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View Full Version : Sam Taylor Mullens - mind-boggling plagiarism!



aliceshortcake
08-08-2014, 01:19 PM
Spare a thought for author Rachel Ann Nunes, who's just discovered that her 1998 novel A Bid For Love has been plagiarised almost word-for-word by Sam Taylor Mullens (with added erotic scenes) and published as The Auction Deal:

http://rachelannnunes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/standing-against-plagarism.html

Read it and marvel at the twists and turns.

SHUDDER at the responses Rachel received from two of the "reviewers" she contacted about the theft!


I think your making a big deal about nothing and contacting the wrong people...

So I spent the afternoon reading A Bid For Love - total waste of my time! Seriously, why would you not update that novel? Even if it was free, if you stand so strong.y behind your work take a little more pride in it. If Sam Taylor Mulllens used the concept as a base, she was doing you a favor!

GASP at the weirdly contradictory excuses offered by Mullens:


The book was molded from a writing group and a dozen beta readers. Had I known they used your book from the 80's as a reference it never would have come to be.

...and her supporters, including the friend who claimed that the manuscript was given to Mullens over two years ago by a man in a writing group. He claimed that he was a co-author of the work and it was now out-of-print (remember that this was a manuscript and that no print copies could be traced. Nobody in the writing group seems to think this was in the least bit unusual). Sadly, and rather conveniently, this man has since died in a car crash.

Next, one of the reviewers received an email purporting to be from the real author of The Auction Deal - a married niece of Susan's who secretly wrote erotica but had to keep it secret because she was a Mormon. Apparently the niece came up with the idea in the 90s and Susan graciously allowed her to re-work A Bid For Love as The Auction Deal, but the books were too different for any copyright infringement to have occurred. There's just one slight problem with this story - Susan's only married niece was a child of nine or ten at the time A Bid For Love was written!

This has to be one of the most bizarre examples of plagiarism I've ever come across. All it needs is a Wiccan curse to elevate it to Of Atlantis status.

Marian Perera
08-08-2014, 02:11 PM
This just disgusted the hell out of me:


If Sam Taylor Mulllens used the concept as a base, she was doing you a favor!

It's bad enough to have your work stolen, without also being told that this is a nice thing someone's done for you.

Weirdmage
08-08-2014, 02:43 PM
I read that post. It truly is a bizzarre story.
And like I wrote on Facebook:
What I find interesting is the wild stories around this. I do not understand why the people doing the plagiarism doesn't use their imaginations to write stories, instead of defending their plagiarism when they get caught.
I mean, these people have enough wild explenations as to what really happened (as opposed to the plagiarism everyone can see for themselves) that they should be able to write conspiracy thrillers by the dozen.
(The above goes for not just this case, but other smilar cases from the past - and I am sure the future too.)

Marian Perera
08-08-2014, 02:53 PM
I do not understand why the people doing the plagiarism doesn't use their imaginations to write stories, instead of defending their plagiarism when they get caught.

IMO, they get a thrill out of plagiarism that they don't get from making up their own material.

aliceshortcake
08-08-2014, 03:12 PM
They also probably thought that no-one would remember a book published in 1998!

Alexandra Little
08-08-2014, 05:51 PM
...I've got nothing.

Filigree
08-08-2014, 05:52 PM
Wow, this is entertaining. And sad. The initial deception has descended into insanity. An 'author' with two books and a street team of 1000 is not an innocent hobbyist, and should know better.

stormie
08-08-2014, 06:03 PM
The plagiarism truly irks me. But when this plagiarist repeats that she only writes as a hobby (as if writing is so, so easy and just plain fun!), it also bothers me.

Ari Meermans
08-08-2014, 06:08 PM
Yep, if writing were so, so easy, I'd be doing it. She just as well have said her hobby is breaking into other people's houses and lifting what she wants.

Sheryl Nantus
08-08-2014, 06:08 PM
Not really insanity. A criminal making money off of someone else's work. She's made a ton of cash and I'm pretty sure Amazon won't make her pay anyone back - or give the royalties due to the original author.

Wonder why old Hugh Howey and Joe Konrath don't get up in arms about this... given they keep bleating about being author advocates you'd think they'd be right up on this one.

