Talk:Omegaverse Litigation

From Fanlore
Jump to: navigation, search

A pretty thorough article about this situation was published in The New York Times: A Feud in Wolf-Kink Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question. I might create a separate page for it but it would be good to integrate it in this page. --caes (talk) 00:46, 25 May 2020 (UTC)

I just read the article and would like to integrate it too, but with the current state of the page I'm not sure where to fit it in. SecurityBreach (talk) 23:18, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
Done! I read the article last night, thank you for the hint SecurityBreach (talk) 05:01, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
Cain wrote what is likely the final roundup & overview article at her blog: A Win for the Author Community!; it seems to cover the whole timeline & has extensive documentation (yay) and it says the NYT article was "a muckraking article that lacked citation and supporting evidence." (Which seems accurate; I read it and could not figure out what was going on and that's usually a sign that someone's trying to cloud the issues.) (It had good info about A/B/O. Less good info about the actual lawsuits.) Cain's article may help us sort out our timeline and better connect the page with fannish activity, or at least related topics like the RWA and copyright. --Elf (talk) 17:00, 19 August 2020 (UTC)

Recent edits

A lot of detail has been added about the legal proceedings. But the second half of this page, a quote and fandom comments, appear to have been deleted. I'm not sure if this is an accidental deletion, or if the editor has plans to edit and restore the content. The statement was definitely on the long side and selective quoting from it, with a archived link to the full statement, might be more appropriate. Could the editor please respond here with their plans for the deleted text? Thanks --Auntags (talk) 18:00, 12 August 2020 (UTC)

So I was going to add back in the fan comments (assuming they had been deleted by accident), and upon a second read through, I noticed that the statement removed from this page has been replaced with this.
This statement contains many false statements that have been shared in multiple places, including The New York Times, Zoey Ellis’ website, this Fanlore website and the omegaverse litigation website. This statement contains the false statement (among others) that Addison Cain claimed to own the omegaverse and that Cain attempted to blackmail Ellis. These statements have been shared on twitter and other places by third parties who believed it to be true. Despite being ordered to do so, Quill refuses to turn over any of the emails collected from the site and provided no documentation or other evidence to support her claims.
None of the recent additions to the page have any citations.
I think a fair bit of work needs to be done to make sure this page meets the requirements of Fanlore's PPOV policy. Hoping to get other editors and gardeners opinions on this. Do we want to keep such a detailed breakdown of the legal proceedings when Fanlore's focus is on fannish engagement with this event? (I'm leaning towards no, even though this info may be of interest to some fans) If we do keep all of the legal proceedings section, it needs to be heavily edited for PPOV. And do we want to restore all the deleted text, including the very long statement quote? -- Auntags (talk) 12:18, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
I think the detailed legal action part is pretty cool, but it is a bit overly detailed, uses legal jargon not everyone may understand (unless someone wants to explain it, which may not be something wanted on a Fanlore page), and isn't consistent with the names of the two people (in some places calls her Addison and in others Cain). Maybe the legal parts should be edited down into something with less legal jargon and could instead give a more digestible way of reading it, that then links somewhere to more detailed accounts of the case?
And I'm in no way making any accusations here, but I do want to note that the editor who removed the 5,283 bytes and added in that bit about the "false statement" hasn't edited any other pages except this one, which does make the edit look just a little suspicious as far as their motivations go.
I also think the fandom comments and quotes section should come back. That was a good section on fandom's reaction that just got replaced by legal talk (that also ended up deleting the entire ref code AND the meta/further reading... I'm not sure why all that was cut. Maybe it was an accident? Patchlamb (talk) 17:40, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
Hi, I'm not sure what happened here, but it seems a lot of fannish content has been removed. I mean, a fan even wrote her own fanfic AU about the litigation, using Star Wars characters? I think that's the kind of information that belongs here.
I'm still trying to wrap my head around the recent changes. Meanwhile, I added a new 'reference' section so now the footnotes are visible and can be read again.
I can't help wondering why the infobox has been removed.SecurityBreach (talk) 21:07, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
The references tag been removed is what made me think that was an accidental deletion.
I agree with Patchlamb (who pointed out exactly what was bothering me), the legalese is incredibly difficult to understand. It also makes the paragraph with references to "false statements" stick out, for its lack of legal speak and no reference to any judgement that these statements were false. (Not that a judgement matters - the focus of this page should be how fandom reacted to the case, the statements and the judgement). I don't know if these accusation are true/false, but they need citations. As an introduction to the topic this page makes no sense. -- Auntags (talk) 23:32, 13 August 2020 (UTC)
I'm glad to see the fannish content has been restored :D SecurityBreach (talk) 05:01, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
Second attempt by a different user to remove all fan comments has been reverted --Auntags (talk) 12:50, 14 August 2020 (UTC)
Yes, thank you for restoring. One question: is this a typo? 10/29/29. --MPH (talk) 14:23, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

