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49 Days Accused of Plagiarism


If you’re wondering how a story about a modern-day grim reaper and a recently deceased heroine needs to collect the tears of three people within “49 Days” to live again is plagiarism, the recent accusations are rising from an idol group fan fiction… Yes, idol group fan fiction. Where do netizens come up with this stuff?

49 Days” is SBS‘s new Wednesday-Thursday drama starring Lee Yo-won, Nam Gyuri, Jung Il-woo, Jo Hyun-jae, and Bae Soo-bin. Although the drama just started, netizens have already raised the plagiarism flag, noting an idol fan fiction as the source.

The idol group Shinhwa had an astonishingly popular fan fiction written about them called, “49 Days for a Second Chance” (49일간의 유예). Netizens keenly pointed out that the concept is similar; there’s a love line similar to the Ji-hyun and Han Gang drama characters (with some possession at play); and a unique scheduler-like character is included.

A representative from HB Entertainment, the production of “49 Days,” stated, “It was previously examined and found not to be plagiarism.” He also explained, “This isn’t the first time that possession has been used in a drama. Just because the topic is similar by no means spells plagiarism.

I took the liberty of skimming through the Shinhwa fan fiction in question (which was quite difficult to read… Why do people write things like this?).

From what I can gather, it uses the concept of 49 days after death are for the soul to find its way to the next life (a Korean Buddhist concept). The death of a girl results in her possessing another, and the grim reaper/scheduler in question ends up being two people: Eric and a red-haired Minwoo.

But, let’s face the facts, a good number of grim reaper stories utilize some sort of possession, and of course, someone has to be in love with the recently departed which will bring about the drama in the story. Since 49 days is a well-known concept in Korea, it’s only natural to use it in the drama.

All things considered, this drama just started and already has a more complicated love-line situation than the fan fiction. Since the drama is only two episodes in, we have yet to see the finer details in the storyline.

Don’t you think this plagiarism scandal is pretty ridiculous?

The next episode of “49 Days” will air on Wednesday at 9:55pm.


12 Comments on “49 Days Accused of Plagiarism”

  1. piano says:

    Koreans plagiarising.. that never happens!! ever! *cough* bollocks *cough*

  2. sayraw says:

    Here’s the thing. This fanfic was incredibly popular back in 01-02. Nearly 10 years ago! They pulled it off of the internet because it was supposed to get published and made into a film. I don’t know if any of those happened. But the girl who was translating it pulled her translations off the web as well.

    Anyways, I seriously thought this drama was a remake of the original fanfic. The original fanfic, by the way, was excellent. I would love to read it and finish it this time.

  3. SuperJuniorLover6666666666 says:

    omg. i remember those Shinhwa fanfics. lol
    they were the best.

  4. jina says:

    Actually, it’s not that outrageous.
    I, for one, had read the fanfiction story “49 Days for a Second Chance.” Honestly, I was happy that there was a drama with this storyline because I thought it was based on the story. I love the story; it was really good and funny. But I really hope that if the script maker of the drama had really taken the basic plot of the story, then at least get permission/credit the author!

    Anyways, I haven’t watched the drama yet but I plan to. Based on this article and the summaries I have read about the drama, here are THE DIFFERENCES:
    1. In the fanfiction story, they are younger (high school age) and are in a high school setting. In the drama, it’s older people (20s) and in a job setting.
    2. In the story, she has to get one person, whether blood-related or not, to recognize that it is HER, to live again. In the drama, she has to get three people to cry for her, and are not blood related.
    3. The fanfiction story was HILARIOUS, like a romantic comedy kind of thing In the drama, based on an article I read at soompi, “the actual storyline of “49 Days” is set to be serious and intense.” (I don’t know if that mean the drama wont be funny or not…but just thought to make a point of it)