;)

shakeysix
08-08-2014, 06:11 PM
Creating is difficult, editing is tedious and mind numbing. Plagiarizing is easy BUT it shouldn't be that easy! It is almost like she is entitled. I once had a student tell me that her plagiarized research paper should at least earn a D because she used a college paper and this was only a high school class. Howzz that for cast iron ballz? (The reason I caught it was because it was well written! )-s6

stormie
08-08-2014, 06:11 PM
And now I'm getting banners saying, "Don't get caught plagiarizing."

Lovely.

Filigree
08-08-2014, 06:19 PM
It's the 'I got mine, screw everyone else' mentality. These are the same kinds of people who buy term papers to get through college, or run hedge funds into the ground, or take companies overseas to avoid domestic taxes...

In publishing, I actually point some of the blame toward certain self-publishing evangelists for making the process seem easily and instantly lucrative. It's not. Backlists and word-of-mouth advertising help, but many would-be authors pick up less than ethical strategies for short cuts. It's usually all for the money.

VeryFairy
08-08-2014, 06:39 PM
That stinks, I really hope the author gets it figured out.
The plagiarist doesn't seem like someone who will stop unless legal action is taken. I can see her stealing others works if she gets away with this one.

Wilde_at_heart
08-08-2014, 07:31 PM
God, this is over-the-top lunacy - a 'friend' even pulls the disabled child and charitable works card.

Mac, ya seriously need a proper facepalm smiley for stuff like this.

My personal favourite: http://replygif.net/i/1245.gif

Maggie Maxwell
08-08-2014, 07:37 PM
God, this is over-the-top lunacy - a 'friend' even pulls the disabled child and charitable works card.

Mac, ya seriously need a proper facepalm smiley for stuff like this.

My personal favourite: http://replygif.net/i/1245.gif

What, is :e2smack:not good enough for ya?

That is a good gif, though. The extra head shake after the facepalm just drives it home. Perfect fit for this whole situation. C'mon Sam, if you're gonna lie, keep your lies straight, will ya?

I'm utterly astounded at those two reviewers reactions and want to know the story behind them. Are they friends of the plagiarist? Sockpuppets? They're such strange responses.

Wilde_at_heart
08-08-2014, 08:03 PM
What, is :e2smack:not good enough for ya?

That is a good gif, though. The extra head shake after the facepalm just drives it home. Perfect fit for this whole situation. C'mon Sam, if you're gonna lie, keep your lies straight, will ya?

I'm utterly astounded at those two reviewers reactions and want to know the story behind them. Are they friends of the plagiarist? Sockpuppets? They're such strange responses.

That's more of a forehead smack though - where the stupidity is on the person posting it, rather than what they're posting about.

Though obviously not in this particular example :D

aliceshortcake
08-08-2014, 08:13 PM
My personal favourite: http://replygif.net/i/1245.gif

That gif is a thing of beauty. I'd pay good money for such a hat purely for the pleasure of facepalming with it.

Maggie Maxwell
08-08-2014, 08:21 PM
That's more of a forehead smack though - where the stupidity is on the person posting it, rather than what they're posting about.

Though obviously not in this particular example :D

I guess it depends on perspective. I can see your interpretation, but it also matches my personal facepalm style, so it could be either depending on the user. :)


That gif is a thing of beauty. I'd pay good money for such a hat purely for the pleasure of facepalming with it.

It just crinkles so nicely in the hand.

Marian Perera
08-08-2014, 08:22 PM
God, this is over-the-top lunacy - a 'friend' even pulls the disabled child and charitable works card.

This is the second time I've seen a publisher/author behaving badly and hiding behind "my child is autistic!" Makes me want to ask if this is the example to set for any child, autistic or not.

aliceshortcake
08-08-2014, 08:28 PM
This is the second time I've seen a publisher/author behaving badly and hiding behind "my child is autistic!"

Yes, I recognised that line immediately.

Tazlima
08-08-2014, 10:32 PM
I once had a student tell me that her plagiarized research paper should at least earn a D because she used a college paper and this was only a high school class. Howzz that for cast iron ballz? (The reason I caught it was because it was well written! )-s6

This is insane. My husband is in college and has to do a lot of group papers, which he would often have me proofread. I could read their compiled efforts and immediately tell who wrote which section:

Hubby - Well written but overly wordy
Good Teammate - Rarely anything to correct, occasional mis-used word or typo.
Completely Useless Teammate - Doesn't understand the question and simply rambles about whatever pops into his head (using terrible grammar).
Mostly Useless Teammate - Understands the material, but is unable to express concepts clearly, leading to hilariously incorrect statements. i.e. "Sexual harassment is any gesture or spoken words in the workplace."

