News Box: Santa Clauses Past and Present and Content Theft

Summer 2017 book recommendations: Four Futures: Life After Capitalism
and New York 2140

Summer 2017 drama recommendation: Circle (Brotherly ties in an age of transhumanism)

  • December 25, 2016 – Santa Clauses Past and Present and Content Theft
Christmas bells

© open-arms, shared under the permission of CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.

Life is a fascinating yet somber journey in which we see the Santa Clauses of our childhood in the mirror as we age and our younger, gift-begging selves in our own little elves as they grow bigger. No true Santa Claus, however, ever gifts stolen goods. Neither do we need to be conversant in the native language of Rudolph the Red-nosed to become more civil and considerate members of the global online community. Before you share content that does not originate from you on social media and other places, verify its source and check out guidelines on proper citation practices. If you have been nice and awesome so far, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HANUKKAH or just a GREAT HOLIDAY SEASON!


  • November 24, 2016 – Counting the Blessings

Collective political rationality and, perhaps, the forging of consensus on the definition of rationality are beyond the control of the individual, but the ability to give people we care for a sincere smile may still be within our power. In a year when politics in multiple regions of the world has taken more dramatic turns than the typical screen drama, the presence of family and friends, both online and offline, as one constant in life is especially comforting. No matter when you celebrate Thanksgiving or other holidays with elements of gratitude expression, thank you for being around all this while.


  • October 31, 2016 – Holding Fitria Hanina, Carmen Kay, mybabysbreath and Enike Chindy Responsible for Plagiarism

달의 연인 - 보보경심 麗(려)

The schizophrenic layer of content creators’ lives not seen from the other side of the screen

When you were having heart palpitations trying to save someone from himself, the last thing you wanted to be alerted to was the presence of another piece of your stuff in the backyard of others, stripped of its name tag and laid bare among the weeds for any stray fowl to run away with a filthy bite. To rub salt into your chaotic arteries, a copyright infringer once had the temerity to lace her retort with foul language and claim that she saw your translation in a movie, effectively telling you that the numerous hours of brainstorming, fact-checking and revision you poured into the work were but a long, tiresome dream.

Every day, online content creators around the globe grapple with unappreciative readers who help themselves to products that are the culmination of blood, sweat and tears and, strangely, à la Cheese in the Trap, start to think of them as their own possessions. They do not assert that they have so much as lifted a finger during the creation process, but are affronted all the same by requests to remove them from their curations and upset upon the actual removals. And apparently because confessing to slip-ups, implicitly or otherwise, is a horrible sign of weakness, some would rather endure an endless barrage of messages from the content creators than try appeasing them with at least a by-line acknowledging their efforts. In certain cases, the result is unsurprisingly a huge disincentive on the part of the creators to continue putting up works online.

Instead of voicing their unhappiness in the open, some content creators keep up a cheerful façade in their public updates, preferring not to dwell on negativity or wary about backlash from other readers. Some of us believe, however, that we have the right to be acknowledged for the fruits of our labor, no matter the volume stolen, our prestige (or lack of), our own perceptions of their quality, and whether we have been standing on the shoulders of giants—certainly the case when you are explaining a poem and connecting it to public policy. In good scholarly practice, an author has to cite the source of his idea accurately even when he is describing the idea in his own words. Moreover, exact reproduction of works which are already devoid of any kind of revenue, without any intent to invite readers to visit the original webpages, amounts to blatant exploitation.

Many online content creators are not unreachable higher beings copyright infringers are never sure would read their requests for reproduction of material. Even if we give the impression that we are, the copyright notices on our homepages already answer their questions. Or, if some margin of uncertainty previously remained, our takedown requests have, by now, clearly conveyed our views.

