No one owns a genre, least of all Omegaverse
I have a bit of a long post today, but it’s an important one so bear with me. This isn’t something I ever wished to speak about publicly or even dreamed could happen, but because of negative actions that have damaged my brand, sales, and integrity, I have no choice.
In April 2018, Addison Cain and her publisher, Blushing Books, filed take-down notices against my Myth of Omega books, causing them to be removed from sale at various retailers. These deliberately harmful actions against my work violated the Copyright Act because they made inaccurate and misleading claims of plagiarism. This accusation not only misrepresented the events in my work, but also asserted that that author was the creator and owner of common tropes found in m/f, m/m, and f/f Omegaverse as well as dark romance. After these claims were found unsupported, my books were reinstated; however, this process took a significant amount of time for some retailers. During this period, a title that wasn’t even published yet—that no one could have read—was also targeted, and preorders were lost when the book was removed from presale.
Instead of responding to attempts to resolve this issue amicably, the publisher and author chose to delay communication and persisted with threats of blackmail and attempted intimidation, as well as continued existing attacks against my character and books in collusion with others. I’ve since learned of other M/F Omegaverse writers who were similarly targeted by the same parties, including one who abandoned her story due to threats and take-down attempts. My publisher, after seeking professional guidance, realized legal action was unavoidable.
Obviously, as a new author, this was a scary conclusion for me, but the various actions taken by the author and publisher have been astonishingly wide-ranging and consistent, and can ultimately prevent me from having a successful career. I wrote my own interpretation of the Omegaverse, creating my own characters, world, and stories, and I have the right to publish and promote my work without unprovoked interference and defamation from others, regardless of their popularity. Anyone who reads both works without bias can clearly see they are not the same story, even if they are unfamiliar with the genre. So my publisher has now filed a lawsuit to address these unwarranted attacks on my works and reputation.
The court will be presented with all the necessary evidence to make a judgment about whether the process that exists to protect copyright can be abused to aggressively remove an author from the marketplace by inaccurately claiming to own tropes of a genre. All genres are recognizable by the familiar tropes and archetypes of their stories and characters, like the expectation that vampires drink blood and mysteries will be solved. Omegaverse depicts certain behaviors from its characters because they are highly instinctual, so many of the stories explore the conflict between body and mind just like countless paranormal and dark romances.
What’s important to realize is that all versions of Omegaverse began in fanfiction as early as 2010 and any claim otherwise dismisses the work of thousands of writers who helped to hone and define it as a distinct sub-genre. The author in question heavily borrowed from this existing universe to create her own work—she has no authority to gatekeep the genre, she was not the first to write any version of it, and she cannot claim to own copyright for any of its recognized concepts such as alphas being big or omegas being rare and resisting their heats. The court process will have the final say on this outrageous conduct to stifle other authors.
During the initial stages of this dispute, I’ll be limiting my time on social media to focus on the next book in the Myth of Omega series. I’d like to ensure readers get that story, rather than spend any more time and energy on this regrettable unpleasantness that began soon after the series rose in popularity. Since this is an ongoing legal matter, I won’t be able to engage in discussion about this situation. My hope is that this will be my only and final statement regarding it.
My Myth of Omega series will continue on as scheduled and I will be working, as always, on bringing readers more fantastical romances, many of which will continue to draw upon the established tropes of Omegaverse, which are owned by no one.
Thank you to all who have shown continued support for my work.
Please direct queries to info [at] omegaverselitigation [dot] com
October 20, 2018
- The tropes Addison Cain claims she invented and a point-by-point refutation
- Dr. Kristina Busse’s expert report | Discussion of Addison Cain’s Alpha’s Claim and Zoey Ellis’s Myth of Omega
Coverage of the case
- New York Times | A Feud in Wolf Erotica Raises a Deep Legal Question
- Goodreads | Meredith’s review of Crave To Conquer
- Lindsay Ellis’ video essay | Into The Omegaverse: How a Fanfic Trope Landed in Federal Court
- Lindsay Ellis’ video essay | Addison Cain’s lawyer emailed me, and it only got worse from there
- Electronic Frontier Foundation | Defending Fair Use in the Omegaverse
- Techdirt | Join The Fan Fiction Deep State And Watch This Latest Video That Addison Cain Really Doesn’t Want You To See