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Charlee
10-07-2010, 01:24 PM
I spotted something and I've never seen it before and I'm wondering if it's actually allowed... I'll explain.

I have a really good memory which is great but is a bit of a pain because I can't read books again (unless I really love them) because I remember every word! I tend to get through about a book every two days, so wondering around Waterstones looking for my next fix and I saw a new release by an irish author I've never read before.

So I took the book and read it that night, thing is while reading I kept having the feeling I'd read it before then after reading one page that I knew I'd seen before, it clicked and I realised this book had taken paragraphs, jokes and whole conversations from someone else. I checked it and it is the same word for word, not all the way through but huge chunks of it.

The first author wrote this stuff about 10 years ago and she is American and this new author is irish. It's strange because she has taken things word for word, for example the girls in her story are irish, so they see people, they go out with people and they knock about with people. because the original author is american her characters 'date' (as in a verb) for most of the book you don't see the word 'date' until you come to the copied bit where suddenly the characters are talking about dating!

It really bugged me because like i said I remember everything and it was not an enjoyable read, I'm just wondering if this is acceptable practice, she hasn't copied everything and her story line is different is this something that is just done and I've never come across it before?

Sentosa
10-07-2010, 01:34 PM
For starters it's likely to be illegal with every chance the original author could successfully sue for breach of copyright -- unless, of course the original work is out of copyright.

shaldna
10-07-2010, 03:56 PM
Are you sure? I know it's a stupid question.

Also, can you provide any more details?

Barbara R.
10-07-2010, 04:05 PM
If this is true, the second writer plagiarized the first and you should let the publisher of the first book know; better yet, let the writer know if you can manage to find him/her, because if the first book is out of print, the publisher might not take the trouble to pass on that message.

Alpha Echo
10-07-2010, 04:07 PM
Wow, I've certainly never seen this happen. but if you're positive and have both books to be able to prove it, I think you need to notify somebody. I'm not sure who, I guess like Barbara said, the publisher.

Rebekkamaria
10-07-2010, 04:20 PM
I'd inform all parties: the publisher, the author of the first book and the author of second book. After that, it's up to them.


ETA. I'd love to have your memory. Mine is horrible. And yeah, the situation is bad. But it happens. Oh, and you might want to check if someone has already done something about this. I've heard about a few similar situations

Ehab.Ahmed
10-07-2010, 04:20 PM
Wow, what a great memory :) I wish I had one like that. See if the first book is out of copywrite or not, then see whom to contact based on that... that is, if you wanted to anything about it in the first place. But if your question is about whether copying is allowed or not, I guess the answer is obvious: no, it's not allowed :)

Alpha Echo
10-07-2010, 04:26 PM
ETA. I'd love to have your memory. Mine is horrible.

So is mine. So many times, I'm halfway through a book before I realize I've read it before. It'll kind of feel like a dream sometimes, and then halfway through, I suddenly remember the ending. It isn't always a bad thing, but I don't always want to reread.

As for this situation, honestly, I'm shocked at everyone involved, other than the original author. I mean, I don't know how someone can live with false glory like that, live knowing they ripped someone else off. And how could the publishers and editors and agents...I mean, aren't they supposed to look into this stuff? I know there are a lot of books out there, but still...it just seems like this shouldn't happen outside of high school bullies and cheaters.

And even that shouldn't happen.

Charlee
10-07-2010, 04:27 PM
I didn't want to name, names in case I was saying bad things about a writer that had not done anything wrong.

I will have a quick scan in a bit put up some extracts from the book along side the orginals, I'm sure other people will recognise it also.

Cyia
10-07-2010, 04:39 PM
If the words are exact, and the original's still protected by copyright, then it's illegal.

If the book's old enough to be Public Domain, then it's not.

There's a scene like in both Ivanhoe and Robin Hood that are almost identical (the archery contest, IIRC). It's obvious that the person who wrote the "first" novel account of Robin Hood lifted it from Ivanhoe, but as copyright wasn't an issue then, no one balked.

Just like the Thursday Next novels incorporate well established characters, themes, and situations, but they're all from works out of copyright.

Charlee
10-07-2010, 04:45 PM
My top tip is to destroy all photos of you as a couple where he looks hot and you look happy it could set the whole recovery process back months if you happen to stumble across it at a weak moment

compared to:
my top break up rule - destroy all pictures where he looks sexy and you look happy if you happen to stumble across it in a weak moment it coudl set the recovery process back by months

and:

I panic dated... then I panic married now I've met the one

compared to:

I panic dated, now I've panic married just before I met the one

and:

It's a huge mistake to think you can change a man, apart from clothes and hair that's it because mark my words once you pull at that thread the whole fabric falls apart

Compared to:

The only things you can work on are their hair and wardrobe.
-But even then, it's a constant battle...
Be careful with alterations. If you pull the wrong thread, everything falls apart.

This is a selection from about four pages of the book there is lots more... I'm not imagining this am I?

Charlee
10-07-2010, 04:46 PM
P.S: I love the Thursday Next books

Medievalist
10-07-2010, 05:27 PM
That's plagiarism.

TheWordsmith
10-07-2010, 05:30 PM
Illegal? When someone (I won't dignify it by calling him or her a writer) takes an author's work and knowingly uses it and presents it as their own work, this is outright plagiarism. That's theft and that is illegal. I don't know what the laws are in Ireland for such intellectual property theft but in America, the punishments can be quite harsh and deservedly so. Should the original author of the passages learn of the acts, she could file plagiarism charges in both United States and Ireland - leaving the thief to face charges on two continents. In fact, do all authors a favor and contact the injured author.

brainstorm77
10-07-2010, 06:09 PM
Yup. It should be reported.

shadowwalker
10-07-2010, 06:18 PM
If the original book was published 10 years ago, then it's still under copyright.

From the US Copyright Office:

As a general rule, for works created after January 1, 1978, copyright protection lasts for the life of the author plus an additional 70 years.

http://www.copyright.gov/help/faq/faq-duration.html#duration

Phaeal
10-07-2010, 06:33 PM
If I were the original author, I'd be grateful for the tip-off. Giving her a chance to defend her work is the right thing to do.

Charlee
10-07-2010, 06:34 PM
I'm just goggling looking for info

Susan Littlefield
10-07-2010, 06:58 PM
I would certainly report it to both authors and publishers. Most authors have websites.

veinglory
10-07-2010, 07:05 PM
That doesn't sound at all right to me. I would certainly encourage you to report to the publishers, and if that gets no response, to send it to a good publishing website or post it online yourself.

aruna
10-07-2010, 07:10 PM
Even if you can't fimd the author's cotact details you can write her c/o her publisher.
Keep us posted!

Charlee
10-07-2010, 07:13 PM
I've sent emails to the two publishers I suppose that's all I can do.

I don't know how this could happen that book must have been read hundreds of times before it was published and no one noticed it's got all these nicked bits in it!

backslashbaby
10-07-2010, 07:31 PM
Some of these (at least) are from Sex and the City. The thread one and the pictures one, anyway.

aruna
10-07-2010, 07:52 PM
I don't know how this could happen that book must have been read hundreds of times before it was published and no one noticed it's got all these nicked bits in it!

Easy enough; unless the first book was a huge bestseller that every second person who doesn't live under a rock has read, the chances are low that anoyone would remember after ten years. Not everyone has your amazing memory!

I might remember plots that have been used before, but not words. Never words.

Recently I read a Dick Francis novel and I just "knew" I had read it before but I couldn''t believe it -- it was Silks, a new one written with his son Francis, and I was quite certain I would not have read it because I don't like his recent books, but when I kept "knowing" what was going to happen I realised I had indeed read it.

If it is genre fiction people wouldn't remember the actual sentences.

Cyia
10-07-2010, 08:18 PM
If the publishers say nothing, you can always give it to Fandom Wank. They'll get it some attention quick enough...

job
10-07-2010, 08:22 PM
I've sent emails to the two publishers I suppose that's all I can do.


You should inform the original author. Try googling to see if they have a website.

Phaeal
10-07-2010, 09:38 PM
If it is genre fiction people wouldn't remember the actual sentences.

Whaaaa??? Wow. Just wow.

"It was a pleasure to burn," to reel off just one. And if I ever read something that's not Salem's Lot that describes birds hunched on phone wires, their beady eyes unreadable, perhaps feeling the vibrations of the conversations through their feet, I'm going to yell foul, too.

Alpha Echo
10-07-2010, 09:45 PM
Some of these (at least) are from Sex and the City. The thread one and the pictures one, anyway.

I knew I recognized those quotes!

katiemac
10-07-2010, 10:03 PM
I recognize them, too, and I've never read the book. Which means I remember them from the series... potential involvement from the network (HBO) and parent company (TimeWarner) and not just the original publisher.

aruna
10-07-2010, 11:14 PM
Correction! A repper alerted me to the fact that Dick Francis' son is not Francis, but Felix!

Ambri
10-08-2010, 12:14 AM
Wow. I am appalled. Somehow, not surprised, though. Definitely contact the original author.

Charlee
10-08-2010, 12:19 AM
I don't know if it's a good idea to name the author I think people should see this for themselves but I don't wanna give her more readers.

Maybe because SATC is an American thing I don't know but it is still popular over here probably not as much as in the states but still has fans!

quicklime
10-08-2010, 06:11 AM
I don't know if it's a good idea to name the author I think people should see this for themselves but I don't wanna give her more readers.

Maybe because SATC is an American thing I don't know but it is still popular over here probably not as much as in the states but still has fans!


1. I doubt many are gonna plonk down $8 per book for the 2 to look for the things you saw--they're just curious.

2. Most folks did not ask you to say who, but they did suggest, repeatedly, you contact the original author. Did you? I assume, were it you, you would like to know.

Aidan Watson-Morris
10-08-2010, 06:25 AM
Your awesome memory could stop plagiarism. This is like out of fiction.

Stacia Kane
10-08-2010, 08:00 AM
Whaaaa??? Wow. Just wow.

"It was a pleasure to burn," to reel off just one. And if I ever read something that's not Salem's Lot that describes birds hunched on phone wires, their beady eyes unreadable, perhaps feeling the vibrations of the conversations through their feet, I'm going to yell foul, too.


Don't you mean fowl? Ba-dum-bum.


Honestly, though? One line isn't such a huge deal. I read Salem's Lot once, twenty years or so ago now (didn't care for it much, although I love King in general). I could see myself coming up with a line like that. It happens sometimes. I don't think it's as big a deal when it comes to description like that. It's when the line is used in the same situation, or when there are many of them, that it's an issue.

Describing birds on telephone wires and imagining voices racing beneath their feet is one thing. Offering advice about pictures where he looks sexy and you look happy, along with several other ideas/sentences/thoughts which have been used before, is another, do you know what I mean?


BTW, OP:

http://www.candacebushnell.com/contact.html

I strongly, strongly urge you--beg you, in fact--to send her an email (it's the bottom option on that page) and title it, in caps, YOU ARE BEING PLAGIARIZED. Don't beat around the bush, and don't wait for the publisher to find your email. Tell Ms. Bushnell and tell her now; give her a chance to notify her publisher & lawyers etc. now, because she's going to get faster results than you can. (Some wonderful person emailed Del Rey about my books; they forwarded the email to me, but it was some time since the date it was sent. Publisher inboxes can get pretty full.)

Also...thank you very much for this. I've never been plagiarized that I'm aware of, but I know people who have, and I'm very grateful that you noticed this and are taking the time to do something about it. If we ignore stuff like this it sends a message that it isn't important. But every time a case of plagiarism hits the news it reminds people again what a vile thing it is.

Charlee
10-08-2010, 12:11 PM
Your awesome memory could stop plagiarism. This is like out of fiction.

it's more like a party trick then a super power lol u put something like that on ur cv and it makes u sound more nuts than employable! Does come in handy for exams however :)

I have emailled all involved I'll post if anyone answers.

ETA: sorry for the text speak moved from pc to phone and just noticed it

aruna
10-08-2010, 12:47 PM
So the plagiarised book is SATC?
Where (which country) are you based?

Charlee
10-08-2010, 12:58 PM
I'm in the UK but the author is Irish.

gothicangel
10-08-2010, 01:07 PM
I think I know who you mean, and it doesn't surprise me.

Hope the publisher take her down a peg or two.

aruna
10-08-2010, 01:17 PM
oooh, you people are killing me with curiosity!
Is this going to be a huge story like that Opal Mehta thing? Are we going to be in on the story as it unfolds?

Charlee
10-08-2010, 01:28 PM
I think I know who you mean, and it doesn't surprise me.

Hope the publisher take her down a peg or two.

That makes me sad, does this happen a lot? :mad: surely she could write her own work...

Starry eyed
10-08-2010, 01:36 PM
Have you heard anything back yet from the publishers?

Charlee
10-08-2010, 01:37 PM
Nope keep clicking my email but nothing... I will keep you all informed!

gothicangel
10-08-2010, 03:33 PM
That makes me sad, does this happen a lot? :mad: surely she could write her own work...