The Completely Useless Teammate tried plagiarizing a couple of times. We could immediately tell that the grammatically correct, logical statements weren't his work. Seriously, how stupid do plagiarizers think other people are?

chompers
08-08-2014, 11:21 PM
That stinks, I really hope the author gets it figured out.
The plagiarist doesn't seem like someone who will stop unless legal action is taken. I can see her stealing others works if she gets away with this one.Unfortunately, it seems to me that most of the time no legal action gets taken. The plagiarist doesn't get a hard enough penalty to make it worth it for high legal costs, and so the plagiarist usually just gets off free to do it again to someone else.

Sheryl Nantus
08-08-2014, 11:26 PM
Unfortunately, it seems to me that most of the time no legal action gets taken. The plagiarist doesn't get a hard enough penalty to make it worth it for high legal costs, and so the plagiarist usually just gets off free to do it again to someone else.

Yep.

I've yet to hear of Amazon doing anything to stop plagiarism and when it is discovered they keep their part of the money made by selling said stolen books and have already paid off the plagiarist... so there's no real incentive to stop anything.

As long as Amazon gets their cut - they don't care. They're not going to pay the real author the plagiarist's share and double-dip into their profits.

Great deal for Amazon and the criminals - not so much for the real authors...

Roxxsmom
08-08-2014, 11:41 PM
I do not understand why the people doing the plagiarism doesn't use their imaginations to write stories, instead of defending their plagiarism when they get caught.


It is baffling, because stealing a novel is still a lot of work that has a rather uncertain outcome.

But I suspect that it stems from the same place as students who expend so much effort to cheat that they could have gotten as good (maybe even a better) grade if they (gasp) actually wrote their own papers or studied and learned the material that was going to be on the test.

Some people just get a thrill out of cheating "the system." Or they're so angry at and embittered by said system that they enjoy lashing out at it.

Wilde_at_heart
08-08-2014, 11:54 PM
That stinks, I really hope the author gets it figured out.
The plagiarist doesn't seem like someone who will stop unless legal action is taken. I can see her stealing others works if she gets away with this one.

It'll be under a new pen name, I suspect. The plagiarism claims are at the top of google searches now, at least where I am, when searching the title of the book + novel. And there are loads of reviews pointing it out too, now.

JustSarah
08-09-2014, 12:18 AM
I'm baffled, yet not surprised unfortunately. How they even got it published is shocking.

Instead of saying something ill-informed (and possibly down on self-publishing), how was this book published? While I'm a self-published poet, for prose it seems like this would not have flown if it went through a trade press.

Samsonet
08-09-2014, 12:53 AM
Plagiarized books can be trade published, assuming the editors haven't read the original work. But being trade-published makes it much likelier for the plagiarist to face consequences (or at least it seems logical, I don't really know). It seems easier for a known plagiarist to self-publish under a pen name than get a new trade publishing contract.

Moonchild
08-09-2014, 01:43 AM
I just read the whole blog post and
:Jaw:

Unbe-effing-livable.

Alitriona
08-09-2014, 02:43 AM
Wow, crazy. It seems to be rampant because as others have said, there's no incentive not to. It's a case of get caught, move on but get to keep the bounty. I get more worried when I see reviewers and readers defending books that are clearly copy and paste jobs. Luckily they are in the minority.

I wish both sides had left autism out of it.

JustSarah
08-09-2014, 03:19 AM
Why is autism always what get's riffed on? I even saw a subtext class where the instructor made a snide comment about them.:C

But yea, that author was disgusting.

Emermouse
08-09-2014, 03:23 AM
Why is autism always what get's riffed on? I even saw a subtext class where the instructor made a snide comment about them.:C

But yea, that author was disgusting.

Let me guess, he used the old "I have autism which totes excuses whatever horrible things I do" excuse. As the sibling of someone with Asperger's, that excuse gets old really fast.

But then again, the "I have [insert condition here] which makes whatever I do okay" excuse gets attached to whatever disorder is currently being discussed in the media. Used to be Bipolar Disorder or Depression or ADHD was used as excuses.

ElaineA
08-09-2014, 06:11 AM
This story, as the others have been, is nauseating. I simply don't understand the desire to copy/paste/put my name on someone else's work.