    These are the differences that I have heard SO FAR. But the reason why netizens are so upset, and I am a bit upset myself, is that the base/basic plot of the drama is THE SAME THING as the story: she has to get someone to recognize her for her to come back to the world.
    From the same article that I read at Soompi, it said: “The plot that a person is possessed by another person’s soul and that three drops of tears can reincarnate the soul’s corpse is truly a fantasy.” If it is truly a fantasy, and not some religious-based kind of thing, then where did they get the idea from? Especially about the part where “a person is possessed by another person’s soul”? (The fanfiction story does not have the ‘3 tear drops’ thing)
    And another thing: the title. For goodness sake, the story is name “49 Days for a Second Chance” and the drama is called “49 Days”. Almost feels like a cheap shot to try to make it not seem like plagiarism. Honestly, the whole drama storyline seems like it was changed just a bit so that people will think they didn’t plagiarism.

    You may think it’s ridiculous for me to be doing this, but the story “49 Days for a Second Chance” was a really popular and loved story a while back. I read it a while back and I still remember it because it was such a good story. I honestly would love for the author to get some credit, if the script maker really did took the plot from the story.

    Anyways, I hope this whole issue of plagiarism works out.

    • eris2 says:

      fyi…. In reference to the Buddhist “bardo,” the intermediate state between lives… “the Mahāvibhāṣa and the Abhidharmakośa have the notion of the intermediate state lasting ‘seven times seven days’ (i.e. 49 days) at most.” 49 days is a well-known notion in Korea. Other stories, fables, movies, dramas, etc. have used the 49 days theme, not just a Shinhwa fanfic…

  5. erinchoocath says:

    I don’t think that this is considered plagiarism because fanfictions are posted in the internet and everybody could read and access those. And so, you can’t determined or even prove that the writer of the said drama series was able to read the fanfiction. If the fanfiction itself was published then it is plagiarism but it wasn’t so this speculation is absurb.

  6. kat says:

    I can see it as plagiarism. U know how them Asians be doing…for fame and money they dont care shit….never read the story n love the movie…i can aee it is plagiarize by people’s comment on comparing the two.

    • Lila says:

      Ha.. Its funny how you see things. Most of the time, its Caucasians doing the plagiarism. Second, its not a movie, its a drama. If the concept is well-known, there is no proof that its really plagiarism.

    • Paige says:

      Ok now first of all, i don’t agree with half of what the person in the reply says. If its popular, there’s a really slim chance that it was plagiarized, because all story have to have some type of drama in them… heck even the movie transformers has somebody who loves somebody else. I agree if it was plagiarism then the original writer should get credit, where it was published or not (Again you didn’t say this somebody else did, so basically i’m replying to them.)

      Second, both y’all are wrong with the damn asian and caucasian thing!!! RACIST!!! thats what it is… and you can call me out and get angry at me for recognizing this fact! For one, not all caucasians are nice… but they certainly as hell are not doing the “most” plagiarizing. Third, asians are also not in it for the money… a lot of people ARE, however, they are whether asian, black, white, or mexican… the race has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH IT!!!!!! People are people, race does not define them… the comment that you guys are saying is basically singling out one race and stamping a name on them, that doesn’t apply to all of them, thats like saying that all of your race is blind or stupid… When its not… you’re clearly proof of that! You aren’t blind, and you don’t come off to me as stupid… So just think abut what you’re saying… Like i know that both these comment I’m defending a lot more, because one i am one of those races, and two I know a lot of people that are the other one of those… and like hell are they that… And I’m not either. But i would say this even if I wasn’t one of those races, or i didn’t know any of those races.

    • Jason says:

      I you really study about Plagiarism, the writer can’t do anything to the drama.

  7. Meow says:

    I love you paige! People, just let the drama entertain you ^_^

  8. sha-sha says:

    this drama actually reminds me of a manga called SHINIGAMI LOVERS. the beginning has a lot of similarities. the girl(a highschooler) hit by a car then the angel of death appeared and tell her that her death was a mistake. as the story goes by,she gradually fell in love with the Shinigami.


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