She pissed me off a long time ago with comments she made in an interview. I would quite happily like to bitch slap her.

cspradbery
10-08-2010, 04:21 PM
Charlee, Candace Bushnell is repped in the UK by Curtis Brown. Perhaps email her agent? SarahL@curtisbrown.co.uk

Charlee
10-08-2010, 04:24 PM
Oh thanks that's one I haven't emailed yet!

KTC
10-08-2010, 04:26 PM
I can't wait to hear what the publishers have to say. Keep us informed. Bizarre parlour tricks can come in handy at times!

TheWordsmith
10-08-2010, 04:46 PM
Hah! I've never been vicitmized by plagiarism but I have been accused of it once.
(I had posted an excerpt from a ms on a writers' website several years ago and, a few years later, while discussing the same story, I posted an excerpt which happened to include the part posted on the other forum. Did not take long for someone to call me on it and, quite angrily, tell me I was stealing someone else's work! (I guess that means at least the work was memorable.)

Starry eyed
10-08-2010, 05:49 PM
I would take that as a compliment.

Witch_turtle
10-08-2010, 05:59 PM
I'm glad you're taking action, Charlee. I'm pretty intrigued to find out what happens, too. I agree, keep us updated!

Charlee
10-08-2010, 06:27 PM
Email back:

Dear Charlee:

Thank you so much for your email and your sharp eyes! I will certainly pass this on to my publishers and HBO.

Again, thanks.

Best,

Candace

I expect they will read her email before mine lol at least someone answered me.

quicklime
10-08-2010, 06:29 PM
and if it is ongoing litigation, they probably will not update you on the progress. However, I would not be at all surprised if there was something in a publishing rag about a lawsuit within the next 4-5 months.

san_remo_ave
10-08-2010, 06:33 PM
Oh, wow. Charlee what an amazing memory you have.

That's plagiarism, cold and simple. Several notable instances in recent years Kaavya Viswanathan (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_Opal_Mehta_Got_Kissed,_Got_Wild,_and_Got_a_Lif e) and Cassie Edwards (http://smartbitchestrashybooks.files.wordpress.com/2008/03/cassieedwardsreve.pdf).

If the original is indeed from S&TC, well, that's a massive franchise. I'm sure they'll want to put the smack down on this.

Thank you for not only noticing but reporting it to the folks who can put a stop to it.

justJM
10-08-2010, 06:35 PM
I would take that as a compliment.Are you also flattered by muggers who admire your paycheck and taste in handbags?

ETA - misread the context of the quote. Apology in post #66.

quicklime
10-08-2010, 06:37 PM
Are you also flattered by muggers who admire your paycheck and taste in handbags?


lmao

Susan Littlefield
10-08-2010, 06:45 PM
Charlee, please do keep us informed. I'm looking forward to hearing more.

Edit: Oops, didn't see you received an email already.

Theo81
10-08-2010, 07:00 PM
*fingers crossed the Irish author turns out to be Cecilia Ahern*

*fingers also crossed for it to alternatively be another Irish author I won't name because I haven't actually read anything by her but would be happy to find out it was due to extreme jelousy even though I don't write Chick-Lit*

gothicangel
10-08-2010, 07:10 PM
Well done Charlee,

Don't think I would have had the balls to do that. I probably would have started to doubt myself.

KTC
10-08-2010, 07:28 PM
Way to go. I nominate CHARLEE as the AW Hero of the Day!

aruna
10-08-2010, 07:28 PM
*fingers crossed the Irish author turns out to be Cecilia Ahern*



OMG I would do the happy dance!

Charlee
10-08-2010, 07:29 PM
Aww I'm blushing!

Starry eyed
10-08-2010, 08:07 PM
Are you also flattered by muggers who admire your paycheck and taste in handbags?

Why have you quoted something that I wrote?

Mr Flibble
10-08-2010, 08:14 PM
Why have you quoted something that I wrote?

I was a bit puzzled too. Someone was called out as being a plagiarist - they posted their work in two separate places, and the second time were accused of plagiarising the first, when they were merely quoting their own stuff, and the compliment was (I'm assuming here) the work must have been good enough to be memorable in such a way.

I'm not sure what that has to do with muggers?

Starry eyed
10-08-2010, 08:15 PM
Thank you, I thought that I had missed something. My reply was to the post above mine about plagarism.

Stacia Kane
10-08-2010, 11:06 PM
That is awesome, Charlee! Do keep us posted, and thanks again! (Although I too am dying to know who it is. Send it to me in a OM or rep point? I promise I won't tell anyone! And look, you can trust me--I'm a moderator.) :D

justJM
10-08-2010, 11:44 PM
Why have you quoted something that I wrote?

I was a bit puzzled too. Someone was called out as being a plagiarist - they posted their work in two separate places, and the second time were accused of plagiarising the first, when they were merely quoting their own stuff, and the compliment was (I'm assuming here) the work must have been good enough to be memorable in such a way.

I'm not sure what that has to do with muggers?

Oops! I think maybe I misread the story. I've actually heard people express the sentiment that some instances of plagiarism are a perverse sort of flattery, so I think I imprinted a preconceived notion on the comment.

Sorry about that! Amended.

Starry eyed
10-09-2010, 12:43 AM
That's okay, I would never condone copying someone's work. xx

Mr Flibble
10-09-2010, 03:42 AM
Shame really, Perks, it was a good line!

John Marlow
10-09-2010, 10:56 AM
Another possibility is that it's the same author writing under a different name. I had a Nicholl Fellowships judge reading a script for the finals, who told me afterward that he was sure this writer was ripping me off. (The screenplays go to the judges without the writers' names). This certainty grew until he went out into his garage and dug up the other script, which he'd read some time before--only to realize that I'd written both of them.

You never know.

Susan Littlefield
10-09-2010, 09:51 PM
John,

What an interesting experience. It was also my first thought that the authors could be one in the same. But, from what Charlee posted about writing to both authors and publishing companies, and the reply back from the author, it sounds like this is not the case.

shaldna
10-11-2010, 05:18 PM
I'm so curious now.

Is the Irish writer a popular one?

Guardian
10-12-2010, 03:17 AM
I was almost wondering if this was something that the original author/publishers were already aware of and allowed. I'm definitely curious. All sorts of things happen when I leave for a few days!

Starry eyed
10-13-2010, 01:19 AM
I would love to know too, one of my favourite authors is Irish and I'm hoping that it isnt her.

Charlee
05-21-2011, 02:13 PM
I never heard anything back and now she has a new book out and is doing it again!

I'm so annoyed how can she get away with this??

I have blogged about it with examples (http://beforecharlees30.blogspot.com/2011/05/oi-carroll-no.html) I know I'm only a tiny blog but at least someone is saying it's wrong. I'm not sure why I am taking this so personally...

I'm really surprised nothing came of this Grrrr

TudorRose
05-21-2011, 02:41 PM
I have blogged about it with examplesI just can't believe how BLATANT it is! :Jaw:
With most of them there's barely even an attempt to mask it. I'd be tempted to post some of the more obvious word-for-word ones in reviews on amazon. If there's enough public awareness you might get someone to take it seriously!

bearilou
05-21-2011, 03:16 PM
I'm not sure why I am taking this so personally...

I think it's quite natural. You spotted wrongdoing, agonized over the correct course of action, then followed through and did the right thing.

...only to see the perpetrator still doing it and not being called on it. I know it offends my sense of justice to hear about it second-hand.

Bufty
05-21-2011, 03:34 PM
If the offended parties are not taking any action - as may appear to be the case - either things are taking time and you are not in the loop, or there is more to this than meets the eye, or it is simply not worth the effort of pursuing.

If they were made aware of the first instance you can be pretty sure they are aware of the second.

I understand the annoyance you feel, but perhaps it's time to step away and get on with other things.



I never heard anything back and now she has a new book out and is doing it again!

I'm so annoyed how can she get away with this??

I have blogged about it with examples (http://beforecharlees30.blogspot.com/2011/05/oi-carroll-no.html) I know I'm only a tiny blog but at least someone is saying it's wrong. I'm not sure why I am taking this so personally...

I'm really surprised nothing came of this Grrrr

gothicangel
05-21-2011, 03:38 PM
Personally I would be tempted to approach a newspaper . . .

Charlee
05-21-2011, 03:50 PM
I understand the annoyance you feel, but perhaps it's time to step away and get on with other things.

Lol moaning about plagiarism isn't the ONLY thing I do :)

Bufty
05-21-2011, 05:30 PM
Hmmm. Would a newspaper consider that newsworthy?

Personally I would be tempted to approach a newspaper . . .

AmsterdamAssassin
05-21-2011, 05:56 PM
There are plenty of plagiarists in other languages - I recently read about a Dutch non-fiction author who was called on the fact that she had literally quoted from American research without referring to the original author even once.
She claimed her publisher wanted her to get rid of the footnotes that referred to the American text, but couldn't explain how the whole text was omitted from the bibliography.

And a 'famous' Dutch psychology author also translated English texts into Dutch and passed it off as his own. As he is a university professor in good standing, this cost him quite a lot in his reputation.

Of course, these people don't think they'll be caught -- not many English reading people can read Dutch -- but they're found out anyway. This Claudia Carroll sounds like a real tool, to quote such hugely popular books and tv shows and pass it off as her own work.

bluntforcetrauma
05-21-2011, 06:03 PM
Hmmm. Would a newspaper consider that newsworthy?
2011 Bluntforcetrauma, Ltd, Inc, LLC, LMNOP

Sorry, Bufty. A zombie made me do it.

brainstorm77
05-21-2011, 06:05 PM
Hmmm. Would a newspaper consider that newsworthy?

If she's a big name, yes.

Charlee
05-21-2011, 08:20 PM
I can see how in a different language it would be even harder to get caught. It just terrible that people do this and there's nothing we can really do about it :(

James D. Macdonald
05-22-2011, 12:36 AM
I never heard anything back and now she has a new book out and is doing it again!


The new book might have been in the pipeline before your letter arrived.

But still, get the word out.

kaitie
05-22-2011, 12:44 AM
I'd write to a journalist (or call a paper and try to talk to a real person). Maybe a news station instead. I know the local news in my area used to have a place for people to suggest stories. That's just me, of course, but it's what I'd do in this circumstance.

shaldna
05-22-2011, 07:45 PM
As the person in question is an actress too (she used to be in fair city IIRC) I would say that the papers would be interested, especially the Irish ones.

maestrowork
05-22-2011, 07:54 PM
Definitely bring that to attention. Plagiarism needs to be revealed and criticized.

Susan Lanigan
05-22-2011, 09:43 PM
I'm retweeting. There are a LOT of Irish writers and readers who will be interested in this.

thank you Charlee - I'm shocked and a little disgusted that someone would behave that way.

Bluestone
05-22-2011, 11:09 PM
I'm wondering why the original authors and their publishing companies aren't doing anything. I G00gled and found not a single whiff of comment about her practices on any site. I'm starting to get a bit indignant myself!

Good on you, Charlee, for your attempts to right a wrong. If this practice goes unchecked, who's to say how far some people will go?

Charlee
05-22-2011, 11:22 PM
I googled her too and the only mentions I could find were in reader reviews. What upset me more was that people were reviewing her books saying 'oh I recognised those lines and jokes' and then still giving her five stars!

brainstorm77
05-22-2011, 11:29 PM
Smart Bitches would be good to send this to.

Charlee
05-22-2011, 11:42 PM
Smart Bitches would be good to send this to.


Sent them an email

gothicangel
05-23-2011, 12:02 AM
I googled her too and the only mentions I could find were in reader reviews. What upset me more was that people were reviewing her books saying 'oh I recognised those lines and jokes' and then still giving her five stars!

They may have sent her a 'stop and desist letter.' Or otherwise they may just class her as small fry and not worth the legal costs.

TudorRose
05-23-2011, 12:31 AM
I'm wondering why the original authors and their publishing companies aren't doing anything.I wondered if they might be under the same publishing umbrella, but that's not it. Carroll is Random House and Bushnell is Hachette Livre.

ETA: And the Bridget Jones stuff is Pan Mac.

misslissy
05-23-2011, 12:38 AM
Stuff like this grinds my gears!

I don't have anything real to add, I just read this whole thread and had ground gears so had to say something lol.

Old Hack
05-23-2011, 01:10 AM
I've tweeted links to your blog to a few of my publishing friends, Charlee. They're outraged and plan to make a few phone calls tomorrow. I hope that helps.

Charlee
05-23-2011, 01:19 AM
Yay that's cool the more people that hear the better :)

Satchan
05-23-2011, 01:50 AM
One time, I read a book that had entire scenes verbatim (except for relevant names) from another book I'd read. It was seriously bizarre. They were both novelizations of TV shows, so it might have been the same author writing under different names (or the same name; I don't remember what it was in either case). Still, that's just lazy, even if it is just plagiarizing yourself.

But I was probably only about ten, so I didn't think of reporting it.

Susan Lanigan
05-23-2011, 01:54 AM
They may have sent her a 'stop and desist letter.' Or otherwise they may just class her as small fry and not worth the legal costs.

She's a pretty successful novelist so I would say that is unlikely.

