnya 89% [...]

  14. Cincuenta sombras de Grey nació como un “fanfiction” de la saga Crepúsculo | Universo Abierto
    Mar 15, 2013 @ 02:54:39

    [...] comprobar las analogías entre uno y otro texto se hizo una investigación al respecto a través de un análisis estadístico que es capaz de procesar los textos para [...]

  15. Fanfictions adaptadas. Existe limite? | Brighter Than Sunshine
    Mar 17, 2013 @ 20:34:33

    [...] Uma análise feita pelo site Dear Author nos revela que a trilogia Fifty Shades é praticamente idêntica à fanfiction originalmente publicada na internet por James, com pequenas alterações, como o nome das personagens principais. Se você não sabia, Christian Grey era Edward Cullen, e por aí vai. Meu palpite é de que a maior parte das alterações deu-se por questões editoriais e de revisão, não para proporcionar uma adaptação. [...]

  16. La fan fiction e il futuro della letteratura - Theremin - Il blog di Luca Rubinato
    Mar 31, 2013 @ 05:07:29

    [...] Negli ultimi anni la fanfic è cresciuta e si è sviluppata come mai prima, una crescita culminata nella pubblicazione di Cinquanta Sfumature di Grigio. Erika Leonard – vero nome dell’autrice di Cinquanta Sfumature – scrive il libro come parte di un esperimento di fanfiction collettiva ispirata a Twilight, con il titolo di Master of the Universe. Master riceve una buona accoglienza, anche se viene rimosso da alcuni siti specializzati perché troppo spinto. La Leonard lo risistema, cambia titolo e nomi dei protagonisti e riesce a venderne i diritti a una casa editrice. In breve tempo il romanzo diviene un best-seller (i dettagli potete trovarli qui e qui). [...]

  17. 50 Shades of Triggery as Shit | Polimicks
    Apr 02, 2013 @ 00:51:39

    [...] student.  And yes, I am well aware that 50 Shades began it’s life as a Twilight Fanfic.  Dear Author has done a comparison of the original fic and the published [...]

  18. 50 Shades of Criticism - Out of the Bags
    Apr 09, 2013 @ 15:18:53

    [...] names and extend/cut a few minor scenes. For the most part it is still the same book. The site Dear Author inserted the work into a plagiarism tool to decide how much of 50 Shades of Grey had been [...]

  19. 50 Shades of Grey Podcast | charleymontanastockdale
    Apr 15, 2013 @ 11:11:09

  20. Vanessa
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 17:11:55

    sorry, not a writer here. The way I read it, it is pretty obvious the similarities with the twilight books, in the sense the romance develops. However, tha fact tha 50 shades comes from a fanfic just tells me it is good enough to be published. Sounds more like an “upgrade” to me.

    ReplyReply

  21. A Few More Thoughts on Fan Fiction |
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 23:59:44

    [...] What’s really cool, though [and that I read about in the article where Anne Rice recanted her stance on fan fiction], is that fan fiction is actually helping to bridge that gap. The record-breaking 50 Shades of Grey actually began as a multi-part fan fiction series titled Masters of the Universe, and appears to be roughly 89% the same as that original draft.  [...]

  22. Fan fiction goes legit | TechnoLlama
    May 23, 2013 @ 05:21:40

    [...] seem to know that 50 Shades is popular precisely because it is a BDSM version of Twilight, yet a text analysis confirms that 50 Shades of Grey is 89% similar to Master of the [...]

  23. The Dark Side to the Rise of Fan Fiction | ADRIAN V. DIGLIO
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 19:00:08

    [...] leverage the success of their fan fiction stories and then sell them as a book. For example, this article points out how 50 Shades of Gray author E. L. James started out as a Twilight fan fiction writer. [...]

