Fifty shades of grey, we have all heard about the erotic romance novels. Where a young innocent girl is whisked away into a life of BMSD. Something that she had not ever considered. Fifty shades of grey has topped best seller lists around the world, with the rights of the book being sold in 37 countries and over 70 million copies of the book have been sold. So how did fifty shades of grey become such a phenomenon?
Fifty shades of grey actually started as an online fan fiction to one of the UK’s bestseller ‘Twilight’. It was first posted on a website called fanfiction.net under the name of ‘Masters of the universe’. Although according to E.L James’ publishers she had took down her material after people’s comments on the racy nature of her story, and then decided to re-write her material creating fifty shades of grey before taking it, to try and get published. It has been said that she had only changed the names and some situations so that it did not infringe on copyright. So what is the truth and why did she take down the material on fanfiction.net. If she had completely changed the story like her publishers said then there would be no need to take down the online material.
Due to the power of the internet being so strong researchers found that they were able to use a website ‘The wayback machine’ to access the internet archives and take screenshots of some of the original work. The works has been looked at several different times by many different researchers, and have discovered that ‘masters of the universe’ and ‘fifty shades of grey’ has a similarity index of 89%. So what does this mean? It means that E.L James has not re written masters of the universe she has only modified it. If you look at some of the screenshots of the work that will be posted on my blog it seems that she has only changed the names and embellished parts of it. This means that she has not even changed the situations she originally put the characters in. Contradicting what her publishers originally said. But why lie?
What E.L James has done is legal as she has not used the characters in ‘Twilight’ It feels as if she has cheated fans in some way. Should people not know where this publication originally came from? Other readers may be feeling a sense of de ja vu if they had read her online fan fiction. But don’t we as readers have the right to know? Could it not encourage budding writers to post on these sites in hope they could make an international best seller?
So what I would like to know as fans of the book do you think you should be given information on the origins of the book, or does it not matter?