Mom'sWrite
05-23-2011, 01:58 AM
Definitely bring that to attention. Plagiarism needs to be revealed and criticized.

It slays me that there are people laboring so diligently to make marriage between same-sex couples a crime and PLAGIARISM, blatant theft of a another's work, isn't a crime. It's a civil issue if the copyright holder wants to pursue it (and believe me, there's lots of reasons not to), but not a crime. Stunning.

So we can vilify the plagiarist, and say "No. No." BFD.

benbradley
05-23-2011, 02:37 AM
I never heard anything back and now she has a new book out and is doing it again!

I'm so annoyed how can she get away with this??

I have blogged about it with examples (http://beforecharlees30.blogspot.com/2011/05/oi-carroll-no.html) I know I'm only a tiny blog but at least someone is saying it's wrong. I'm not sure why I am taking this so personally...

I'm really surprised nothing came of this Grrrr
She appares to be getting away with it, as hard as that is to believe. There must be something going on behind the scenes. With the others in this thread contacting publishing industry professionals about this, she'll likely never publish anything again.
I can see how in a different language it would be even harder to get caught. It just terrible that people do this and there's nothing we can really do about it :(
With advances in computer translation and text comparison (and presuming major publishers actually USE this technology, which from what I've heard of them it seems doubtful), I'd think it could be harder to get away with.

Maybe someone will start up a service to do a "plaigarism comparison" on a text - even a micro e-pub could submit a text and pay some small amount, a dollar or ten dollars, and receive back any passages that look suspiciously like passages from other books, with those book names and passages for human comparison. What was that saying with the Six Million Dollar Man?
Smart Bitches would be good to send this to.
In the near future I see a smouldering crater where that "author" is now.

benbradley
05-23-2011, 02:44 AM
It slays me that there are people laboring so diligently to make marriage between same-sex couples a crime and PLAGIARISM, blatant theft of a another's work, isn't a crime. It's a civil issue if the copyright holder wants to pursue it (and believe me, there's lots of reasons not to), but not a crime. Stunning.

So we can vilify the plagiarist, and say "No. No." BFD.
I'll try to stay away from that comparison, as it more properly belongs in P&CE, but yes, technically plagiarism by itself isn't illegal - you can copy from a public domain work, not credit it and claim it as your own, and it's not illegal.

When the source work is under copyright, it's then copyright infringement, and I HAVE heard of criminal charges for such, as in making and selling mass copies of popular music recordings. I remember a news story in the 1970's where the FBI arrested some outfit making bootleg 8-track tapes of pop music.

Alitriona
05-23-2011, 02:46 AM
So my first comment is, we say date in Ireland, we go on dates. At least in Dublin where I live. :-)

My brother is here and I read the original post to him. We thought of the same three authors, number three was correct.

This makes me so mad. The publishing industry in Ireland is small, limited in genre and hard to break into. We are a small country. When someone does something like this it makes me rage. There are others like me slogging their guts out while known celebs come along and pick up the limited number of contracts available. Now, it seems she hasn't even written her own book!

When she first published my dad kept holding her up as a shining example and telling me I should be writing books the same as hers. I can't wait to tell him she didn't even write books like hers.

misslissy
05-23-2011, 02:56 AM
Maybe someone will start up a service to do a "plaigarism comparison" on a text - even a micro e-pub could submit a text and pay some small amount, a dollar or ten dollars, and receive back any passages that look suspiciously like passages from other books, with those book names and passages for human comparison. What was that saying with the Six Million Dollar Man?

They have software for education like this. IE, turnitin.com - teachers make you use it. But sometimes it's ridiculious because it highlights stuff you quote from other people, so it's you've quoted a lot sometimes it'll show up like 77 percent the same. Cause you quoted stuff.

And I think like as far as plagiarism being a crime, I feel like plagiarism has been really cracked down on at least in the academic communities. I don't know if wider spheres have caught on.

Mom'sWrite
05-23-2011, 03:16 AM
I'll try to stay away from that comparison, as it more properly belongs in P&CE, but yes, technically plagiarism by itself isn't illegal - you can copy from a public domain work, not credit it and claim it as your own, and it's not illegal.

When the source work is under copyright, it's then copyright infringement, and I HAVE heard of criminal charges for such, as in making and selling mass copies of popular music recordings. I remember a news story in the 1970's where the FBI arrested some outfit making bootleg 8-track tapes of pop music.

OK, it was a poor comparison, I grant you. I just left P&CE and should have wiped my feet at the door.

Black marketeering is a crime, but that's not what we're talking about here. With black market goods, the copyright holders' names are still on the copies. Plagiarism is taking someone else's work and sticking your name on it. No criminal charges are levied for that activity. Even in the academic community, the worst that will happen is getting tossed out of the institution. With 1000's of other centers of higher learning ready to welcome the plagiarist with open arms, I don't see where there's significant consequences for helping yourself to someone else's hard work.

Al Stevens
05-23-2011, 05:22 AM
One of my books was plagiarized. The format was copied, and much of the text was mildly reworded. The book of mine that was plagiarized did very well. The offending one did not. The publisher and I negotiated an off-the-record settlement. As far as I know, the other author was never penalized.

The point of telling this is to say that you get the feeling of having been invaded and violated. The settlement doesn't make that feeling go away. I would have preferred a pillory, a whip, and the offender on a public street.

Satchan
05-23-2011, 07:57 AM
And I think like as far as plagiarism being a crime, I feel like plagiarism has been really cracked down on at least in the academic communities. I don't know if wider spheres have caught on.

It's definitely been cracked down on in the academic sphere. At my university, if you plagiarize a paper or something, you get expelled, no second chances. I think it's the same for most schools nowadays.

Most schools aren't willing to welcome someone that's been found guilty of plagiarism, I don't think. Unless it's a school without competitive admissions.

misslissy
05-23-2011, 08:46 AM
My university has like a committee that decides. They need to figure out if you did it accidentally or on purpose and how serious it is. It can result in as little as redoing the assignment up to dismissal but it goes on your academic record either way.

aruna
05-23-2011, 10:46 AM
I would also write reviews on amazon and goodreads, informing readers that the books are plagiarised. That would be making it public in a big way, and maybe set the ball rolling.

gothicangel
05-23-2011, 11:14 AM
They have software for education like this. IE, turnitin.com - teachers make you use it. But sometimes it's ridiculious because it highlights stuff you quote from other people, so it's you've quoted a lot sometimes it'll show up like 77 percent the same. Cause you quoted stuff.

This is what it is supposed to do. Don't blame the software, it's just electricity and memory. ;)

Now those quotes, you have been referencing them correctly, haven't you?

Charlee
05-23-2011, 11:20 AM
Goodreads confuses me I joined a while ago but a bit fed up with it!

Charlee
05-23-2011, 12:11 PM
I also use the writers beat forums I posted there as well. I was surprised at the different reaction on that forum. 'it happens' and 'yeah I do this myself' and 'I would be flattered' was the general response! Worrying I won't be sharing my work there again!

aruna
05-23-2011, 12:17 PM
I also use the writers beat forums I posted there as well. I was surprised at the different reaction on that forum. 'it happens' and 'yeah I do this myself' and 'I would be flattered' was the general response! Worrying I won't be sharing my work there again!

Those are writers? What kind of writers? Did you set them straight?

Charlee
05-23-2011, 12:31 PM
No I got out of there! If they aren't disgusted by this it's not really a place I want to be. I don't use it that much anyway I prefer to procrastinate here instead.

aruna
05-23-2011, 01:21 PM
Goodreads confuses me I joined a while ago but a bit fed up with it!

Still-- a lot of readers use it so it might be good for them to be informed!

shaldna
05-23-2011, 02:25 PM
I keep having a google for news of this, but so far nothing.

Charlee
05-23-2011, 02:41 PM
Me too but nothing....

I have been getting on a bit better with Twitter lately so been on there trying to tell people. I think I'm a bit rubbish though because I don't really get it and I could just be talking to myself for all I know!

Cyia
05-23-2011, 02:42 PM
Someone mentioned Tweeting - you could ask @neilhimself (Gaiman) to RT the message. He's done things like that in the past with blog meltdowns, sketchy behavior, and helpful tweets. See if you can't other authors with large follower counts who would do the same. Word spreads quickly.

ETA: I'm not familiar with this author, or her fanbase, but you might drop the mods over at fandom_wank an email with a few details. They live for this kind of thing.

Alitriona
05-23-2011, 03:04 PM
I tweeted it and put it on facebook. About to do it again. FYI it's Dublin's Writer's Festival this week.

I told my dad who had wanted me to follow in her footsteps. He said he recalled her being interviewed and discussing how writing is really hard work. It is for those of us that do it.

Charlee what is your Twitter?

Charlee
05-23-2011, 03:12 PM
@IamCharlee my twitter.

I emailed fandom_wank I hope more people tweet about it!

shaldna
05-23-2011, 03:31 PM
Most schools aren't willing to welcome someone that's been found guilty of plagiarism, I don't think. Unless it's a school without competitive admissions.

It's fairly standard practice over here to expel a student who is caught plagiarising at Uni. Those caught doing it at high school age will fail.

Plagiarism is frowned upon by the education systems here.

shaldna
05-23-2011, 03:32 PM
I'll tweet and blog about it when I get home later - I can't do access SN sites from work.

Susan Lanigan
05-23-2011, 04:32 PM
"He said he recalled her being interviewed and discussing how writing is really hard work. It is for those of us that do it. "

Ouch! :D heehee

justJM
05-23-2011, 04:47 PM
Tweeted, lady. Good eye on you. Wonder where this will lead?

shaldna
05-23-2011, 05:04 PM
I'm shocked that no one else has called this out.

I mean, I've just been looking through some of the reviews for Carroll's book 'Remind me again why I need a man' and many of them actully mention the similarity to SATC, even calling up quotes from the books.

The book in question has, incidently, been optioned for a TV series, apparently. Which makes this whole thing even more delicious.

I'm surprised Smart Bitches haven't exposed this, they are usually ontop of this kind of thing.

justJM
05-23-2011, 05:37 PM
Charlee, have you contacted Ms. Carroll? I see that she's right there on Twitter, tweeting away.

Charlee
05-23-2011, 05:46 PM
I commented on her blog but the comment wasn't approved so didn't get shown.

Will send her message on twitter now...

justJM
05-23-2011, 05:54 PM
I'm utterly curious as to how she will answer this. It looks pretty bad.

shaldna
05-23-2011, 06:11 PM
I'm utterly curious as to how she will answer this. It looks pretty bad.

My bet? She won't respond and will block Charlee.

That's what most people would do.

Chances are, if the publisher is aware of this, she's probably not allowed to talk about it.

justJM
05-23-2011, 06:21 PM
Yeah, but somebody's gonna have to say something eventually.

Charlee
05-23-2011, 06:24 PM
Maybe if they ignore me long enough no one will care any more...

Alitriona
05-23-2011, 06:41 PM
Charlee, you could always contact the MetroHerald newsdesk with a link to your blog. It's the local Dublin paper given out free to commuters every morning and since the author was previously an actor in a popular Dublin based soap they may be interested.

Bufty
05-23-2011, 06:53 PM
I don't condone the behaviour but I still can't see the newsworthy element in this from a newspaper's point of view.

Yes, if the article reveals she's being pursued by the offended author, but that's not clear, and what other reason does the paper have to intervene?

I don't think it's of any interest to the general public.

Local writers being taken to the cleaners by Publish America wouldn't even interest the press.

Again, I don't condone the behaviour.

I'm just askin'.

misslissy
05-23-2011, 07:02 PM
Bufty, I think it depends on a lot of things. How well known the author is for one thing is a factor.

Stephanie Meyer accused of plagiarism (http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/51730,people,news,stephenie-meyer-caught-in-twilight-plagiarism-row-jordan-scott-vampire-the-nocturne-breaking-dawn)

Bufty
05-23-2011, 07:05 PM
That was normal reporting that one party was being pursued by another.

That, I believe, has not been established as the situation in the case in question.

Bufty, I think it depends on a lot of things. How well known the author is for one thing is a factor.

Stephanie Meyer accused of plagiarism (http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/51730,people,news,stephenie-meyer-caught-in-twilight-plagiarism-row-jordan-scott-vampire-the-nocturne-breaking-dawn)

Susan Littlefield
05-23-2011, 07:09 PM
I don't condone the behaviour but I still can't see the newsworthy element in this from a newspaper's point of view.

Yes, if the article reveals she's being pursued by the offended author, but that's not clear, and what other reason does the paper have to intervene?

I don't think it's of any interest to the general public.

Local writers being taken to the cleaners by Publish America wouldn't even interest the press.

Again, I don't condone the behaviour.

I'm just askin'.

I'm with Bufty on this. You have notified the author and or publisher of the writer plagiarized, correct? You have tried to contact the offending author too. From this standpoint, you've already done your part.

From what I read on your blog, this plagiarism is pretty blatant, which is pretty ballsy, which the author is setting herself up to be sued. Unless, of course, those two have some weird deal going on about this whole thing that nobody knows about.