  24. Emily
    Jul 19, 2013 @ 22:17:36

    I finally gave in and read the damned book. Thankfully, I did so online, for free… though I feel as though I should have been paid to read it. Holy crow, where to start? I was mentally correcting her grammar, word use, plot devices and character developpment. I couldn’t enjoy it at all with my left brain screaming grammatical corrections. I can’t even start in on the content (how the fuck does her not being submissive but liking submitting but hating punishment but being turned on by it but thinking the man she’s in love with is a monster… I can’t even) or the terrible portrayal of the BDSM world (that “contract” was laughable).
    But the entire time, I could so easily see the similarities between Twilight and Fifty Shades. Maybe it’s because I used to read Twilight fanfics (sue me, I was thirteen), which all had very clear references and the characters always occupied the same roles, but it was so glaringly, blatantly OBVIOUS. Not only, as you have demonstrated, are the same words used, but Meyer’s pitiful characters’ personalities have been recyled, plots reused, actual quotes taken from Twilight and said by the two sickening people. It was very easy to see Edward Cullen in Grey’s place… controlling every move Bella made, being ridiculous about her safety, hating her shitty car, policing her food, being jealous as fuck… I’m so mad I can’t even think straight!
    And Ana… Ugh. Clumsy, thin, likes the same books as Bella, her mother is exactly the same as Renee, and is stupid? I call it.
    And their “romance”… “I’m bad for you, stay away. Now come closer.” Sound familiar? Replace the bloodsucking with spanking and THAT’S THE ONLY DIFFERENCE. Something he wants from her but can’t take because it’s bad for her, then they’ll find a way to compromise after advances from Jose/Jake (didn’t even bother to change the first letter, even) and I’m guessing, though I refuse to read the next to “books”, something evil from (I believe his name was) Jack/James (still the same first letter… really?).
    Purple prose and sickening love scenes make this just another version of Twilight.

    ReplyReply

  25. La historia perdida de 50 Sombras de Grey | Cincuenta Sombras de Grey
    Aug 25, 2013 @ 18:55:54

    […] Bloguera Jane Litte utilizó el programa de detección de plagio Turnitin para medir las similitudes entre los dos […]

  26. Chris
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 12:26:36

    Great, more hack books to come, I take it?

    ReplyReply

  27. Buzz Worthy News: 19 March 2012 | Cuddlebuggery Book Blog
    Sep 11, 2013 @ 22:32:02

    […] sounds reassuring until Dear Author takes the time to do a more detailed analysis of text and arrives at some disturbing […]

  28. Good News Everywhere: The Surprising Year in Books | gigigalt
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 08:41:42

    […] Thanks for engaging me on twitter – for the benefit of readers here I’ll recap and clarify. You’re correct that E.L. James did not self-publish Fifty Shades as an eBook. However, the Fifty Shades trilogy was drawn from fan fiction that E.L. James self-published called “Master of the Universe”. Now to be fair, there is some controversy over this and her publisher asserts that Fifty Shades is distinct and unique from “Master of the Universe”- for copyright purposes. Here is a pretty good exposition of that issues: http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/master-of-the-universe-versus-fifty-shades-by-e-l-james… […]

  29. Good News Everywhere: The Surprising Year In Books | gigigalt
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 10:53:02

    […] Thanks for engaging me on twitter – for the benefit of readers here I’ll recap and clarify. You’re correct that E.L. James did not self-publish Fifty Shades as an eBook. However, the Fifty Shades trilogy was drawn from fan fiction that E.L. James self-published called “Master of the Universe”. Now to be fair, there is some controversy over this and her publisher asserts that Fifty Shades is distinct and unique from “Master of the Universe”- for copyright purposes. Here is a pretty good exposition of that issues:http://dearauthor.com/features/industry-news/master-of-the-universe-versus-fifty-shades-by-e-l-james… […]

  30. Ratón de biblioteca
    Oct 12, 2013 @ 12:23:35

    […] El 13 de marzo de 2012 se publicó un estudio que pretender desmentir lo que afirma una de las impresiones literarias de Random House  quien afirmó que el libro de la escritora británica E. L. James es un trabajo original y dice que James había justificado que en efecto los libros lo eran, por otro lado Messitte añadió: “consciente de que la narrativa de 50 Sombras de Grey, comenzó como una pieza diferente del título de la ficción, pero que eran y son dos partes claramente separadas del trabajo.” Pero ambos no son más que argumentos que han sido desmentidos por la investigación que realizó la página web Dear Author. […]

  31. NCAC Pushes Porn on Libraries; Fifty Shades of Grey Propaganda: Brevard Buckles, Harford Holds - Education News | Education News
    Oct 27, 2013 @ 09:59:23

    […] the way, Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L. James (“a pseudonym for London-based television executive Erika Leonard“) may have violated the copyright of another.  If so, the book should be removed from every […]

  32. Can You Turn “Twilight” FanFic into Movies? | Artboiled
    Oct 30, 2013 @ 15:31:08

    […] I was going to do a comparison between the two versions myself, but Jane Litte from Dear Author already did an impeccable job. Take a look at this random passage from the second book, compared to its […]

  33. Megan
    Dec 08, 2013 @ 17:13:46

    While I do agree that Fifty Shades was too abominable to be published, I think this whole fanfiction argument is off base. Yes, James used Twilight characters in MoTU, but what about Twilight scenarios? She could very well have used her own characters, with the personalities she assigned to them, and published it on a read and review site. No one would have known the difference. What people are trying to connect a link to are the names in MoTU and Fifty Shades. I’m sorry if I fail to see the literary connection. Now, if Ana was about to be run over by a bus and Grey miraculously saves her with superhuman strength, we might have a problem. But as it is, I don’t recall Edward being ropes and paddles savvy, if you get my drift.