Failure to identify the authorship of online works hurts plagiarists themselves in certain ways:

  1. They unwittingly take the blame for any flaw in the works. Many blog-based outlets, after all, are understaffed and do not undergo peer review. Translations, especially, are prone to mislead people, because writers often have to choose between reproducing the exact nuances of the original works or reproducing their rhymes. There are also the problems of, on one hand, literal translations vis-à-vis adopting expressions more natural in the output language, and on the other, accounting for intonations and gestures which are used by actors and actresses but are not evident in the original lines themselves. On The Asian Drama Philosopher (A-Philosopher)’s Chair, the point of placing the original lines in close proximity to their translations, as long as they were not too verbose, was to increase the chances that readers acquainted with the non-English language in question would spot any error. Nevertheless, reporting it is not the job of any reader, so mistakes may go uncorrected for years. In fact, no one has been forthright enough to point out that “The Problematic of the Unproblematic,” a drama review site that has been around for many years, was misspelt in a news update for several weeks. On top of this, people familiar with the original works would have noticed that APC sometimes insists on parsing the lines in its own idiosyncratic manner.
  2. They lose the right to complain when their own writings/artworks are similarly misappropriated, word for word and line by line without proper credits. No one is so “lucky” or “special” that she alone, and never anyone from her readership base, will ever know of a particular webpage.
  3. They alienate themselves from a large and supportive community of content makers and commentators. Is it not better to befriend us and have a pal from across the world ask after you and remind you to take medication when you are home with a workplace injury in the dead of night—a touching incident actually witnessed on Twitterverse? Asian drama commentators, in particular, may squabble from time to time but tend to share a warm camaraderie.
  4. When it comes to writings on empathy, they contradict themselves. They claim to love the writings, but what they really love are their own selves. They see themselves as the sole subjects of the writings, thinking how fabulous it is to have someone by their sides through thick and thin, but wilfully neglect that the person who makes their reading experience possible in the first place needs as much empathy as them.
  5. They live with a sword of Damocles hanging over their heads. Withholding the credits and link may at times keep the duplicated copy off the original writer’s radar. But technology and social media users are growing more sophisticated. Staying unchanged, on the other hand, is the deep and long-lasting thirst to redress the injustice.

Duplication of people’s creations, as another blog owner has pointed out, is soulless work. On a related matter, APC itself has actually been immensely dissatisfied with directing visitors to others’ translations of essays and poetry, instead of taking time to write its own versions, in news updates in recent months. However much it respects and thinks highly of a translator, there are always places the admin obstinately prefers an alternate interpretation, wording or paragraphing. Readers, too, must have their unique visions about how best to convey a scene or sentiment.

Because the obstinate admin does not know how to let go, APC has incessantly felt compelled to list the names of errant readers extracting its contents without proper credits and ignoring its repeated complaints. Furthermore, abandoning efforts to get these readers to adjust their behavior may only result in more future victims. If you are their friend, urge them to make the necessary corrections before they develop a habit and make bigger mistakes in their studies and/or careers. Readers who kindly cooperated have been omitted from this list.

Original Content: APC’s Translation of “A Chest You Can Cry On” by Lee Jung-ha
Reader’s Name Site Name / Handle Domain URL Extension of Plagiarized Material
Fitria Hanina Fitria






Carmen Kay karmenlunarxisc Twitter /status/635052764091908096




    – mybabysbreath WordPress /2016/09/09/a-chest-you-can-cry-on/
Enike Chindy enikechindy Tumblr /post/131337182951/the-puppets-heart

This should not give the illusion that the average troublemaker necessarily comes from a certain range of backgrounds. We have to keep in mind as well that there are many considerate bloggers from their countries. It is just that some individuals, giving up on themselves, choose to be black sheep.

Even long exposure to academia does not make one infallible in such areas. The Learned Fangirl (TLF), an informative website which dissects popular culture, fandom and technology, has related to APC’s admin how a tenured faculty once re-posted several of their posts in their entirety on his blog without linking back. When informed that this approach was unacceptable, he took down the posts, but not without calling TLF uncollegial.

With this update, APC hopes to not only seek justice for itself but also encourage long-suffering online content creators to speak up against readers disrespecting their efforts. In the spirit of “ascorbate extraction,” its admin will be collating data like the above and using its experiences with recalcitrant readers as potential case studies for a professional project. As for its upcoming online project, which will be about strategic thinking in public regulation, it intends to use a platform with readily executable copy protection measures, even as it has otherwise had a very positive experience with WordPress. It thanks TLF and numerous other online authors and admins for their frank personal anecdotes and very insightful comments in a private discussion group on plagiarism. If you are a legitimate content creator who would like to join us, simply drop a note below with a link to your website.