However, there is more you can do in general. You can continue to write about plagiarism to bring public awareness. You can use that photographic memory to catch other cases. What you've done so far is great.

justJM
05-23-2011, 07:09 PM
At least within the industry this would be big news. All plagiarism is equally bad, but ripping off such popular material as SATC, Friends, and Bridget Jones is brazen.

misslissy
05-23-2011, 07:10 PM
Well, I still think it could be newsworthy, especially if the author in question is well known and regarded in celebrity status. I mean, they make news out of lesser things when it is a celebrity involved. A quick perusal of today's headlines show me that one of the 'Glee' Stars got a haircut. Do I think that's newsworthy? No, but apparently someone does.

brainstorm77
05-23-2011, 07:15 PM
Well, I still think it could be newsworthy, especially if the author in question is well known and regarded in celebrity status. I mean, they make news out of lesser things when it is a celebrity involved. A quick perusal of today's headlines show me that one of the 'Glee' Stars got a haircut. Do I think that's newsworthy? No, but apparently someone does.

Good point!

Susan Littlefield
05-23-2011, 07:16 PM
Bufty, I think it depends on a lot of things. How well known the author is for one thing is a factor.

Stephanie Meyer accused of plagiarism (http://www.thefirstpost.co.uk/51730,people,news,stephenie-meyer-caught-in-twilight-plagiarism-row-jordan-scott-vampire-the-nocturne-breaking-dawn)

I've never read Meyer's books, but just because she's accused does not mean she did it. I looked at the two passages. They look like generic love scenes to me, middle-ground similar, but I don't read vampire books either (not that I have anything against vampire books, they're just not my cup of tea).

aruna
05-23-2011, 07:16 PM
Well, I still think it could be newsworthy, especially if the author in question is well known and regarded in celebrity status. I mean, they make news out of lesser things when it is a celebrity involved. A quick perusal of today's headlines show me that one of the 'Glee' Stars got a haircut. Do I think that's newsworthy? No, but apparently someone does.


Yeah, but movie and soap stars are celebrities; authors aren't (unless they ha happen to be soap stars or talentless celebs as well, im which case their every fart is newsworthy.)

I'm afraid Bufty is right; until the plagiarised author takes some legal steps against the plagiarising one, this is a non-story for the author. But it IS newsworthy within the industry, and, hopefully, to readers. That's why I recommend noting it in Amazon and goodread reviews. Yes, I'm nasty that way...:evil

Bufty
05-23-2011, 07:22 PM
LOL.

Sure -it could be news were it substantiated and backed up with facts and evidence. Just kicking it around isn't sufficient.

The newspaper is not likely to be sued because they falsely reported someone had a haircut!



Well, I still think it could be newsworthy, especially if the author in question is well known and regarded in celebrity status. I mean, they make news out of lesser things when it is a celebrity involved. A quick perusal of today's headlines show me that one of the 'Glee' Stars got a haircut. Do I think that's newsworthy? No, but apparently someone does.

justJM
05-23-2011, 07:23 PM
But it IS newsworthy within the industry, and, hopefully, to readers. That's why I recommend noting it in Amazon and goodread reviews. Yes, I'm nasty that way...:evilI got it (with Charlee's permission, of course) for AuthorScoop. It's pretty outrageous.

aruna
05-23-2011, 07:28 PM
YAY you!

misslissy
05-23-2011, 07:29 PM
I've never read Meyer's books, but just because she's accused does not mean she did it. I looked at the two passages. They look like generic love scenes to me, middle-ground similar, but I don't read vampire books either (not that I have anything against vampire books, they're just not my cup of tea).
I'm not saying she did it - I pulled out that article to show an example of plagiarism making the news.

Yeah, but movie and soap stars are celebrities; authors aren't (unless they ha happen to be soap stars or talentless celebs as well, im which case their every fart is newsworthy.)

Didn't someone mention earlier though that the author used to be a celebrity on some Irish soap?

LOL.

Sure -it could be news were it substantiated and backed up with facts and evidence. Just kicking it around isn't sufficient.

The newspaper is not likely to be sued because they falsely reported someone had a haircut!
If these side by side comparisons are facts enough for us, wouldn't it be enough for a newspaper as well? I mean, okay, hard reporting is NOT at all what it used to be. Remember last year or so when they were reporting a terrorist attack in Potomac Bay that turned out to be a military drill? Saying these books have these similarities isn't really disputable, imo.

shaldna
05-23-2011, 07:39 PM
Didn't someone mention earlier though that the author used to be a celebrity on some Irish soap?


She did. But at the end of the day, unless something is taken forward in an official way, then the newspapers etc probably can't make an issue of it.

It'll be interesting to see what happens if this unfolds though.

Alitriona
05-23-2011, 07:40 PM
Didn't someone mention earlier though that the author used to be a celebrity on some Irish soap?



Yes, the author is well known in Ireland as an actor who went off from the most well known Irish soap after several years in a blaze of glory to become a successful chick lit author. She would be considered a celeb here and especially in Dublin where the commuter newspaper is circulated.

I think it will be a while before we see anything from the publishers. These things seem to have taken time to act on in the past.

Bufty
05-23-2011, 07:40 PM
.I'm not saying she did it - I pulled out that article to show an example of plagiarism making the news.

Yes, but it was known the offended party had claimed it was plagiarism.

Didn't someone mention earlier though that the author used to be a celebrity on some Irish soap? Yup


If these side by side comparisons are facts enough for us, wouldn't it be enough for a newspaper as well? I mean, okay, hard reporting is NOT at all what it used to be. Remember last year or so when they were reporting a terrorist attack in Potomac Bay that turned out to be a military drill? Saying these books have these similarities isn't really disputable, imo. That's not enough. Have you been following the case of the Publish America author versus Stephen King?

misslissy
05-23-2011, 07:47 PM
I haven't. I still think it's newsworthy though because if nothing else, it should be newsworthy. If we want plagiarism taken seriously, then I think, to me, I have to hope that it is newsworthy because if it isn't, then it means that the mass majority of people don't care. And I want to believe the people would care.

Bufty
05-23-2011, 07:52 PM
We all do. That's the whole point, Lissy.

But can't you see there's a world of difference between you saying you believe that writer A has plagiarised the work of writer B - and Writer B saying she feels her work has been plagiarised by A and intends to sue her or whatever.

I haven't. I still think it's newsworthy though because if nothing else, it should be newsworthy. If we want plagiarism taken seriously, then I think, to me, I have to hope that it is newsworthy because if it isn't, then it means that the mass majority of people don't care. And I want to believe the people would care.

justJM
05-23-2011, 07:53 PM
The comparable passages in the PA/Stephen King case aren't anywhere near what these are. That case is a a bit of sad delusion. This one is going to be difficult to dispute.

brainstorm77
05-23-2011, 07:53 PM
We'll see what comes out in the wash eventually. :)

aruna
05-23-2011, 07:55 PM
I haven't. I still think it's newsworthy though because if nothing else, it should be newsworthy. If we want plagiarism taken seriously, then I think, to me, I have to hope that it is newsworthy because if it isn't, then it means that the mass majority of people don't care. And I want to believe the people would care.


Unfortunately, as Charlee's experience on the Writer Beat forum shows, the general public doesn't really care about these things, and might even consider it as flattering to the plagiarised author. Annoying, I know, but that's the way of the world. The reading public for instance doesn't care much about pirated books, as long as they are cheap.

misslissy
05-23-2011, 08:00 PM
And yeah, Bufty, I recognize the difference, I still think that stuff of lesser newsworthy value and less well investigated makes it into the news all the time.

Well I think we should change that. We should make people care. But alas, we are only small people. And I think there's a difference between piracy and giving someone's someone else's work for free and passing it off as your own to make money off of it. A huge difference to me.

brainstorm77
05-23-2011, 08:03 PM
I think the point some are trying to make is that nothing hasn't be proven yet. At this point, new places are likely not to take it on.

And yes, some silly stuff gets reported in the news. Arnold's mistress anyone?

A place like Smart Bitches may take it and post the passages to let people decide on their own, like they did in the past in another case.

Bufty
05-23-2011, 08:04 PM
Morally, I don't think there's any distinction between piracy and plagiarism, but in essence you're now preaching to the converted, Lissy. :Hug2:


And yeah, Bufty, I recognize the difference, I still think that stuff of lesser newsworthy value and less well investigated makes it into the news all the time.

Well I think we should change that. We should make people care. But alas, we are only small people. And I think there's a difference between piracy and giving someone's someone else's work for free and passing it off as your own to make money off of it. A huge difference to me.

misslissy
05-23-2011, 08:06 PM
I know that, I just wanted you guys to understand why I felt that it should be/is newsworthy. I didn't expect that anyone would be okay with plagiarism here.

aruna
05-23-2011, 08:12 PM
And I think there's a difference between piracy and giving someone's someone else's work for free and passing it off as your own to make money off of it. A huge difference to me.


Yes, there's a huge difference, but for an author they are equally serious. I would be as pissed off to be pirated as to be plagiarised.
The point is that the general public doesn't care much about either. They care more about some footballer's sordid affair and some celebrity's visible panty line. ;)

Charlee
05-23-2011, 08:13 PM
It is so depressing that people can and do get away with things like this. And like a lot of posters have said it just isn't interesting enough to most people. It should be but it isn't :(

aruna
05-23-2011, 08:18 PM
Well, to serious writers it is interesting. Just that we're a very small, insulated bunch!

Libbie
05-23-2011, 10:10 PM
Charlee, you could always contact the MetroHerald newsdesk with a link to your blog. It's the local Dublin paper given out free to commuters every morning and since the author was previously an actor in a popular Dublin based soap they may be interested.

Oh, I wouldn't do that. If Carroll gets a bee in her bonnet over being called out for plagiarism, she could potentially sue you. It's possible. I'd steer clear of any more association with this. You alerted Candace Bushnell, and she undoubtedly contacted her publisher immediately. Let the guys with the money sort this out.

My guess is that ever since you raised the issue, they've been looking into it and quibbling amongst themselves. Carroll and Bushnell both make a lot of money for their respective publishers; this will take some time to sort out.

In the meantime, I'll have half an eye on the blogs and the news, because once something has been decided, shit will hit the gossip-fan. Which seems somehow apropos, since we're talking about gossip fiction here.

Can I get some popcorn, please?

:popcorn:

Thank you.

Alitriona
05-23-2011, 11:14 PM
It was just a suggestion about the local paper, not an instruction. I admit I am probably more keyed up than most here because I had to listen to how great she was to write a book.

I don't want anyone getting in trouble apart from the person who should. I'm going to watch this one closely. Popcorn is an excellent idea.

Charlee
05-23-2011, 11:41 PM
She couldn't sue me i have only said things that are true and the truth is an absolute defence. Plus if she brought a case she would have to prove a statement I made was false not me prove it's true. (LLB)

Libbie
05-24-2011, 09:39 PM
She couldn't sue me i have only said things that are true and the truth is an absolute defence. Plus if she brought a case she would have to prove a statement I made was false not me prove it's true. (LLB)

Er -- she may not win a case against you, that's true, but she could bring a case if she felt you had initiated or significantly contributed to any activity that may have caused her to lose income. Of course, she is in Ireland so who knows precisely what laws would apply. If she were smart, she'd go after you via her U.S. publishers.

If anybody were to bring a case against you, you'd need to retain an attorney of your own to defend you. I imagine a very good attorney would be needed to defend you against the kind of bulldogs Harper Collins could hire. Maybe you have that kind of disposable income; I do not.

I'm not taking you to task for being concerned or getting involved. I think it's awesome that you did. I am sure not only Candace Bushnell but her publishers are extremely grateful to you, as are the rest of us -- plagiarism that goes unchallenged hurts everybody. I'm just pointing out that you ought to be wary and protect yourself as well. You've done the right thing, and now I'd hate to see you get burned for helping out.

Charlee
05-24-2011, 10:29 PM
I'm not particually worried. Thanks for your concern, but I'm really not bothered it wouldn't come to that and even if it did I've simply pointed out something that is avaliable to anyone who cares to look.

I think she is just ignoring me anyway. I do hope the other publishers do something it's not right that she does this.

Charlee
05-30-2011, 02:04 PM
http://e-edition.metroherald.ie/2011/05/30/ metro page 7

gothicangel
05-30-2011, 02:19 PM
http://e-edition.metroherald.ie/2011/05/30/ metro page 7

You've got some balls girl. :evil

Cheeky cow 'there's nothing new.' That's plots, not dialogue dear.

justJM
05-30-2011, 03:53 PM
I have to subscribe to the paper to see the article?

Cyia
05-30-2011, 03:54 PM
perks, just put in any email address. I entered no@thanks.com and the paper showed fine.

justJM
05-30-2011, 04:12 PM
Ah, I see. Thanks!

justJM
05-30-2011, 04:54 PM
It's so obviously copied that I think only one of two things satisfies as an explanation:

1) She brazenly plagiarized these television shows

2) She doesn't recognize the voices in her head as those of all the television characters. She thinks she actually composed these lines herself.