    ReplyReply

  34. Mel Ivory
    Dec 08, 2013 @ 20:05:02

    @Megan: The connections in 50 Shades to it’s source are more than just names, the set up and flow are also there, in very derviative ways. Just because actual scenes from Twilight don’t show up exactly as they were in the aforementioned series doesn’t mean that this mockery of literature that claims to be not only erotica but a tribute to BDSM, based on the words of the author mind you, is nothing more than an offence to S Meyer and all aspiring authors who also write fan fiction.

    MotU was an Alternative Universe, meaning that things were going to be similar and different at the same time, which means that, in only changing the names and less than 1% of the rest, EL James is profiting from badly written fan fiction.

    ReplyReply

  35. LaTraviesa
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 03:46:27

    Thank you Megan, you made a very clear and concise point. She simply borrowed Meyer’s characters and made them a catalyst to her own unique ones, and into a plot that was also completely unrelated to Twilight. This argument is just beyond beaten, pummeled and dissected into bits of nothing, and James is still selling. So please people, give it a rest already.

    ReplyReply

  36. LaTraviesa
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 04:04:09

    @Anne:

    Actually Anne, nickroll has a point. And apparently you approached it the wrong way, only making yourself look worse but if you don’t really care then more power to you. I can’t say I agree with you but respect you opinion, but from I read in your previous comments you clearly don’t do that. If you really didn’t care, you wouldn’t reply, but you sound like someone who’s trying to get a rise out of people yourself, completely contradicting what you claim. It does sound like a troll convention reading these comments, bashing people’s opinions and disrespecting those that don’t coincide with yours. I don’t think anyone will take anything you say seriously, you come across as angry and bitter. This is all I’ll say to you, I’m sure you’ll reply back and to be quite honest, I could care less, because all you’ll do is insult and badger. Good luck in life, sounds like you really need it.

    ReplyReply

  37. Anne
    Dec 09, 2013 @ 04:08:25

    @LaTraviesa: Dear god, you only just answered this now? The thread has been taken over by spammers and you want to nitpick over my comments? My answer to you is.. move on and try to find some kind of life somewhere. Seriously, this is utter bullshit that you’re spewing out.

    ReplyReply

  38. Tabatha
    Feb 16, 2014 @ 13:09:01

    I realize this is an old conversation but since i just found it, i will comment. Fan Fiction is to Literature what Rap is to music. Its art created around another art. To legitimize it, they will have to start paying the creators (like hip hop pays samples). The awkward part is I would hate to write an entire book only to find I cannot publish it because the writer won’t give me permission but it happens with samples all the time.

    ReplyReply

  39. Writing Fanfiction: A Training Ground | Swords and Lattes
    Feb 17, 2014 @ 02:16:53

    […] turned professional may already be known to you. The most obvious example is E.L. James, with Fifty Shades of Grey emerging from a piece of Twilight fanfiction. Other notable examples include Cassandra Clare and Naomi Novik, two authors who have treated their […]

  40. Booking Through Thursday: February 27 | Readerly Musings
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 10:08:32

    […] characters’ counterparts, as well as plot elements. Around the same time, I also found an article that compared the finalized version of Fifty Shades of Grey with the original fanfiction, entitled […]

  41. » Musing About Things: Retellings vs. Fanfiction Book Munchies
    Mar 02, 2014 @ 23:02:08

    […] of the biggest scandals that surfaced for this book was that it was originally written as a Twilight fanfic. Le gasp! Developed as an AU (Alternate Universe) fanfic, the story plucked the characters out of […]

  42. Master of the Universe/Fifty Shades of Grey | dontbuyp2p
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 11:04:13

    […] And this one has a comparison between Motu and FSoG. […]

  43. Fifty Shades of Grey: A Blow-by-Blow (Part 1) | House of Sage
    Apr 07, 2014 @ 18:34:07

    […] this series is based on Twilight fanfiction (Masters of the Universe), I am not surprised that it is set in […]

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