So strange that two different accounts would try and remove the fandom/meta sections, twice in a row makes it look pretty deliberate. Wonder if the two editors are the same person or of they're different people? Patchlamb (talk) 19:18, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

There is too much legalese on this page and it‘s used in a way to obfuscate what really happened:. „for alleged misuse of DMCA filings. As of August 2020, Ms. Ellis' claims have been dismissed with prejudice.“ That makes ist sound to a lay person as if Ellis‘ claim was wrong when in fact she was in the right (that’s why Cain’s publisher settled; Cain did abuse the DMCA) but went bancrupt before she could finnish the trial. That‘s the reason her claims were dismissed and the „villain“ won. There is a good legal podcast about it.--Doro (talk) 22:02, 14 August 2020 (UTC)

Is there a place where the legal minutia is discussed and noted? Because I vote for a frank recap of it, and an archived link to that information, and for this page to concentrate heavily on fan comments, reactions, and fanworks.
Doro, I added the link to the podcast. I also tightened up the introduction and added some headers to this page. --MPH (talk) 01:29, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
This is a page about the Omegaverse litigation so the legal blow by blow does have a place. Right now legal details are folded into the timeline of non-legal events - which is as it should be (this is a Timeline of Events, not a Timeline of Only Legally Relevant filings". But I agree it may be hard to follow. I think the Legal Action section should be expanded to offer a simpler overview/map (who sued, what claims, the outcome). The more detailed Timeline could be moved to a subpage for those who want to dig deeper into the details. Finally, and this is important, we need to make it clear that Fanlore's goal is to document (1) what was said and when - whether in a court filing or outside court and (2) fandom's reactions. PPOV allows us to ask: "is this something someone is claiming and that you disagree with" (difference of opinion) vs "is that something that you believe no one ever said anywhere at any time ..inside or outside of court" (factually inaccurate and it would be up to us to find out if this was said/written). PPOV allows both opinions to be presented. We will need to focus on making certain that the statements/opinions are accurately documented - not whether they were themselves accurate. Ex: "Fan X said that they published 20 zines" [opinion - source]. Fan Y said X never published any zines [opinion --> source] The question of whether said zines exist remains to be resolved, however in 2016 several fans did an intensive survey of know fanzine libraries and collections and have yet been unable to locate the zines (source) MeeDee (talk) 07:42, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
Here's a link to the judgement that some recent edits appear to reference. (the "dismissal with prejudice" one - I also found links to other filings and the Oklahoma judgement) As I am not a lawyer, I don't understand these docs. I'm all for linking to public filings and judgements and/or or a frank summary like MPH proposed. (There's no recent fannish summary of events, other than the ALAB podcast Doro mentioned) I restored the quote and edited just that bullet point for ppov. -- Auntags (talk) 15:39, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
The New York Times article talks about the lawsuit in a way that's understandable but it was published in May, so it doesn't cover the most recent events. The ALAB podcast episode is the only source I know that talks about how it ended and makes sense of it. (If you can get past three grown men giggling over wolf porn and making all the dirty jokes you can possibly make, that is.) In the first half of the podcast they mostly explain what the omegaverse is, compare the content of the books and provide some useful framing - for example they say early on that this case is unusual because usually both parties are somewhat to blame but here it's just one party who is clearly wrong -, while in the second half they narrate the trial with all the plot twists, etc. The most relevant to explain the ending are probably the last ten minutes. --Doro (talk) 16:08, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
I'm planning to further edit the timeline for neutrality (or at least to keep it on topic). I think any references to specific lawyers (both worked for Ellis) or their family members should be removed. These comments are hinting at the lawyers doing something improper, when I do not think that is the case and there are no citations! Also no fannish/online discussion about these claims.
Also, I'm going to format the counts of the complaint for readability and to remove the judgements in bold -- having the judgement mid timeline encourages people to stop reading. I'll add citations needed tags, and make it clear in timeline that it wasn't just Blushing Books who sent out DMCAs. They were directed to do so by Cain. (This came out during discovery in the Oklahoma case and is referenced in NYT article and the ALAB podcast.) The more I dig into this, the more obvious it is that information presented as fact on this page is very biased and misrepresenting what actually happened. -- Auntags (talk) 19:30, 15 August 2020 (UTC)
I am also uncomfortable about keeping some of these details on the page even with a "citation needed" tag. For example, the line about Quill refusing to produce emails - if there is no evidence to back this up, it could have been invented. How long do we want to keep something like that on the page without a citation? I think after a set period of time, we should remove it, if Veritas has not supplied any evidence to support it. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 17:34, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
I'm glad you raised this issue. With all the editors looking at this page, we still don't have sources (I have searched for sources and I'm sure you have to) and I'm tempted to remove them now rather than waiting. I only added cn tags, in the hope someone else had a source. You already removed the unverifiable statements about a newly published ebook, and I agree I couldn't find sources for those statements either. If any of these claims are true, they can be added at a later stage by editors with citations. (I'm available to remove these statements tonight if ppl agree) --Auntags (talk) 17:42, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
Yeah, I would go ahead and remove them since as you say, they can always be added back in later if we have proper sources. Thumbs up from me. 👍
I am also tempted to go in and remove some of the legal events which I don't think are as relevant to the case, and simplify the jargon used (where possible), but I didn't want to tread on your toes if you were planning to get to it later. :3 --enchantedsleeper (talk) 18:28, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
Go ahead. My main problem from the beginning has been that I don't understand the jargon and can't tell what's relevant. That's why I added the attention gardeners tag --Auntags (talk) 18:45, 17 August 2020 (UTC)
"I would go ahead and remove them since as you say, they can always be added back in later if we have proper sources." -- I also vote for this action.
Also, I really want to emphasize that the focus of this page shouldn't be on the legal stuff as that is not Fanlore's mission, but instead on how this case affected fans and fandom and what fans had to say about it: the spotlight on the genre in the mainstream world, the co-opt of the trope in regards to for-profit fiction, and more. --MPH (talk) 02:23, 18 August 2020 (UTC)

