Plagiarism in Chinese Popular Fiction: Tolerated Copyright Infringement in a Money-making Industry
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This thesis is built upon a research project aimed at providing interesting insights into plagiarism in the field of popular Chinese fiction, which has been a controversial issue on the Internet in China for the past decade. The questions to be explored in this research are how the phenomenon of plagiarism among Chinese fiction writers has come into being and what distinguishes this type of plagiarism from relatively well studied academic plagiarism in China. In order to find answers to the research questions, interviews specially designed for this project and online discussions as well as existing literature on the topic are employed. As for the arguments of the thesis, they are basically shaped by anything useful gained from qualitative interviews and site observations. It is found that plagiarists in the field of Chinese popular fiction are largely driven by fame and fortune internally and externally, which means that their pursuit of nothing but personal gain is encouraged by realities in Chinese society such as prioritizing financial interests and lagging behind in legislation and law enforcement. Compared with academic plagiarism, it is harder to identify plagiarism in the field of Chinese fiction. Apart from that, the treatment of writers who commit plagiarism is also much more lenient even though the two types of plagiarism are essentially the same.