Confronting plagiarists is no pleasant task, but with at least five online commentators with a legal background in the Korean drama circle alone at last count, breakthroughs need not be that far away.


54 thoughts on “News Box: Santa Clauses Past and Present and Content Theft

  1. Thanks for all you do. You have broadened my cinematic horizons and given me much on which to reflect and ruminate. I wish present busy-ness gave me more time to follow up but I am laying down a list in my head of films to look up when I get more leisure. Thanks again, and keep on blogging!

  2. theotheri says:

    May I also send you best wishes. I do hope that your break is an enriching one for you.

    But we will miss you, nonetheless!

  3. All the best! It’s been a pleasure reading your thought-provoking posts. Hopefully we’ll get to read more of your pieces in the future.

      • *giggles at collages of Wifi couple* They are so, so adorable. I’m so happy this pairing is working out so well.

        And thank you for liking my write-up, I’m honoured!

  4. Michykdrama says:

    Always enjoy reading your posts 🙂

    What I also like about W is the not so subtle dig the writer is taking at fellow colleagues who are “lazy” and write plots with no backstory but only to serve a plot point, or have one dimensional characters that only have one purpose, or act in illogical ways, or reuse tired tropes all the time.
    Perhaps if before putting pen to paper, all story writers considered what would happen if their characters could come to life and question the events and choices written for them, we would get better stories all around!

    • Thanks for your comment! Now I feel extra bad for never writing anything on your site 😊

      Yup, W is the must-watch drama for all sloppy story writers. There have been many theories about who the hooded killer is: Kang Chul, Yeon-joo, Do-yoon, the prosecutor, etc., but one recent theory I encountered has some definite truth in it: drama watchers! The hooded guy is effectively the embodiment of all enraged viewers taken for a ride by drama lords in the past. ^^

      [Minor SPOILER alert for episode 9] Su-bong’s miserable speech in the latest episode makes me wonder, though, if this plot line is just as likely inspired by crazy fans going to the extreme of sending death threats to writers upsetting their expectations (see the Captain America incidents) as it is by sloppy writers. Maybe there’s a bit of both. Writers need to respect their characters and viewers, but viewers also need to stay level-headed and treat the production teams with decency.

      All the best to your family! Another K-drama blogger, Shamrockmom, also has to cope with autism in her family. And I certainly identify with your concern about people raining on your parade. Hopefully, you’ll never experience that!! Annyeong~

      • Michykdrama says:

        [Admin’s helpful note to passers-by: Spoiler alert for W episode 9! 🙂 ]

        Haha. Don’t say that, I feel bad also because I have been silently lurking for a while but never wrote anything till now.

        I have some what given up on trying to figure out what the W writer is trying to do plot wise and just get swept up for the ride. I do however think that using Dad’s face as the killer has a deeper meaning than it just being convenient since Kang Chul saw his face.
        I fully agree though that nowadays people tend to defend their opinions and react very strongly, often at the expense of manners or even common sense. It makes the Internet quite a minefield at times. I really do think that if we tried to put ourselves in each other’s shoes, and just be more understanding, the world would be a much happier place.

        Thanks for the encouragement! Kamsahamida 😋 I’m trying to become more patient and not be discouraged no matter what, just take one day at a time. I’ll definitely check out shamrockmom’s blog too. Have a good weekend!

    • I actually find the close-ups and English lyrics refreshing!! It’s a time-travel drama, so I can’t see why we can’t break away from habit and accept some experimentation with hip hop music and the like in a sageuk. Not everything can be perfect from the get-go, but someone has to make the bold attempt. One problem, however, is that packing so many pop idols in the cast and OSTs gives the production too much of a commercial feel, even as television dramas are commercial products by nature. It comes across as a hard-sell technique to me.

      Besides those issues and the disturbing points raised above, we can probably write theses about which drama develops its characters and relationships better, which has more cultural merits and which is written with more heart. I prefer to just let people enjoy their shows, though. We never know whether a drama is the only bright spot in the life of, say, someone to whom surgeries and medical check-ups are as routine as church service.

      Have you watched Juhan Shuttai, by the way?