Added Header

I added this header: "Omegaverse: Its Origins and Connections to Fandom and Fanworks" because I think it needs to be expanded upon. It could be a brief overview, and a link to the A/B/O main page. Or a larger section on this page.

We could also add a section further down (or expand in earlier on) about why and how this case affected fans and fandom. --MPH (talk) 13:14, 16 August 2020 (UTC)


Hey all, just wanted to drop a note that the edits to the page were meant to be neutral and unbiased. Any biases were attempted to be removed and the update was simply meant to show the timeline of the litigation. The previous content of the page was mostly a statement from the one party and misrepresented what happened in the case. The descriptions of documents were taken from the legal documents, which is why they sound like legalize. I'm open to assistance with cleaning it up to be an objective description of what happened, since the case is now over. I'm also a wiki novice, so any formatting errors are simply human error. I can upload the documents this week, and include citations to each of the timeline entries. Perhaps a summary could help at the top?

-- Veritas (talk)

Hi Veritas, I'm sorry for implying that your edits were intentionally misleading. I accept that was not your intention. Please understand that the factual inaccuracies in your original edit, including stating that count I was dismissed with prejudice when it was in fact dismissed for lack of prosecution, was a cause of concern. I have edited the timeline, and added a summary of events to help address those concerns.
Fanlore has a PPOV policy which means that statements from all parties involved, and all fans observing these events, are relevant and welcome to be included on this page. This includes fan comments. Our focus is very much on how fandom reacted to these events. In general, we do not upload documents to Fanlore, and I think a link to publicly available documents/discussions would be more appropriate. --Auntags (talk) 18:22, 16 August 2020 (UTC)
Seconding this - where facts are referenced on the page, there needs to be a link to publicly available sources. At the moment we have a lot of assertions with no sources to back them up, and there is also a lot of extraneous information about legal proceedings. As Auntags has mentioned, as a wiki our focus is on fandom and thus we aren't going to delve too deeply into the ins and outs of this case. You may find our About page useful as well as our page on What Fanlore is not. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 19:32, 16 August 2020 (UTC)
I appreciate all of the direction. I can certainly edit this week to link to public docs (or at least cite their location so others can find them) and work on a summary at the top with perhaps more fandom specific information. I'll review all of the links you sent as well and reach out if I have questions. I was truly just trying to make it accurate, so my apologies as well. -- Veritas (talk)

Protect Page?