In the case of the second explanation, I think I'd still cop to plagiarism so as not to have to confront the spectre of early onset Alzheimer's.

Did anyone see the film 'Scrooged' where Bill Murray's character is desperately recalling the good times from his childhood, only to have The Ghost of Christmas Past remind him that they were all episodes of family tv shows he'd watched, not his life?

aruna
05-30-2011, 06:00 PM
Yep. If it had happened once, you might say her subconscious had somehow latched on to the phrase, memorised it unconscously because it was so cool, and regurgitated it without remembering. But so often? No way.

AmsterdamAssassin
05-30-2011, 06:56 PM
Who's original? Well, you're not, Carroll. That's for damn sure...

misslissy
05-30-2011, 07:08 PM
Man, I would just cop to it at this point or be one of those sources that "could not be reached for comment." It's better than saying what she said at any rate.

Bufty
05-30-2011, 08:04 PM
Shocked at being called out no doubt.

Odd- the suggestion is that nobody else has mentioned it to her or her Agent yet -including the offended author or the latter's publisher. Strange.

Charlee
05-31-2011, 07:26 PM
I will be interested to see if she releases another novel soon and if she still does the same thing...

Bluestone
05-31-2011, 07:48 PM
OMG, Charlee, I can't believe I'm actually seeing it in big print in the newspaper! They obviously considered it sufficiently newsworthy to give it considerable coverage, so that's validation.

It was the right thing to do and definitely hard to defend, but I hope you don't experience any negative repercussions. Come back and let us know what else unfolds.

shaldna
05-31-2011, 08:06 PM
Charlee, you are amazingly brave!

I laughed all the way through that article, and I will be watching this unfold.

The standard 'I didn't do it on purpose' and 'nothing is really original anymore' excuses were trotted out, as they usually are by people like that, I remember the Kaavya Viswanathan plagiarism case where she said she must have 'subconsciously borrowed' those phrases that she stole. It didn't end well for her, and I can't see it ending well here either.

AlwaysJuly
05-31-2011, 09:04 PM
Great article. Very brave, Charlee.

I'll also be curious to see how this all plays out.

shaldna
05-31-2011, 09:57 PM
i just ran a search for 'claudia carroll plagiarism' and it seems like the news has spread like wildfire. go you.

Alouette
06-01-2011, 02:51 AM
Wow, well done. It's good to see her finally getting called out on this. Her response seemed quite desperate and pathetic...I'm just surprised no one did anything about it sooner - a few people seemed to be aware of the (blatant) similarities judging by the reviews on Amazon...

JayMan
06-01-2011, 02:56 AM
Oh, wow. I've followed this thread on and off, and it's cool to see that something came of your efforts, Charlee.

Where ever it goes from here, I think we can count this as a victory, even if it's a small victory.

elguapo
06-01-2011, 03:21 AM
Great to see your blog post actually getting the attention it deserves!

C.J.Lindsay
06-01-2011, 11:31 AM
Oh, wow. I've followed this thread on and off, and it's cool to see that something came of your efforts, Charlee.

Where ever it goes from here, I think we can count this as a victory, even if it's a small victory.

This. Well done!

Libbie
06-01-2011, 05:29 PM
Oh dear. I hope you have a good attorney.

Charlee
06-01-2011, 05:36 PM
:rolleyes: I have pointed out information which is available to anyone that cares to look...

Libbie
06-01-2011, 05:45 PM
Yes, but it was you who pointed it out rather than Candace Bushnell and her publishers. And you had it printed up in the newspaper.

I understand libel and slander suits are even easier for the "injured" party to win in the UK than in the US, and that they can drag on for a long time. Simon Singh's defense against libel accusations almost ruined him, and his attorney fees were funded by The Guardian. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Singh#Chiropractic_lawsuit_and_backlash)

All I'm saying is that one of two things may happen: Her publishers will support her (stupidly) and pretend like the plagiarism never happened. In that case, she may lose sales because of the negative publicity you've given her. Should that happen, she could go after you legally with a libel suit. Or her publishers will drop her and issue an apology, in which case she could also go after you legally with a libel suit.

Either way, had it stayed out of the papers and on the blogosphere, it would have been a lot of conversation, and there wouldn't have been any specific person's identity attached to it, looking (to Carroll) like the spearhead of a libel campaign. Big blog conversations can still get great results for Truth and Justice, as seen with Cassie Edwards and her ferrets. However truthful your accusations are, however obvious the plagiarism is, you've now attached your name to it and given yourself alone the responsibility for outing Carroll. And now she's been forced to say in a paper that she's taken note of you and your blog.

It just doesn't look like the smartest move a person could have made, that's all.

When the Smart Bitches blog went after Cassie Edwards, they kept it on the blog, and in personal communication with her publishers, rather than involving a media outlet. They encouraged other bloggers to talk about it until it was a social phenomenon that the publishers couldn't ignore. Talking to the papers about it and attaching your name to it to definitively is a different bag.

I wish you the best of luck.

aruna
06-01-2011, 05:52 PM
I'm wondering if this thread should not be in a password protected area; don't want to give anyone ideas, do we?

gothicangel
06-01-2011, 05:53 PM
Yes, but it was you who pointed it out rather than Candace Bushnell and her publishers. And you had it printed up in the newspaper.

I understand libel and slander suits are even easier for the "injured" party to win in the UK than in the US, and that they can drag on for a long time. Simon Singh's defense against libel accusations almost ruined him, and his attorney fees were funded by The Guardian. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Singh#Chiropractic_lawsuit_and_backlash)

All I'm saying is that one of two things may happen: Her publishers will support her (stupidly) and pretend like the plagiarism never happened. In that case, she may lose sales because of the negative publicity you've given her. Should that happen, she could go after you legally with a libel suit. Or her publishers will drop her and issue an apology, in which case she could also go after you legally with a libel suit.

Either way, had it stayed out of the papers and on the blogosphere, it would have been a lot of conversation, and there wouldn't have been any specific person's identity attached to it, looking (to Carroll) like the spearhead of a libel campaign. Big blog conversations can still get great results for Truth and Justice, as seen with Cassie Edwards and her ferrets. However truthful your accusations are, however obvious the plagiarism is, you've now attached your name to it and given yourself alone the responsibility for outing Carroll. And now she's been forced to say in a paper that she's taken note of you and your blog.

It just doesn't look like the smartest move a person could have made, that's all.

When the Smart Bitches blog went after Cassie Edwards, they kept it on the blog, and in personal communication with her publishers, rather than involving a media outlet. They encouraged other bloggers to talk about it until it was a social phenomenon that the publishers couldn't ignore. Talking to the papers about it and attaching your name to it to definitively is a different bag.

I wish you the best of luck.

The newspaper would have consulted with their lawyers before publishing. They must think they have a good case.

It's still pretty hard to make slander/libel stick in the UK.

For anyone outside of the UK, the Metro newspaper is a free newspaper given away on public transport and has the biggest circulation numbers for a UK newspaper.

Charlee
06-01-2011, 06:00 PM
It is true that over here it is easier to bring these type of cases, however given that none of what I have said is opinion, which is different to the case you cited, it is all fact, very easy to prove fact, I am not concerned.

The truth is an absolute defense to slander.

Thank you for your concern really not that worried though.

MrWrite
06-01-2011, 06:11 PM
Wow I only just found this thread. I read through every page and all I can say is well done Charlee. If nothing else happens, I'm sure Carroll will be careful not to plagiarise any more works from now on.

Mr Flibble
06-01-2011, 06:17 PM
Besides which, just having it on the blog would be enough for the libel laws (although it would be less likely to seen, and so technically less damaging) (nice easy site to get the gist (http://www.urban75.org/info/libel.html))


On the internet the rules are exactly the same. There are no special internet defences. The only advantage is that web sites tend to have a smaller number of users, (so less people see it hence it's less defamatory so it's rarely worth the bother of going to court) and allegations can be removed promptly on protest from a defamed party.

On the web, the writer, the web site owner and the ISP can all be sued just like the writer, the magazine and the distributor in the print field. A link could also be potentially defamatory if you are linking to defamatory materialAlso, anyone here commenting on it/repeating it would also fall foul. Technically (although 'bulletin boards' and I think forums are treated as slander as it's more like a conversation)

Anyone who repeats allegations can also be sued. This is important. Seeing something written somewhere else doesn't mean it is true. Repeating allegations without making sure they are true is a very good way to get yourself knee deep in litigation.
But if it's true, then your defence is pretty good. 'In the public interest' also counts as a defence. I think.

Fun, isn't it?

*waits for Momento Mori to come and set me straight* :D

Charlee
06-01-2011, 06:23 PM
If nothing else happens, I'm sure Carroll will be careful not to plagiarise any more works from now on.

This would make me happy!

Libbie
06-01-2011, 06:38 PM
I'm wondering if this thread should not be in a password protected area; don't want to give anyone ideas, do we?


If she was going to get that idea, it's already occurred to her. ;)

Libbie
06-01-2011, 06:41 PM
The truth is an absolute defense to slander.


Oh, I agree with you there, and I think it would be hard for anybody to say that she wasn't plagiarizing. It certainly looks like she is.

My only concern is for your income. I mean, the truth may be an absolute defense, but if somebody chose to sue you anyway it could be very costly to defend yourself even if she had little to no chance of winning her lawsuit. That's all I'm saying. I hope it all works out well for you.

Charlee
06-01-2011, 06:43 PM
Opps sorry had 2 threads open at the same time

AmsterdamAssassin
06-01-2011, 06:46 PM
I imagine that, before someone can file a slander/libel suit, one has to show that one has been slandered. If Charlee can prove conclusively the similarities she wrote about, there is no slander involved. Pointing out and proving plagiarism with examples isn't slander or libel - an author should be able to prove they're the originator of the work or represent the originator of the work.

Also, the plagiarism in this case isn't exactly subtle or coincidental, but blatant copying.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-01-2011, 06:53 PM
it could be very costly to defend yourself even if she had little to no chance of winning her lawsuit.

The only thing Charlee would have to do is go to court, no lawyer necessary, and show the judge/magistrate the highlighted text.

What cost are you referring to? Just the examples Charlee posted are enough to prove plagiarism. She could buy the books and, after winning the case, get reimbursed for her costs - transport, research materials, etcetera.

Also, imagine the publicity if Carroll would sue Charlee. If Carroll is smart she'd just stop plagiarising and hope this issue blows over without too much negative publicity.

The only way Carroll would be able to win a case like this would be to have a written declaration by Bushnell allowing her to use Bushnell's words in her novel. I doubt if she has something like that...

Charlee
06-01-2011, 07:01 PM
Particularly since SATC isn't the only place it comes from....

Anyway, as someone else said, if all this achieves is she stops doing it then at least something good came out of it!

gothicangel
06-01-2011, 07:14 PM
Particularly since SATC isn't the only place it comes from....

Anyway, as someone else said, if all this achieves is she stops doing it then at least something good came out of it!

Yes, I don't think it would be clever if this was brought to the attention of say, Warner.

leon66a
06-01-2011, 08:11 PM
The only thing Charlee would have to do is go to court, no lawyer necessary, and show the judge/magistrate the highlighted text.

What cost are you referring to? Just the examples Charlee posted are enough to prove plagiarism. She could buy the books and, after winning the case, get reimbursed for her costs - transport, research materials, etcetera.



Is this really how things work in England? I can't imagine that it is. In the States, it would probably only take an attorney maybe 20 hours to get this whole thing dismissed. But at $100-400/hour, that can get a little pricey.

I seem to recall somewhere in the back of my mind that, in England, the winner of a suit can get the other side to pay for their attorneys' fees. If this is correct, then I would say you have nothing to worry about. If not, then, meh.

As I followed this thread, it seemed most likely to me that she had gained permission from the show to use the passages. There was just too much blantant copying for it to be done without permission. And it seemed like a known star would be the type to be able to get the permission.

But her quote about who knows what's original, or whatever she said, is a head-scratcher. I know what's original. I would guess the person that wrote the lines she stole also knows what's original.

misslissy
06-01-2011, 08:13 PM
As I followed this thread, it seemed most likely to me that she had gained permission from the show to use the passages. There was just too much blantant copying for it to be done without permission. And it seemed like a known star would be the type to be able to get the permission.


If she really had permission then shouldn't it state that somewhere in the book? Also, as Charlee pointed out, it wasn't just one source, it was multiple sources. I don't buy the theory that she had permission, because she was (and still is) trying to pass it off as her own original work.

Libbie
06-01-2011, 08:19 PM
I imagine that, before someone can file a slander/libel suit, one has to show that one has been slandered. If Charlee can prove conclusively the similarities she wrote about, there is no slander involved. Pointing out and proving plagiarism with examples isn't slander or libel - an author should be able to prove they're the originator of the work or represent the originator of the work.

Also, the plagiarism in this case isn't exactly subtle or coincidental, but blatant copying.