      • That’s true about new approaches, I guess sometimes people feel there are certain things that just shouldn’t be done in sageuk. I agree about the overload of idols, and the fan service is rather annoying as well. For me, from what I’ve skimmed so far, there isn’t much context or depth to the characters, and it doesn’t help that I think Lee Jun-ki is overacting the emo kid thing. Fortunately, since I didn’t think much of the original C-drama either, this remake won’t make me go ragey, unlike Trainwreck Cantabile.

        Haven’t seen Juhan Shuttai since I’m not a manga person, but have read pretty good reviews about it. Do you recommend it?

      • Haha, in that case, I must clarify that my next update is definitely not targeted at your comment! It’s been on my mind since Day One. As for Juhan Shuttai, it looks set to be a breezy watch and offers career tips applicable outside the manga industry, based on what little I’ve seen so far. I’m not sure how engaging the growth stories and human dynamics will be, though. =/

      • Haha, no worries. I’m interested to read your thoughts on Scarlet Heart. Will you also be addressing the various versions SBS has put out? It seems episodes 1-3 were re-edited after broadcast, and now episode 6 has been reworked to focus more on Wang So, which is different from the version already sold to China (which has more Wang Wook at this point).

      • Since I only caught the first few episodes live and during their first broadcasts, I have not seen any of the re-edited episodes firsthand either, at most descriptions of added/deleted scenes here and there. Except Naver, which requires payment for each episode, none of the safe sites seem to be streaming the new versions. =(

      • You *are* in the minority on that one, heh. The lack of screentime for Lee Jun-ki was probably cuz the drama was trying to adhere to the C-version, where the fourth prince also appeared sparingly in the earlier episodes. But I guess viewers were already agitated because of the acting disparity, among other complaints, so the quick fix seemed to be upping his screentime.

      • Hurrumph!! Let’s see how the majority will react when they get their hands on the novel or its translation! If the information I have come across was correct, it took a few chapters for Ruoxi to meet the fourth prince. ^^

      • Yep, you’re right. I skimmed the novel and Ruoxi first saw Yinzhen in chapter 6 (the chapters aren’t very long), but had no interaction. Subsequently she saw him fleetingly here and there but he was always with the other princes. She had plenty of interaction with the other princes, and even spoke to Kangxi, but she never spoke to Yinzhen. It was not until chapter 18 that Ruoxi had her first one-on-one conversation with Yinzhen – she ran into his son Hongshi, and Yinzhen thought she’d come to suss out personal information about him, so it evolved into some 20 questions type of pop idol quiz. That scene was quite funny in the C-drama as well.

        Wishing you a happy Chuseok/Mid-Autumn Festival!

  5. I’m sorry your work got plagiarised and I think you did the right thing calling those people out, because they have no right to do this and hope to get away with it. Have they ever responded to your request to take down the posts?

    • Thanks a lot for your concern, Junny, as always. I get incensed whenever I think about the matter. All these people had to do was fiddle with the copy, paste and publish/send commands, whereas I needed to fill up official forms multiple times and write so many tweets and lengthy messages of complaints they can pretend they have never seen. The only direct response to my takedown request was the one mentioned in the opening paragraph. Other times, they either remove the plagiarized material silently or continue behaving (as) normally (as they can), which is not always that normal. Never ever an apology!

      One good thing that has come out of this cat-and-mouse chase is that I got to know a little more about other admins through that discussion group. Mila, who has run her blog ( for around ten years, struck a chord with me when she reflected about how people come and go in blogosphere. Online and offline, some aspects of life seem pretty much constant.

      • *hugs* I feel your pain as I’ve been through a similar incident. These plagiarisers have no respect for other people’s hard work. The sad thing is that we bear the pain of having our work stolen, whereas for them it’s so easily forgotten or ignored. I’m glad you found a group that shares your sentiments on this – it’s important to have support when something like this happens, so you know you’re not alone and it’s these people who should reflect on their actions and acknowledge their wrong.

        Also, I’m shocked about the story on the tenured faculty doing this and calling it uncollegial. He should have known better!