Back again, as I have new concerns about edits made my Veritas. Their recent edit did the following:

  • deleted reference to Quill Books bankruptcy from the introduction
  • claimed Born to be Bound was first published as Born to be Bred, a fanfic on Ao3, by Itzy Strange (2014). (Is this true? Are there sources for this statement?)
  • deleted reference to the fact Cain was dismissed following her deposition, which is a verifiable fact
  • deleted PPOV about how different fans interpreted the lack of persecution
  • removed Cain's name from April 19 2018 sending of DMCA takedown notices, which is inaccurate. Discovery of documents proves she was very aware of the DMCA takedown notices
  • deleted "April 10 2020 - Zoey Quill files a response". This may be a point that needs correcting. Zoey Ellis was not a plaintiff/defendent in the lawsuit as she was not able to be involved under her pseud. It's more likely Quill Books filed the response.
  • claims the final count was dismissed "with prejudice" but there is no citation or link to the judgement so I cannot verify that is true.

This recent edit also added a link to a statement made by Cain, which I think is relevant and should be kept. But the rest - I'm planning to revert this edit and manually restore the link to the statement, and add a citation needed tag to the April 10 2020 bullet point.

In light of this, I'm also wondering, should this page be protected? That way editors will have to discuss changes here on the talk page, with gardeners/admins making the agreed changes. --Auntags (talk) 09:34, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

For all these reasons, I vote to protect the page, and to go with your plan, Auntags. --MPH (talk) 13:42, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
Seconding that. Veritas has proven that despite their claims they are not interested in contributing productively to the page but only in interfering with its content. And until we can be sure that no-one else will try to do the same, let's protect the page.
(And yes to reverting the majority of what they edited as well. Addison Cain's statement is also already linked under "Further reading", so I don't necessarily think we need it linked in both places, unless we intend to add everything that's published about this case to the timeline?) --enchantedsleeper (talk) 14:18, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
I agree with all the above. SecurityBreach (talk) 14:23, 28 August 2020 (UTC)
I reverted edits and protected the page. Enchantedsleeper, thank you for pointing out the statement was already on the page. I didn't realise that and have not included the statement in the timeline as a result. --Auntags (talk) 14:48, 28 August 2020 (UTC)

Major changes; removing sections

I plan to do a major overhaul of the page. It should be more focused on fandom and not pro author litigation battles; the page should be about the relevance to fandom and fandom's reaction, not a wikipedia-style listing of facts and timelines, and not a blog-style link roundup.

I plan to remove the Omegaverse Books and Overview sections (I'll add some of the details to the intro) and greatly reduce the timeline. I plan to remove most of the quotes, as they mostly aren't fandom-relevant. --Elf (talk) 02:32, 29 August 2020 (UTC)