I am not a lawyer, and am certainly no authority on UK law. However, my understanding is that slander or libel doesn't involve truth or untruth, but rather the loss of one's income or reputation due to what another person says or writes about the "victim." So if Carroll could prove that she had lost income due to Charlee's accusations, then she would be able to bring a case before a judge. She wouldn't have to necessarily refute the claims that she had plagiarized -- she would only have to prove that her business had been affected by the accusations.

Whether she would win a case is a different story.

As for your assertion that all Charlee would have to do would be to show up in court -- that is awfully naive and a vastly over-simplified explanation. Personally, I wouldn't want to just show up by myself in court to face libel charges brought against me by one of the wealthiest women in Ireland who might also be supported legally by Harper Collins, one of the wealthiest publishers in the world, who may or may not also feel that they had lost income. I'd want a goddamn good lawyer to defend me against that kind of thing. If you start poking sticks into a hornet's nest like this one, and if there is some legal fallout, it's not going to be decided by Judge Judy. The cost I am referring to is the very considerable expense of retaining an attorney who is capable of successfully defending a person against libel claims brought by a very wealthy "author" and her very wealthy publishers. Attorneys are not cheap, and this is not the kind of thing for which I'd personally take the DIY Law option.

It's Charlee's business -- I advised her not to be naive and to think carefully about the potential consequences. If she's not worried, then she's not worried. I would have acted very differently, as I believe there are equally (or more) effective ways of bringing down a plagiarizer that have less potential to get the crusader into serious financial trouble with attorneys. But it was Charlee's choice to make, and she made it, and doesn't feel too concerned, so I'll just eat my popcorn and hope that she doesn't end up with a reason to feel concerned.

aruna
06-01-2011, 08:30 PM
If she was going to get that idea, it's already occurred to her. ;)

I know, I know. It's just me being nervous about her walzing in here with guns blazing, or something.

Mr Flibble
06-01-2011, 08:31 PM
I am not a lawyer, and am certainly no authority on UK law. However, my understanding is that slander or libel doesn't involve truth or untruth, but rather the loss of one's income or reputation due to what another person says or writes about the "victim."

Form what I understand ( I am no expert), proving what you said to be true is your best defence and the libel case would usually be dismissed. The accusations have to be 'false and damaging'. If they aren't false...


A claim of defamation is defeated if the defendant proves that the statement was true.A lot depends on wording of the article and the blog. (whether it outright said 'She must have plagiarised, or just poiunted out the smilarities)


There is also fair comment as a defence: the statement was a view that a reasonable person could have held, even if they were motivated by dislike or hatred of the plaintiff.


So if Carroll could prove that she had lost income due to Charlee's accusations, then she would be able to bring a case before a judge. She wouldn't have to necessarily refute the claims that she had plagiarized -- she would only have to prove that her business had been affected by the accusations.
If it's true (ie Charlee said these passages look incredibly similar, are they plagiarised? and, yes, those passages do indeed look the same) then it doesn't matter. The claim is true, case dismissed.


Like I said, I'm not an expert. What you need is Momento Mori

ETA: ALso, many lawyers can be retained on a no win, no fee arrangement, where if they don't win, you don't pay. If they do win, the opposition may then be made to pay legal costs

Libbie
06-01-2011, 08:42 PM
ETA: ALso, many lawyers can be retained on a no win, no fee arrangement, where if they don't win, you don't pay. If they do win, the opposition may then be made to pay legal costs

That would be ideal.

Libbie
06-01-2011, 08:43 PM
I know, I know. It's just me being nervous about her walzing in here with guns blazing, or something.

She's probably smarter than to challenge and entire forum. And if she did, we'd have no problem shooing her back into her dark little corner again.

leon66a
06-01-2011, 08:44 PM
If she really had permission then shouldn't it state that somewhere in the book? Also, as Charlee pointed out, it wasn't just one source, it was multiple sources. I don't buy the theory that she had permission, because she was (and still is) trying to pass it off as her own original work.

Right. I'm sorry if I wasn't clear in my prior post. I believed that she had permission until I read her comments in the paper.

backslashbaby
06-02-2011, 12:11 AM
This one is a no-brainer, I think. She would be a complete eejit to try to sue. I've known of folks who bring lawsuits just for revenge, but she has her PR to think about. And she'd lose, so why pay the lawyers?

She'd have to want to throw her reputation and money down the toilet over being mad at Charlie. I'm not saying folks never do that, but it's less likely than just wanting the whole thing to go away, if you ask me.

The truth absolutely matters in this kind of law. Often, you can't prove the truth, and that's where it can be kind of irrelevant. Charlie's case would be about things she noticed as a reader that are plain as day.

misslissy
06-02-2011, 12:16 AM
She'd have to want to throw her reputation and money down the toilet over being mad at Charlie. I'm not saying folks never do that, but it's less likely than just wanting the whole thing to go away, if you ask me.

Yeah, because if she came down and the court sided with Charlee (which I think they would) then it would be public record forever. And I think you would be forever known as not only the author who plagiarized but the author who plagiarized and couldn't handle being found out so she acted like a sore sport about it.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-02-2011, 02:00 AM
However, my understanding is that slander or libel doesn't involve truth or untruth, but rather the loss of one's income or reputation due to what another person says or writes about the "victim."

No, slander/libel would mean untrue accusations are told about the 'victim', which result in loss of income. However, if someone plagiarizes, which is a crime, then the accusation isn't untrue, hence not slander or libel. Both sides would be heard, the accuser and the victim. In this case, Carroll would have to prove that the quoted passages would be written by someone else but with her name on it, or she would have to show a written permission for using someone else's writing as her own, or they would've be written before Bushnell wrote her books, in which case Bushnell would be the plagiarist.

None of these excuses would be realistic, so this is essentially a no-brainer.

Cyia
06-02-2011, 02:09 AM
Plagiarism isn't always a crime; it's a breach of copyright.

shaldna
06-02-2011, 02:13 AM
Okay, re: Uk libel laws

Basically, libel and slander here are treated with less respect than the US. You have to prove that the alleged libel has had and effect on your income/reputation and subsequent income. It's not enough to just dislike what someone has said about you.

Firstly, Libel is the written word. Slander is spoken.

And in this case it would be Libel, which is NOT a criminal matter, but instead a civil one, and it should be noted that legal aid is NOT available for civil cases.

But, basically, in the UK, so long as you can prove that what you said is TRUE, and not an opinion, then you are in the clear. So, int his case, Charlee has cited the sources and laid it out as fact. She hasn't made assumptions and she hasn't voiced an opinion or rumour on it, so in terms of a potential court case, she is fine.

Even if Carroll took her to court for libel, the fact that Charlee can cite FACT, will mean that no action will be taken against her.

In fact, should she be summoned on libel and then proven innocent, she won't even have to pay her own legal costs, and she may be entitled to damages caused by false accusation.

Uk libel is a bitch to prove, and in this case I don't think it could ever be assumed to be false, so I don't think Charlee has anything at all to worry about.

shaldna
06-02-2011, 02:14 AM
However, if someone plagiarizes, which is a crime, then the accusation isn't untrue, hence not slander or libel. .

Actually, it should be noted here that Plagiarism isn't actually a crime, it's a civil matter, decided in the same way, actually, as libel.

waylander
06-02-2011, 03:13 AM
If Carroll were to bring a libel case she would have to sue the newspaper too for repeating the accusation and you can bet their lawyers were all over it before it was published. Libel wouldn't stick in this case and would bring her so much negative publicity - otherwise I think Charlee might have heard from Ms Carroll's lawyers.

blacbird
06-02-2011, 03:24 AM
Plagiarism isn't always a crime; it's a breach of copyright.

Plagiarism is unrelated to copyright. You can plagiarize a public domain work. Plagiarism is simply copying another work and claiming, either explicitly or through implication, that the work is your own. If you do so with something from Charles Dickens or Charles Darwin, you're not violating copyright, but you are still plagiarizing.

whacko
06-02-2011, 03:56 AM
Interesting thread. And I'm afraid I share Libbie's fears. Plagiarism, IIRC, is quantifiable - a certain amount of shared detail in the whole work has to be demonstrated. So if it's only a few sentences in a complete book, yes it should be frowned upon, but it may not count as plagiarism.

Regards

Whacko

misslissy
06-02-2011, 04:09 AM
Plagiarism, IIRC, is quantifiable - a certain amount of shared detail in the whole work has to be demonstrated.

I would tend to disagree. At least in the academic community, if you submit a paper and say you wrote 90 percent of it and plagiarized 10 percent of it, you're still going to have to go through the plagiarism process (my school has different levels, depending on how much you plagiarism which can range from failing the class to dismissal from the university). Many universities, from my understanding, have a zero tolerance for plagiarism, regardless how much. I realize that this is not a university situation, but plagiarism is stealing of somebody else's words or ideas and claiming them as your own, regardless of whether or not it's a whole book or just a couple of paragraphs. It's not the amount that's the problem, it's the claiming them as your own.

Libbie
06-02-2011, 04:44 AM
This one is a no-brainer, I think. She would be a complete eejit to try to sue. I've known of folks who bring lawsuits just for revenge, but she has her PR to think about. And she'd lose, so why pay the lawyers?

Libel and slander suits aren't as cut-and-dry as other kinds of court cases, based on my admittedly limited understanding of them. It's not about "Did you steal another writer's words? Oh, you did? Well, we found you out! Don't do that again." Libel/slander is about whether a person's business or future ability to earn income has been affected by the actions of another party. Even if she DID plagiarize, if she saw Charlee's actions (or anybody else's -- just for the sake of argument, let's say that instead Susie Creamcheese took this story to the newspapers and attached her name to it)...if she saw Susie C.'s actions as having impinged her future ability to earn money, even if Susie C. was correct that plagiarism had occurred, she could bring and conceivably win a slander case.

Law is more complex than this black-and-white, did-you/didn't-you scenario that we'd all like it to be. I have no education or serious experience with law, and even I know that.

And if an aggrieved, allegedly-plagiarizing author could get a judge to hear a slander case -- which she very probably could, particularly if the UK judicial system's history of bizarre and drawn-out slander and libel cases set any precedent -- then it would be a foolish defendant indeed who went into such a case expecting it to be all about whether text was plagiarized. It would not be about that; it would be about whether the defendant had created a situation which impinged upon the aggrieved party's future ability to earn as much money as she's earning now.

Maybe that's not fair or ideal, but that's what could potentially happen. That's all I'm saying. I'm not debating whether the apparent plagiarism is right or wrong -- I am never happy about plagiarism. But a slander case wouldn't be about whether plagiarism had occurred.

She'd have to want to throw her reputation and money down the toilet over being mad at Charlie. I'm not saying folks never do that, but it's less likely than just wanting the whole thing to go away, if you ask me.I'm not so sure about that. In any case, in the UK whole groups of people have brought, dragged out for months and months, and nearly won slander suits against seemingly innocent parties -- and over expressions of opinion, not over such blatant statements of accusation as in this situation. The UK is not the place to be toying with anything that looks like slander, unfortunately. I wish they had stricter protections of expression, but unfortunately for Simon Singh and many others like him, they do not.



The truth absolutely matters in this kind of law. Often, you can't prove the truth, and that's where it can be kind of irrelevant. Charlie's case would be about things she noticed as a reader that are plain as day.Not really. Charlee's case -- IF it were to come to that -- would be about whether Charlee had interfered with Ms. Carroll's ability to continue to earn money. If, for example, her publisher chose to drop her over this -- which I am not saying will necessarily happen, just giving one possible outcome of many -- then Ms. Carroll's ability to continue to earn money would very clearly have been interfered with. Monstrously unfair, since it sure seems to all of us that at least part of her ability to earn money comes by -- er -- "borrowing" ideas from other writers. But very likely true. Law is a tricky and twisty thing. If only it were as easy as it seems on daytime television. (My divorce would certainly be a whole lot easier if that were the case!)

Listen. I hope nothing bad happens to Charlee as a result of her actions. I think her intentions were good. But I think it ought to be left up to the publishers and the authors to hash it out between them. She did an excellent thing by alerting Ms. Bushnell to the plagiarism. From that point on, it ought to have been up to Ms. Bushnell and her team of agent, publishers, and attorneys to investigate and hash it out -- and to expose it to the media if they chose. Just because it appeared that nothing was being done, that doesn't mean nothing was being done. Think about it -- if you were a published author (as many of us reading this thread are) and a helpful reader presented you with evidence that you'd been plagiarized by another published author, would you just sit around and do nothing? Or would you quickly but quietly get to work on remedying the situation via your team of professionals?

Libbie
06-02-2011, 04:46 AM
No, slander/libel would mean untrue accusations are told about the 'victim', which result in loss of income.

Er -- no, I am sorry to contradict you yet again, but truly, there needs to be no question of truth in slander or libel. Usually it is taken as a factor, but not always, and the only requirement for such a case would be loss of income or damage to reputation. Period. Particularly true in the UK, where really, some of the most bizarro reasons for libel and slander have been tried and awarded. Cases based solely on the "offending" party clearly and obviously stating an opinion about the "offended" party. Opinion is not a matter of truth or untruth. It's a matter of perception and subjectivity.