      • Ugh, I’m sad to read that you’ve been through a similar incident. If you ever need help with DMCA complaints, you may want to consult Cherkell (,, whom I also got to know more about through my discussion group. She’s a paralegal who has practical experience with DMCA notices and plagiarism. Or, if it’s possible, get someone to co-write posts with you in a conversational style, like what PotUP ( and some other blogs are doing. Judging from their self-report, that seems to be a highly effective way of discouraging plagiarisers. All the best!

      • Thanks for the link to Cherkell’s site! I think I would be a lot more worried about plagiarism if I still wrote stories, but the J-drama community seems fairly tight knit and decent, so I’m okay for now (I hope, fingers crossed!). I did put up a copyright notice after what happened to Dramajjang.

        My case happened years back, and was rather messy – it arose out of a feud I had with some posters at a forum and they took some of my stories and posted them elsewhere pretending they were the actual writers and I was the plagiariser. There were other crappy things too, and it was pretty upsetting on the whole. The things people do when they’re young and stupid!

        I drop by PotUP occasionally and they have some funny posts indeed. I’d be open to anyone who wants to write a guest post as well, if that helps to mix things up a little and deter plagiarists. I know this incident has upset you, but I hope it won’t get you down and that you’ll keep writing!

      • “Oh my goodness. *rolls eyes* *rolls eyes* *rolls eyes*”

        That was roughly my thought when I read the second paragraph. Stealing your stuff might give them the illusion of restoring their pride, but it wouldn’t convince you or bystanders that they were correct. If they have mellowed by now, they probably can’t bear to look back at their younger selves. MAYBE, just maybe, they have actually been making up for the follies of their youth by being extra nice to the people they went on to meet. That’s what I have to imagine to come to terms with all these anecdotes of online craziness.

        Always grateful for your encouragement! And embarrassed about my snail-like responses! I hate everything I write when I do not feel refreshed, yet it takes a really long time to find a moment when time, energy and device availability are on my side. My personal opinion is that a review written as a dialogue is more of a deterrent as the thieves need to spend time editing the interlocutors’ names and, unless they dedicate their whole blogs to posts like yours, explain why they are suddenly adopting a conversational style. But it’ll be cool to see the synergy two bloggers may produce when they work on the same blog, even if they write separate posts. Good luck!

  6. Thank you for this post. I didn’t realize plagiarism has become such a big problem for bloggers. I do hope it becomes easier to protect creative and intellectual property in the future so we can share work without fear of it being stolen.

    I gather from the other comments that you won’t be blogging here anymore (??). If true, I will miss your brilliant and insightful posts! I wish you all the best in whatever adventures await you! 🙂

    • Hello Jen! A belated Happy New Year to you and your family! Some non-English platforms are already providing copy protection options without extra costs. Hopefully, these will be available for sites hosted on WordPress someday. I do not want to move this site elsewhere, but until then, I would rather sacrifice readership and work on other types of writings on those places when I have the time and energy. The temptation to return here for drama-related topics is huge, though. As usual, Korean dramas have been throwing up many thought-provoking questions. Most recently, I’ve seen drama writers tackle the issues of how possible and desirable it is to be ordinary, the search for divinity, and self-reliance. If only us writers could clone ourselves from time to time! In the event a topic is important enough, though, I would like to post the article here, regardless of the risks.

      All the best for your next “mountain trip.” I guess no matter whether there is honey on the other side, we would feel less than happy with ourselves if we do not even try. As they say, the journey is more important than the destination. Even if the outcome is not what we want, we can perhaps still take pride in our efforts.

      /End of unsolicited preaching. >.<

      • So true!! I’m “climbing another mountain” as we speak (which explains why I haven’t posted a blog in 2 months – yikes!). It’s definitely worth the effort. And I very much appreciate your “unsolicited preaching”, by the way…lol! 😀

  7. Michykdrama says:

    Hi! Just wondering if you are watching Chicago Typewriter? Because I’d love to hear your thoughts on its issue of ghost writing, all the literary quotes and the entire drama as a whole honestly! Because I suspect a lot of the subtle nuances and references are being lost on me as I’m a dunce when it comes to literature, history and arts knowledge.
    Hope you haven’t been put off blogging by the plagiarism issues previously and that they have been hopefully resolved 😊