I'm fine with reducing the timeline and removing the Omegaverse Books sections as they are just the two authors' bios. And yes, the Overview section would probably make more sense being assimilated into the introduction (at least the bits that aren't already covered in there) as that's what the intro is for.
I am not sure I agree with removing most of the quotes, though (but it depends what you mean by "most of"). Perhaps the Courtney Milan exchange goes into too much detail but other quotes are from fans of the books, and I think those constitute a valid fannish perspective - though these quotes might not come from capital-F Fandom, they are still from fans of the books and genre.
I would also like to propose adding a header called "Pro Author Omegaverse" to the "What is Omegaverse?" section which could give some context as to the pro scene that this legal battle took place in - although there is probably more merit in having a section like that on the A/B/O page, but I think we could have a condensed version on this page, similar to the "origins and connections to fandom and fanworks" bit. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 09:22, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
+1 for keeping the comments. (I agree with all other changes Elf and enchantedsleeper proposed) The comments are fannish in so much as they are made by fans of A/B/O or fanfic or one of the authors. I even think its really important to keep Courtney Milan's quote. She's fannish, and a law professor and her twitter thread was widely shared and pretty influential. If it is pared down, I'd add a note before the quote about why she wrote the thread (people asking her to promote AC's gofundme). I'd also like to keep her interactions with AC - the tweets before Cain responded, Cain's tweet and Milan's two tweets in response. --Auntags (talk) 22:43, 29 August 2020 (UTC)
I am going to go ahead and action the changes that Elf proposed (but keep the fan comments in place). --enchantedsleeper (talk) 21:49, 11 November 2020 (UTC)
Edited to add: I realised while editing that I don't know exactly how much Elf had planned to cut down the legal timeline, but I removed all but what I thought were the most necessary events that give a sense of how the case unfolded (and, for the most part, those that had citations). Other changes that were made:
  • Rather than getting rid of the "Overview" section and adding that detail to the introduction (which I thought would make it overly long), I replaced the Overview section with the summary of the events that was in the introduction and instead rewrote the intro to focus more on the central question that the lawsuits were concerned with (can you plagiarise a trope?) and the fact that this has been the subject of so much discussion and fascination.
  • I did get rid of the "Omegaverse Books" section as Elf suggested.
  • I added a note to the top of the page stressing that this page is intended as a reflection of fannish events, not a legal reference. I also removed the UnfoldingSituation flag as while there are still new developments taking place, I think these are more likely to be documented on separate pages like the Lindsay Ellis video pages, though there may be further additions to this page.
I'm happy for any of these to be further amended, especially if anyone thinks there are still issues with the legal timeline, but I hope this has addressed some of the major outstanding issues with the page content. --enchantedsleeper (talk) 23:12, 11 November 2020 (UTC)

Lindsay Ellis video

Hi all! I don't know if this is on anyone's radar but Lindsay Ellis's new video about this topic, posted on Sept 3 2020 might be worth including on this page or summarizing in some capacity. I found it was a really accessible breakdown and overview of some of the legal issues involved, and also provides evidence of a fannish response to what happened. I know that the article is still locked down to prevent malicious edits, so I thought I'd bring this forward! Cheers, -- Lightdescending (talk) 20:04, 15 October 2020 (UTC)

Thanks Lightdescending, is this the video you mean? As its a video essay, we can put a link to it in the Further Reading/Meta section. Would that be acceptable? If there is any specific information/summary you want to add about the fannish response, you can share a draft here, and admins can discuss it and add it to the page. --Auntags (talk) 19:07, 16 October 2020 (UTC)
My pleasure, and yes that's the one! If I have time to put together a short summary of some of the key points / arguments in the video I'd be happy to post it here for your review. Thanks again! -- Lightdescending (talk) 00:42, 17 October 2020 (UTC)
Hello again; there's been a second video published and I have a draft summarizing key points from both videos (mostly formatted for Fanlore wiki markup, with the exception of my 3 references) but it's 2600 words long. Is the Talk page still the most appropriate location for sharing that or could I email a draft to one of the admin? Thanks for your thoughts! -- Lightdescending (talk) 22:45, 23 October 2020 (UTC)
That's okay. We can break open a subpage for this discussion and that way all editors can comment. Admins do not want to make changes without everyone's input. Also when sharing your draft, let us know what section of the page you want this added to, or if you think it needs its own section.
Here's a link to an appropriately named subpage: Talk:Omegaverse Litigation/Lindsay Ellis videos. You can post your draft on that page. --Auntags (talk) 09:39, 25 October 2020 (UTC)
Thanks so much for opening this up! I really appreciate it and I welcome any and all comments on the write-up which I think would merit its own section (either as a part of Fandom Comments and Response, or its own section just after that); I did my best to keep the content focused on implications that this case has for fannish spaces and/or how fandom (tropes, the OTW) were involved. I also did my best to focus on how Lindsay's videos were received as commentary on this litigation, but also how fannish spaces responded to the aftermath of her posting them. I'll post the write-up to the subpage for discussion - please forgive any errors in the citation/references! -- Lightdescending (talk) 18:17, 25 October 2020 (UTC)

Lindsay Ellis released another video on the subject --Roamingcataloger (talk) 10:51, 25 October 2020 (UTC)