Honestly, people. The accusations don't have to be proven to be untrue in order for an aggrieved party to win a slander or libel case; they CERTAINLY do not have to be proven untrue for an aggrieved party to haul your ass into court.

Libbie
06-02-2011, 04:49 AM
But, basically, in the UK, so long as you can prove that what you said is TRUE, and not an opinion, then you are in the clear. So, int his case, Charlee has cited the sources and laid it out as fact. She hasn't made assumptions and she hasn't voiced an opinion or rumour on it, so in terms of a potential court case, she is fine.

Even if Carroll took her to court for libel, the fact that Charlee can cite FACT, will mean that no action will be taken against her.

In fact, should she be summoned on libel and then proven innocent, she won't even have to pay her own legal costs, and she may be entitled to damages caused by false accusation.

Uk libel is a bitch to prove, and in this case I don't think it could ever be assumed to be false, so I don't think Charlee has anything at all to worry about.


Curious -- are you an attorney or a student of law? If so, you are definitely familiar with Simon Singh's case, right? If you're not, you ought to look it up and read all about it. It's really fascinating. And it was the first thing I thought of when I saw that the papers had been alerted.

I'm not an attorney either, to be sure, but I seem to at least be of the opinion that law is not black-and-white, which doesn't appear to be a popular opinion in this thread.

misslissy
06-02-2011, 04:58 AM
Not that I disagree with you (heck, I agree with most of what you said) but (and I could wrong, I have been before) doesn't any kind of defamation, in most jurisdictions have to do with being false? That it is meant to protect people from making blanket accusations that have no basis? Otherwise, how could any newspaper ever publish any true fact that might cause harm to someone's reputation or loss to their income without fear of being sued?

Mr Flibble
06-02-2011, 05:02 AM
Libel and slander suits aren't as cut-and-dry as other kinds of court cases, based on my admittedly limited understanding of them. It's not about "Did you steal another writer's words? Oh, you did? Well, we found you out! Don't do that again." Libel/slander is about whether a person's business or future ability to earn income has been affected by the actions of another party. Even if she DID plagiarize, if she saw Charlee's actions (or anybody else's -- just for the sake of argument, let's say that instead Susie Creamcheese took this story to the newspapers and attached her name to it)...if she saw Susie C.'s actions as having impinged her future ability to earn money, even if Susie C. was correct that plagiarism had occurred, she could bring and conceivably win a slander case.

In the US, that might be the case (se poorold Becks and him proving the story was wrong and not winning the libel case). But in the UK if what you say is true, it is not slander/libel (again see Becks NOT suing News of the World about him porking that bit) Saying true stuff =/= libel. It = saying true stuff. If we didn;t have that, then anyone could say anything...Let's not get into superinjunctions here (big story last few weeks). Let's just say I'm singing the Giggs song in my head (You're not secret anymore! (anymore) Giggsy's not secret any more!)


I can say anything I damn well please as long as I can demonstrate (to a court's satisfaction and that definition is 'to a right minded person it would appear true') it is true.

Thi is why several people (zeta-jones etc) have tried libel cases here not in the US. If they can prove what has been said is NOT true, then libel it is and KERCHING! If it is true, they are scuppered and they don't bring the case.

Libel must be both false AND damaging (afaia, I'm going on memory of a prominent case over here). In the UK.


[ But a slander case wouldn't be about whether plagiarism had occurred.


As already stated, more than once, yes it would. It would be about a) truth b) the wording of said 'slander' (the only part that might be dodgy and the mag certainly covered that) and c) whether a 'right-minded citizen' would think the same given the same evidence. That is, if shown the passages, whether they would think they were copied. In which case, I reckon Charlee is gold.


I'm not so sure about that. In any case, in the UK whole groups of people have brought, dragged out for months and months, and nearly won slander suits against seemingly innocent parties -- and over expressions of opinion,


Yeah the opinion thing is a big bug bear at the mo. But if you can prove what you say (to 'right minded citizens' that is so they would form the same opinion from the evidence....)
not over such blatant statements of accusation as in this situation.


The UK is not the place to be toying with anything that looks like slander, unfortunately.
I'd say that was the US. You can prove what someone said isn't true, and still lose the case....A matter of perspective perhaps?

I wish they had stricter protections of expression, but unfortunately for Simon Singh and many others like him, they do not.


Hopefully the opinon darft wil go through. But you would still have to base your opinion on solid evidence. (I think)

Libbie
06-02-2011, 05:16 AM
Saying true stuff =/= libel. It = saying true stuff. If we didn;t have that, then anyone could say anything...

Major libel cases in the UK have made international news over clear statements of opinion. Over statements that could never be taken as anything other than opinion, not attempts to state fact that was later proven to be falsehood. Opinion. Again, Google Simon Singh. So really, if cases can be seen by a judge over opinion, then why not over any other kind of statement?

And I'm not making any claims over whether such a case would be won or lost by other party. Almost certainly, such a case would be lost by an author who had clearly plagiarized and then tried to sue for libel when a person called her out on her plagiarism. If she didn't lose such a case, then the judge would have to have serious cognitive problems. But that doesn't mean she wouldn't be able to get a court date.

Let me state that again, so you call will be very clear on what my stance has been from my first post in this thread, because you've (general you've) been trying to turn it into an issue of whether a libel case would be won or lost. I am not interested in whether it would be won or lost. I am only interested in whether she could summon a defendant to court for a libel case, and according to the precedent set by many a previous UK libel case, she could. Could a plagiarizing author win such a case? I doubt it. But that's not the point I was ever trying to make.

The point I was always trying to make, and still am, is this: IT COSTS A LOT OF MONEY TO DEFEND ONE'S SELF IN COURT, EVEN IF ONE IS ON THE SIDE OF RIGHT, JUSTICE, GOOD, ETC. It's a time investment and a financial investment, up front, even if later on your accuser is ordered to pay your court and attorney's fees.

So for future concerned parties who might stumble across this thread, it might be wise to ask yourself before you take a story to the newspapers: would you rather be the one to pay for a crack legal team to defend you against a pissed-off actress/author and her wealthy publishers, or would you rather alert the plagiarized author and then trust that she is handling the situation with her own team of publishers and attorneys?

Because winning or losing a libel case isn't the point I was trying to make.

The point I was trying to make was:
$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Or, I guess, in this case, pound signs, not dollar signs.

Anyway, I have a book to write, so I'm out of this thread until tomorrow. Ta-ta!

Mr Flibble
06-02-2011, 05:26 AM
Major libel cases in the UK have made international news over clear statements of opinion. Over statements that could never be taken as anything other than opinion, not attempts to state fact that was later proven to be falsehood. Opinion.The judge ruled that his comments were stated 'as fact' (yes., this is one person's.opinion. (and it was repealed on appeal) He;s a judge though. And that is hopefully getting challenged soon. But opinion should still be backed by fact. Or I could say whatever the chuff I wanted with no recourse for the victim to do anything)

Like I said, wording can make all the difference. But, as writers, we know that, right?

I am not interested in whether it would be won or lost. I am only interested in whether she could summon a defendant to court for a libel case Probably. Probably I could be called for statements I've made on this forum. That doesn't mean it's at all likely, or it would be wise/financially sound for Carroll to do so. Because if she did, she'd be laid wide open for proof she took those phrases. Wouldn't be clever. Would be damn stupid, tbh, considering all CHarlee has to do to refute/dismiss is show tthe passages concerned. Especialy when it gets reported (and it would.)

This case isn't about opinion as such. It's about what is clearly there, in print/film. It is demonstrable. The only question is 'Would a right minded citizen, given the same facts, come to the same conclusion?'

AmsterdamAssassin
06-02-2011, 01:04 PM
In any case, in the UK whole groups of people have brought, dragged out for months and months, and nearly won slander suits against seemingly innocent parties -- and over expressions of opinion, not over such blatant statements of accusation as in this situation. The UK is not the place to be toying with anything that looks like slander, unfortunately. I wish they had stricter protections of expression, but unfortunately for Simon Singh and many others like him, they do not.

As you say yourself, people have been accused of libel over opinion, which is justified. Your opinion doesn't make something true or false. However, plagiarism can be proved with fact. Fact is fact. Not opinion. Charlee proved her claim of plagiarism with examples, Carroll would have to disprove her claim in order to take Charlee to court on a libel charge.

If Charlee would be charged with libel, all she has to do is to prove to the court that her plagiarism claim isn't opinion, but fact. She can prove that with the examples, ergo this is no libel case.

Libel means false accusation resulting in defamation or damages.

AmsterdamAssassin
06-02-2011, 01:14 PM
Also, the Simon Singh libel case is not relevant to this case, since it didn't involve plagiarism. Singh wrote a non-fiction article on chiropractors, where one of his sentences, construed as defamation, became a discussion whether it was opinion or fact. And the libel suit against Singh failed, and it did Singh no harm, so I don't think he's that 'unfortunate'. He received a lot of publicity for something that would probably have blown over if the British Chiropractors Association hadn't accused him of libel. Singh 1 - BCA 0.

Bufty
06-02-2011, 01:27 PM
Someone earlier mentioned that there was unlikely to be any problem because the newspaper would have 'had their lawyers all over' the case before they printed anything.

I doubt that assumption is true.

The Newspaper would only be checking their own position. They are not making any accusations - they are merely reporting what someone else is suggesting re a well-known person and has made public.

And I believe that is the newsworthy element - not the plagiarism per se.

If it hadn't been reported to them I very much doubt any of their reporters would have touched it with a barge pole.

shaldna
06-02-2011, 01:53 PM
Curious -- are you an attorney or a student of law?

I work in government and have worked on a lot of libel cases.

In the UK libel laws are slightly different than the US. In that stating fact is not libel, even if it damages a persons reputation or earning power, because it's seen that the fact is in the publics interest.


If so, you are definitely familiar with Simon Singh's case, right? If you're not, you ought to look it up and read all about it. It's really fascinating. And it was the first thing I thought of when I saw that the papers had been alerted.

The Simon Singh case was slightly different. He made commentst that were based on opinion, and show at the time to have very little scientific basis. He was called out on his comments by the professional body who were concerned about his impact on the profession. The case was interesting because he is quite a public figure, and people listen to what he says, so his influence was more than say, the man average man on the street.

In the initial inquiry Singh's wording was called into question, and he was told that he would have to prove his opinions as fact.

Singh's basic defence was that he had been misunderstood, or that the way the statements were read were not how he intended.


I'm not an attorney either, to be sure, but I seem to at least be of the opinion that law is not black-and-white, which doesn't appear to be a popular opinion in this thread.

You're right. Law isn't black and white. It's a twisty complicated thing where no one ever really wins.

But I have to say that civil matters in the UK are definitly more straightforward than in the US.

Given that this is a UK matter, and then would go through UK courts, if at all, it will be a civil matter. If the statements were proven to be true (proven as fact) then that's the end of it as far as pursuing libel goes.

Loss of earnings and/or reputation are not a factor in cases of fact.

The difference would be if, in this case for example, Charlee had made those claims without actual evidence to back them up. If she'd speculated rather than presented fact, and in that case she would potentially be sued for libel.

We don't really have a culture of libel or slander cases here, mainly because of the way our laws work on the matter. If someone's reputation is damaged, but the libel is proven as fact, then they are seen to have damaged their own reputation, and so, as far as the UK legal system goes, they only have themselves to blame.

Very few people sucessfully sue for libel or slander in the UK, and those who do are usualyl big businesses or influential individuals.

shaldna
06-02-2011, 02:01 PM
The point I was always trying to make, and still am, is this: IT COSTS A LOT OF MONEY TO DEFEND ONE'S SELF IN COURT, EVEN IF ONE IS ON THE SIDE OF RIGHT, JUSTICE, GOOD, ETC. It's a time investment and a financial investment, up front, even if later on your accuser is ordered to pay your court and attorney's fees.


This is very true. Libel is a civil matter, so you have to fund the case yourself as you won't qualify for legal aid (both as prosecutor and defendant) which can ammount to thousands of pounds.

The Singh case cost Singh in the region of 20k (about $30k) plus lost earnings, which could be that or more again.

shaldna
06-02-2011, 02:06 PM
Also, the Simon Singh libel case is not relevant to this case, since it didn't involve plagiarism. Singh wrote a non-fiction article on chiropractors, where one of his sentences, construed as defamation, became a discussion whether it was opinion or fact.

Which makes it totally relevant here. The issue with teh Singh case was that he was told in the initial inquiry that he would have to PROVE that what he said was fact, or conclusions formed on the basis of facts available.

It's a slightly different case because it did have that element of fact vs opinion. In this case there is no opinion factor, just statement of fact.

shaldna
06-02-2011, 02:09 PM
Incidently, the UK Libel Reform was a major issue this year. It will basically mean than anything thought to be in the public interest will be exempt from libel claims.

You can read about it here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/mar/15/libel-law-reforms

http://www.libelreform.org/

Momento Mori
06-02-2011, 07:51 PM
I'm not a defamation lawer but IMO you're all jumping the gun here.

