After running a piece earlier this week about a British author whose erotica series sparked interest in Hollywood, a number of readers commented that the series, Fifty Shades of Grey by E.L. James, began as Twilight fan fiction. Some of the commenters went so far as to say there could be copyright infringement issues, because of the connection.
A spokesperson for Little, Brown, which publishes Stephenie Meyers's Twilight saga, did not specifically address Fifty Shades of Grey, but said that "it is Hachette's policy to proactively monitor and investigate all reports of potential copyright infringements." According to Valerie Hoskins, who is based in the U.K. and represents James for film, Fifty Shades of Grey does not align closely with Twilight; Hoskins noted that in James's series, for example, there are no vampires.
Amanda Hayward, CEO of The Writer's Coffee Shop, the small writers community-turned publisher that released Fifty Shades of Grey, said James's book "bore very little resemblance to Twilight," even though the story began as fan fiction. Hayward added: "Essentially only the character's names were borrowed, the setting, plot, abilities, relationship structure, feel and focus of the story were original. Twilight and Fifty Shades Trilogy are worlds apart, new readers are totally surprised it was ever a Twilight fan fiction story. We see it in the reviews over and over again."