    • Yay for a fellow fan who appreciated the quirkiness of the debut episode! It’s such a pleasant surprise to see you recap it. The show’s ruminations on writing are often very close to my heart, Yoo Ah-in has a great deal of passion for what he does, and the architecture is to die for, so I’m definitely on board. As for your query on the references, I’ve been compiling information on them, including the kind of details you mentioned about The Silence of the Lambs, but…. bah! I’m at most a dilettante. I was thinking of sending you the link to the write-up on Dali, etc. by Furbabe/Jessee, but I see that you’ve already found it. 🙂

      Furbabe has also followed that up with this:

      I have only the original French quotations to add:
      1. « J’ai lu tel livre ; et après l’avoir lu je l’ai fermé ; je l’ai remis sur ce rayon de ma bibliothèque […] Désormais je ne suis plus comme si je ne l’avais pas connue. »
      – André Gide
      2. « L’écrivain original n’est pas celui qui n’imite personne, mais celui que personne ne peut imiter. »
      – François-René de Chateaubriand

      Got to go! Will write more some other time!

      • Michykdrama says:

        Thanks for this! My reply is delayed because work has been semi insane and I’m just barely recovering from my post overnight shift. Age is really catching up to me 🙂 thanks for taking the time to reply me- appreciate it alot!

      • Actually, the fan site did include the French text of the second quotation after all! That’s just part of my obsession with sources, anyway. I think for writers the most important takeaway from the drama as a whole at the end of the day would probably be this: Writing may be a terrific way to release pain, but it’s neither a cure-all nor a vaccine. The long-term solution is to address the root of the problem, for example through repairing broken relationships and rebuilding self-confidence in Se-joo’s case.

        As it happens, the line about God taking away Se-joo’s talent is a reference, I suppose, to the fickle Muses, or goddesses of inspiration in arts and sciences, in Greek mythology. A British author once wrote, “Those who experienced success in any of these fields were reminded that their gifts were never truly their own and might be spirited away again at a stroke if the thin-skinned givers changed their minds.” (

        It is enticing to write a full-length article about Chicago Typewriter, but many people do not treasure what they get in online “gift economies.” As such, I’m keeping my new writings, drama-related and non-drama-related, elsewhere until they more than financially sustain themselves. If a topic is really, really important, though, I would still like to share it on this site.

        Thank you so much for prompting me to think about the drama and for sharing your enlightening opinion on W in the past. I’m crediting you in a W article on another site. And hopefully my ‘like’s on your site aren’t creeping you out! If you ever open another public social media account, do let me know! Many times, I wanted to shout out about certain things but had to stop myself because of paranoia related to past incidents. >.<

  8. Michykdrama says:

    Thank you for the link- it was truly enlightening and a great read, and it introduced me to a new blog to stalk 😉
    It saddened me to read about your plagiarism previously and I can only imagine how invasive and disheartening it must feel to have your work and credit stolen by others. I think I do appreciate the feeling and sympathise much more after watching Chicago Typewriter- it reminded me that it really is hard work to write anything from scratch- and made me reflect how I honestly take for granted all the amazing authors whose stories that I read, or songwriters I listen to. Why can’t we fork out that small amount to buy the book or CD instead of ripping it online? Certainly for all their efforts, surely it is the least we can do.
    I’m happy to hear you are continuing to write, regardless of where it is, because I’ve truly enjoyed reading your posts, and hope one day you will be back in full force, wherever and whenever that may be.
    And thank you for the continued support on my little blog- It really is just a secret guilty pleasure of mine, my escape and almost alter-ego, where I can allow my drama addiction to be out in the open, and not judged by the “real world”. And your likes make my day, really! 🙂 Hope you have a good weekend!

    • Hi Michykdrama, thanks for the recent follow on another site. Do inform me if it’s actually someone else assuming your identity. *Crosses fingers for happy ending to Kim Nam-gil’s character this time (even though I’m not watching 😛 )*

      • Michykdrama says:

        Oh yes it’s me! Don’t worry! Haha. Sorry I’ve actually not gone back there because I’ve been busy- Boy is mildly ill while Husband is away for work. I’ll probably be an infrequent occasional passerby at most! 😝
        Hope you had/are having a great weekend 😊

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