If the author concerned decides to sue for defamation, then she can sue whoever she wants to provided they've made the alleged defamatory statements. Usually, you sue the person with the deepest pockets (i.e. the publisher) because the whole idea is to not only stick them with damages but also to get them to pay your legal costs. As has been said, it costs money to launch a libel action and depending on who you're pursuing, it may be difficult to get a firm to act on a no win/no fee basis (at least, not without being required to put some money down as a deposit).

There's therefore little practical point in suing someone who will be unable to pay up - although it's not unheard of. One of the criticisms levelled in the Singh case referenced here is that it was unusual to sue Singh personally rather than the Guardian (something that the court itself commented on). The BBC recently ran a documentary series about English defamation law generally called See You In Court, which had an episode following Singh's experience for anyone interested.

It is therefore possible that Charlee could be sued in a personal capacity if the author concerned wants to. However that decision to do so would need to be considered in light of the potential additional bad publicity it would generate for the author and her publisher, the likely cost of legal action and chances of recovery, the fact that going to court would leave the author open to further allegations of possible copyright infringement which could in turn make the story bigger than it currently is.

Truth is a defence to libel but under the peculiarities of English law, you can be telling the truth and still be guilty of defaming. For example, it could be open to question whether the examples of potentially similar text are substantial enough in themselves to label the author a plagiarist. In other words, Charlee may be correct in identifying those passages as having been plagiarised, but on their own they are not enough to label the author a plagiarist. (I'm not questioning the examples given, only using the issue as an example).

Given that all this is already out there on the web and is no doubt cached, there's little anyone can do about it except wait to see what the author and her publisher do next. If I was on her team, my suggestion would be to do nothing and ride it out - if anything the publicity would add to sales.

If the author does decide to sue, then there are bodies out there that will do defence work for free.

MM

Bufty
06-02-2011, 08:11 PM
I'm simply curious, S.

Re the final sentence in your post, I may be misunderstanding what you are stating.

Are you saying that, in your view, nowhere - regardless of what facts she exposed or how damning they may appear to be - does our good bedfellow openly state she is of the opinion that plagiarism has been effected?

ETA- - Mori's intervening post has in effect answered my uncertainty.


Which makes it totally relevant here. The issue with teh Singh case was that he was told in the initial inquiry that he would have to PROVE that what he said was fact, or conclusions formed on the basis of facts available.

It's a slightly different case because it did have that element of fact vs opinion. In this case there is no opinion factor, just statement of fact.

Mr Flibble
06-02-2011, 08:16 PM
Truth is a defence to libel but under the peculiarities of English law, you can be telling the truth and still be guilty of defaming. Learn something new every day :D Would that be unusual, or run-of-the-mill circs?


It's doing my nut in trying to remember which case it was/where I read about it....


Given that all this is already out there on the web and is no doubt cached, there's little anyone can do about it except wait to see what the author and her publisher do next. Well if she did, it might well be the prod for her to get sued by the original* writers of those phrases?


*allegedly. lol.

Devil Ledbetter
06-02-2011, 08:26 PM
I am not a lawyer, and am certainly no authority on UK law. However, my understanding is that slander or libel doesn't involve truth or untruth, but rather the loss of one's income or reputation due to what another person says or writes about the "victim." So if Carroll could prove that she had lost income due to Charlee's accusations, then she would be able to bring a case before a judge. She wouldn't have to necessarily refute the claims that she had plagiarized -- she would only have to prove that her business had been affected by the accusations.

I believe you are well-intentioned here, but mistaken.

In order to win a libel case, proof of damage is needed. This much is true. Where you're confused is in insisting that proof of damages alone will win a libel case, even when the accused libeler can prove what she said was true.

Truth is an absolute defense against libel. In other words, if it's true, even if it's damaging, it's not libel. A claim is considered libelous only if it's untrue.

Charlee has nothing to worry about. Further, I commend her for having the courage to publicly stand up for what is right.



*I'm not a lawyer either, but I have aced a senior-level university course on journalism law which covered libel quite thoroughly.

Devil Ledbetter
06-02-2011, 08:30 PM
Truth is a defence to libel but under the peculiarities of English law, you can be telling the truth and still be guilty of defaming.
Like libel, defamation of character is defined by untruth (http://injury-law.freeadvice.com/libel_and_slander/defamation_character.htm). The truth can never be considered defamation.

Really, some folks here need to whip out a dictionary.

Momento Mori
06-02-2011, 09:08 PM
Devil Ledbetter:
Like libel, defamation of character is defined by untruth (http://injury-law.freeadvice.com/libel_and_slander/defamation_character.htm). The truth can never be considered defamation.

Really, some folks here need to whip out a dictionary.

FWIW, a Google search and a course on journalism law doesn't make you a qualified lawyer and nor does whipping out a dictionary. I believe that the definition you're linking to is from a US site, not an English law site and therefore not relevant to this discussion.

Under English law, defamation occurs where there is publication to a third party of words or matters containing an untrue imputation against the reptuation of an individual, a company or a firm which serves to undermine that reputation in the eyes of right thinking members of society generally, by exposing the victim to hatred, contempt or ridicule (see Sim -v- Stretch [1936]).

There are a number of defences to defamation, the most obvious one being justification, under which the defendant seeks to prove that there has been no defamation because their statement is true. For that to succeed however, the defendant must prove that the meaning of the defamatory statement is true but that meaning does not have to be the meaning relied on by the claimant. In other words, as a defendant you have to convince a jury that the meaning of the statement they're claiming to be defamatory is not the actual meaning of the statement that you gave - thereby leaving it to the jury to decide what the statement's meaning actually is.

In this way, it is possible for a defendant to be making true remarks but if a jury decides that the truth of those remarks does not tie in with the statement made by the defendant, then the defendant can still be held liable for libel. For example, in Berezovsky -v- Forbes (1991), the fact that some of what the defendant was saying about the plaintiff was true, did not mean that their description of the plaintiff as the "godfather of the Kremlin" was true and this was held to be defamatory. Similarly in Scott -v- Sampson [1881 - 1882], while the defendant could provide evidence of the plaintiff's misdeeds, those misdeeds in themselves were not held to be sufficient to justify the defendant's defamatory statement.

I think I'm right in saying that Singh's defence team tried justification as a defence to get the claim struck out and failed to do so at first hearing, which is why they were also using fair comment (I'm relying on my memory of the BBC programme I referred to earlier though so please don't take as gospel).

To apply all this in context therefore (and speaking entirely in a hypothetical capacity), it may be quite right for Charlee to identify certain passages of the author's work as having been plagiarised, but those in themselves may not be held to be substantial enough to justify labelling the author as a plagiarist.

Like I said, I'm not a defamation specialist and you should always take independent legal advice. I've got all of the above from Halsbury's Laws (a UK reference book that's the starting point for any English legal practitioner seeking to understand a legal position) and PLC (another UK legal reference site).

MM

AmsterdamAssassin
06-02-2011, 09:41 PM
Under English law, defamation occurs where there is publication to a third party of words or matters containing an untrue imputation against the reptuation of an individual, a company or a firm which serves to undermine that reputation in the eyes of right thinking members of society generally, by exposing the victim to hatred, contempt or ridicule (see Sim -v- Stretch [1936]).

Defamation - untrue statement intending to defame reputation.

Devil Ledbetter
06-02-2011, 09:44 PM
FWIW, a Google search and a course on journalism law doesn't make you a qualified lawyer and nor does whipping out a dictionary. Yep, and I never said it did. In fact, I pointed out exactly where I was getting my info and clearly stated I wasn't a lawyer. So your point in reiterating that is?

I believe that the definition you're linking to is from a US site, not an English law site and therefore not relevant to this discussion.It is relevant, and you go on to prove why:

Under English law, defamation occurs where there is publication to a third party of words or matters containing an untrue imputation against the reptuation of an individual, a company or a firm which serves to undermine that reputation in the eyes of right thinking members of society generally, by exposing the victim to hatred, contempt or ridicule (see Sim -v- Stretch [1936]).That was my whole point. It has to be untrue. Libbie stated repeatedly that it didn't need to be untrue, just damaging. That, is in fact wrong, as your citation above makes all the more clear.

As to the remainder of your explanation, again, truth IS a defense of libel, again because a statement must be false in order to be libelous. Not "well, I thought it was true" but in fact, true (as you say, as determined by a jury).

Charlee has nothing to worry about but if you enjoy screeching with the Greek chorus, go for it. I'll be just over there with my headphones on.

Momento Mori
06-02-2011, 10:22 PM
AmsterdamAssassin:
Defamation - untrue statement intending to defame reputation.

The fact that there's an untrue statement, does not mean that truth will be an absolute defence to a defamation claim - as I believe I explained further on in my post.

Devil Ledbetter:
In fact, I pointed out exactly where I was getting my info and clearly stated I wasn't a lawyer. So your point in reiterating that is?


My point was that you got your information from a US site, used it to support your statement that:

Devil Ledbetter:
Truth is an absolute defense against libel.

and suggested that "some folks here need to whip out a dictionary" when in fact nothing you said was either true, valid or pertinent to the discussion. Apart from all that you made a great contribution that we all thank you for.

Devil Ledbetter:
That was my whole point. It has to be untrue.

No - your point was that truth is an absolute defence against libel and that the truth can never be considered libel. In English law, this is simply not the case.

I never said that a statement didn't have to be untrue - my point is that making a true statement does not protect you from a libel claim. I've supported that point with case law citations. You managed a US legal definition that has no relevance.

Devil Ledbetter:
Libbie stated repeatedly that it didn't need to be untrue, just damaging. That, is in fact wrong, as your citation above makes all the more clear.

I never made any statement as to whether a libel claim had to prove damage. My post was purely in relation to your wrong assertion that truth works as an absolute defence. If you want to argue about damage with Libbie then be my guest, but I was never engaged in that discussion.

Devil Ledbetter:
As to the remainder of your explanation, again, truth IS a defense of libel, again because a statement must be false in order to be libelous. Not "well, I thought it was true" but in fact, true (as you say, as determined by a jury).

No. As I explained, this is not the case under English law.

Let me give you a hypothetical example. I say on an internet forum that you are a bullying, misogynist who gets off on sexually harrassing women. You sue me for libel in the English courts. I invoke justification as my defence on the basis that I can prove you were once drunk at a party and pawing at a woman for sex, which involved you shouting at her in an effort to cowtow her, making highly derogatory remarks based on her gender and when that didn't work you grabbed her boobs.

That might all be true. I might be able to bring in witnesses to prove it. And under English law, I could still lose the case.

The reason is that the fact I can prove one incident of this behaviour does not in and of itself you are generally an actual bullying misogynist etc etc etc. You could equally bring in witnesses who testify to how well you treat women, keep them on a pedestal etc. A one-off event does not necessarily justify a general statement as to a person's character.

From what I've read of Charlee's situation - the fact that she's identified several potentially plagiarised passages, could be held by a court not to be enough to justify labelling that author as a plagiarist. Note - I am not saying that it will, I am merely identifying it as a potential weakness in the defence and therefore something that needs to be considered should a claim ever be brought.

Devil Ledbetter:
Charlee has nothing to worry about but if you enjoy screeching with the Greek chorus, go for it. I'll be just over there with my headphones on.

If you took your headphones off and actually read what I'd said in my posts, you'd see that I wasn't saying that Charlee had anything to worry about. In fact, I actually started my first post by saying that I thought people were jumping the gun here. Personally, I don't see how it's in the author's interests to pursue a case, given the expense involved.

In the event that the author does decide to do the stupid thing and launch a claim, I was making the comments about justification/truth to try and counter some of the chest-beating bullshit being spouted here by you and others not actually versed in how English law works.

But hey, bop away in ignorance, mate. It seems to be serving you so well.

MM

Old Hack
06-02-2011, 11:00 PM
I'd be interested to know how many of the people who are arguing about UK law here are, in fact, UK lawyers. I know one of you is; but I'm not sure about the others.

Devil Ledbetter
06-02-2011, 11:17 PM
I'd be interested to know how many of the people who are arguing about UK law here are, in fact, UK lawyers. I know one of you is; but I'm not sure about the others.Well, I've already stated at least twice that I'm not a lawyer.

I also haven't called anyone "ignorant" or made up humiliating hypothetical examples of any individuals here ... as I was observing the RYFW rule. Apparently being a fancy-pants solicitor from the UK excuses one from the RYFW requirement.

Birol
06-02-2011, 11:19 PM
Two reported posts while I'm puzzling over reports and formulas?

This thread is locked until Chaos, Sage, or I have time to review it.

ChaosTitan
06-03-2011, 01:04 AM
Listen. I hope nothing bad happens to Charlee as a result of her actions. I think her intentions were good. But I think it ought to be left up to the publishers and the authors to hash it out between them. She did an excellent thing by alerting Ms. Bushnell to the plagiarism. From that point on, it ought to have been up to Ms. Bushnell and her team of agent, publishers, and attorneys to investigate and hash it out -- and to expose it to the media if they chose. Just because it appeared that nothing was being done, that doesn't mean nothing was being done.

The bolded part pretty much sums up my feelings on the thread. So I think it can stay locked.