4 cases of plagiarism in literature and comics.




Photo by Aliis Sinisalu on Unsplash


In our series about  Plagiarism in various industries, we previously wrote  on plagiarism in films and video games.

This time, it will be about Plagiarism in literature and comics: as some of you are finally enjoying a good book during vacation to cope with the daily routine. I  chose 4 plagiarism cases from the famous Harry Potter series, comics versus manga to classical French literature


My first case is tackling the worldwide famous Harry  Potter.

In 2002 this unauthorized Harry Potter version was published in China with texts and elements from the Hobbit – J.R.R. Tolkien and character names from Harry Potter . The book translated in English, as well available as an e-book, was considered as a fake.

Rowling and Warner Bros stopped the distribution and the chinese publisher paid £ 1,600 and wrote a public apology.


Helene Hegemann vs Airen

Another case: at  the age of 18, the german author Helene Hegemann made sensation with her coming of age book Axoloti Roadkill. She was nominated for a prize in the well-known book Leipzig Fair.

However, allegations were brought up about passages and expressions plagiarized from the book “Strobo” of the Berliner blogger Airen. “Strobo” is collection of Airen’s Blogpost on the Techno-Pop culture in Berlin, which was so successful that it became available as an audiobook.

Airen’s publishing company agreed upon a monetary compensation without any legal pursuits due to  Helene Hegemann s young age. The latter changes her sources on the following publishing period of the book.


Nicks Simmons vs the manga series Bleach.

The son of Kiss member Genes Simmons published a manga style comic book writer “Incarnate” in August 2009.

On February 2010, some of the sketches tend to share similarities with the manga series Bleach. The fans tried to collect the copied panels on LiveJournal and ask ed for a reaction and apology from the artist, whom in returned denied the allegation. However, the publishing stopped on October the same year.

Incarnate Bleach

                                                                   Bleach                                                                                                   Incarnate

In an article from Plagiarism Today.com from March 2010, the blogger explained that visual plagiarism remains extremely hard, due the drawing style, just like fake paintings. Various comic book artists are copying other artists to pay a tribute to them. On the contrary a bigger amount of panels were copied in this case, which in return lead to plagiarism.


Michel Houellebecq vs Wikipedia

The controversial french author Michel Houellebecq is one of the most well-known french speaking author. In 2010 he won the Goncourt  Prize (french literature Oscar Prize) with his book the Map and the territory. After publishing the book, the author was accused of plagiarism: he copied pages of description from Wikipedia and other websites. For example, he copied the description of a police officer from the interior ministry website.

However, he still maintained his prize and only went away with a media apology.


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About Christelle Delaleuf

Christelle writes about plagiarism, education or new events about PlagScan. She is from France has been living in Germany for 10 years and traveled in different places like Canada or Austria before settling down. Advocate for fair education, she lends her pen in order to help students and teachers to develop creative writing and critical thinking.

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