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Flapdoodle
04-26-2006, 01:09 PM
Odd:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/default.stm


"Internalised" (Not "ripped off").

JennaGlatzer
04-26-2006, 01:58 PM
Odd, indeed. The direct link is here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/entertainment/4942442.stm

There's also a thread about this in Office Party.

punstress
04-26-2006, 02:18 PM
It may not have been all her fault ...

Here's an interesting story about her book packager.

http://www.harvardindependent.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID=9921

Flapdoodle
04-26-2006, 03:18 PM
It may not have been all her fault ...

Here's an interesting story about her book packager.

http://www.harvardindependent.com/ViewArticle.aspx?ArticleID=9921

Even odder!

Jamesaritchie
04-26-2006, 05:05 PM
This whole story is, I think, about the dark side of conglomerate publishing. And also about the ignorance of the reading public about how big publishers and book packagers work. I don't think Kaavya Viswanathan is the bad person here.

aruna
04-26-2006, 05:09 PM
This whole story is, I think, about the dark side of conglomerate publishing. And also about the ignorance of the reading public about how big publishers and book packagers work. I don't think Kaavya Viswanathan is the bad person here.

I absolutely agree with you. I sense a lot of dark goings-on in the background, of which we know nothing. It's all about money.

cuteshoes
04-26-2006, 07:50 PM
I read about this yesterday in the free newspaper they give out in nyc. THey quoted passages from both novels and they were virtually identical with the sentence structures changed only minutely.

jenngreenleaf
04-26-2006, 07:54 PM
I read about this yesterday in the free newspaper they give out in nyc. THey quoted passages from both novels and they were virtually identical with the sentence structures changed only minutely.There's a lot of interesting evidence pointed out in this thread (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31849).

Sireen
04-28-2006, 12:27 AM
Not to be the Devils advocate here, but some people have striking memories for the written word. For example, when I research a non-fiction topic, I can recall exactly how something was written, word for word. Maybe she has that kind of recall and either doesn't realize it, or wasn't really paying attention. She is obviously bright, why would she blatantly plagerise knowing what she was risking?

Sheryl Nantus
04-28-2006, 12:41 AM
uh... because she (and the others involved) didn't think they'd be caught?

Sireen
04-28-2006, 12:49 AM
Agreed, that may be one reason. However, they picked a pretty high profile writer to steal from, and that doesn't seem a wise choice, simply because they were very likely to get caught. I'm just saying that it is possible that some of what she read (she did say she'd read two books by the author) could have stayed in her memory and resurfaced when she was writing her book. There is some evidence in cognitive research that suggests that this is not altogether far fetched.

Tish Davidson
04-28-2006, 03:39 AM
I think it is the quantity of similarities and their scope that is the problem. Yesterday in the New York Times, her agent said that she could not accept the author's explanation that the similarities were unconscious and unintentional.

victoriastrauss
04-28-2006, 05:37 AM
I wonder if maybe the book was farmed out to some work-for-hire slave at the packager, and the slave is responsible for the plagiarism. Or maybe she turned in something unpublishable and a work-for-hire slave polished it, plagiarizing in the process. And because she got paid lots of money for the book, she can't cop to not actually having written it.

I mean, why would you be working with a packager at all if you were writing your own book?

There was a famous case some years back where one famous romance author plagiarized another--what I heard through the grapevine was that the first romance writer used a ghostwriter, and the ghostwriter was mad at the writer and plagiarized deliberately in order to get back at her.

- Victoria

aruna
04-28-2006, 09:54 AM
I can't even conceive of a copyright line that includes a packager. I mean, why write at all if that's what you end up with?

How could any writer live with this:

Copyright 2006 by Alloy Entertainment and Kaavya Viswanathan

I wonder if the fact that AE comes first has any meaning?

aruna
04-28-2006, 10:04 AM
Agreed, that may be one reason. However, they picked a pretty high profile writer to steal from, and that doesn't seem a wise choice, simply because they were very likely to get caught. I'm just saying that it is possible that some of what she read (she did say she'd read two books by the author) could have stayed in her memory and resurfaced when she was writing her book. There is some evidence in cognitive research that suggests that this is not altogether far fetched.

One thing that does give me a flicker of doubt is that parody of the case, in which she blames the Indian educational system. It's true that Indian kids do have to learn just about everything by heart, and repeat it verbatim.
So she may have reproduced the stuff without actually looking at it in the other novel, from memory; however, I do believe it was consciously done.

icerose
04-28-2006, 09:29 PM
This gives me doubts as well. Anything I have memorized, I know that the source isn't from me, and I could not do it unconsciously. I do not believe that this was an innocent act. They got their hands caught in the cookie jar and are claiming sleepwalking is to blame.

veinglory
05-19-2006, 05:19 AM
heh: http://www.themorningnews.org/archives/contest/sloppy_seconds_with_opal_mehta.php

Richard White
05-19-2006, 06:05 AM
As someone who's worked for a packager (and a fairly notorious one), I'm having a little trouble here giving the kid a free pass.

Yes, I did work for hire. I do primarily media tie-in work currently (while working on some original stuff of my own). The only way to do media tie-in is to work either through a major publisher (aka Pocket) or a packager who gets the licensing rights and then hires out the work to other people (like me).

It's fun to play in other people's sandboxes, but everything I do still gets vetted, edited and all the other stuff. Even given impossible deadlines like some work for hires get (I think Keith deCandido said he got a Buffy book and had to turn it around a 90K book in 4 weeks and that included edits), there's still no excuse for an author to plagerize even to meet a deadline.

Somewhere in there, the author has to have some intestinal fortitude to say, "No, that's wrong."

on_the_verge
05-19-2006, 08:26 PM
Some of you are trying to see all possible views of this case, and that's fine. But please, there is no excuse for this kind of crap. I don't care who's to blame. All involved should bury their heads in the sand.

pconsidine
05-19-2006, 08:32 PM
Meh.

If you want a newsworthy author apology, get Stephen King to apologize for It.

;) /end snark

Gillhoughly
05-19-2006, 09:27 PM
As one of my writer buds said, "She's a young, attractive, female minority in this country, can you say 'dollars out the whazoo?'

Too bad her pro career is forever marred, if not wholly ruined by this mess.