I'm probably ignorant about all the ins and outs here (and please do correct me). Does Amazon NOT run any sort of plagiarism check on books submitted for SP? Is it near impossible to detect a plagiarized novel? (I have to assume not, since these stories are frequent.) If Amazon simply refuses to check, I'm honestly baffled as to why a lawsuit hasn't been brought yet.

There are plenty of authors whose work has been plagiarized and sold via Amazon's self-pub platform. According to one lawyer I know (full disclosure, my husband :)), Amazon's contract most likely requires the uploader to indemnify and hold Amazon harmless in these sorts of cases. But case law is well established about the selling of stolen goods. The seller can't profit from it. Joint and several liability could mean Amazon would find itself on the hook for 100% of the damages. It seems a pretty cut and dried case, which means I must be missing a significant piece of the puzzle here.

JustSarah
08-09-2014, 06:19 AM
Isn't this yet another strike against Amazon though? I mean I'm not siding with other issue, I don't know enough. But the copy write issue really hits home.

DancingMaenid
08-09-2014, 11:27 AM
Wow. What a bizarre, convoluted case.

Even if the strange story about the man from the writing group giving Mullens the manuscript was true, that wouldn't justify anything. Just because someone gives you a manuscript and tells you they collaborated on it doesn't mean they have full rights to let you use the material, and anyone who publishes professionally should have at least a basic understanding of how copyright works.

The second story where Mullens claims to be the original author's niece is particularly strange. It's so easy to prove that isn't true. Did she not see how quickly and easily that lie would be revealed?

The reaction of those two reviewers is pretty baffling, too.

thepicpic
08-09-2014, 01:12 PM
How odd. I'm the eldest sibling to two, one of which is autistic, yet I feel no compulsion to plagiarise anyone...

Weirdmage
08-09-2014, 01:45 PM
I'm probably ignorant about all the ins and outs here (and please do correct me). Does Amazon NOT run any sort of plagiarism check on books submitted for SP? Is it near impossible to detect a plagiarized novel? (I have to assume not, since these stories are frequent.) If Amazon simply refuses to check, I'm honestly baffled as to why a lawsuit hasn't been brought yet.

There are plenty of authors whose work has been plagiarized and sold via Amazon's self-pub platform. According to one lawyer I know (full disclosure, my husband :)), Amazon's contract most likely requires the uploader to indemnify and hold Amazon harmless in these sorts of cases. But case law is well established about the selling of stolen goods. The seller can't profit from it. Joint and several liability could mean Amazon would find itself on the hook for 100% of the damages. It seems a pretty cut and dried case, which means I must be missing a significant piece of the puzzle here.

I've been thinking the same thing before. I do not understand why Amazon doesn't get into trouble for this. As far as I know the authorities can move in to investigate those thta sell stolen goods without there being a complaint from a member of the public. There has been so many cases of plagiarising with KDP books now that I would think Amazon could be legally forced to make an effort to check for plagiarising content before making a book available for sale.
On the other hand...The US DoJ has been working with Amazon in the past so I don't really expect anything to happen.

Cyia
08-09-2014, 03:24 PM
Plagiarism isn't "stealing" in the usual sense of the word. Morally, sure, but not in practice. You're not actually removing someone's property from their possession (kind of like making a copy and letting people download it for free), so selling it isn't in the same category as selling stolen goods. (INAL) It's a civil matter, not criminal court fodder.

ElaineA
08-09-2014, 05:13 PM
Plagiarism isn't "stealing" in the usual sense of the word. Morally, sure, but not in practice. You're not actually removing someone's property from their possession (kind of like making a copy and letting people download it for free), so selling it isn't in the same category as selling stolen goods. (INAL) It's a civil matter, not criminal court fodder.

Yes, I meant a civil case, not criminal. I don't know about the theft thing. It's theft of intellectual property, is it not? It seems a relatively simple case to put on. Perhaps the biggest consideration is potential recovery. It could be, that for all the attention these plagiarism stories generate, the actual numbers of sales for the phonied up books is so small it's simply not worth the effort.

shakeysix
08-09-2014, 06:21 PM
Lies and liars fascinate me. Before I was a teacher I was a social worker. I have heard a lot of lies in my lifetime.I keep a mental file cabinet. Not all lies are told by liars. Most lies are told by ordinary people in uncomfortable circumstances. Most of us are pretty good at off- the- cuff lying but would not dream of lying for a living.

Plagiarism on this scale is not a term paper kind of lie--this is lying for a living--for the reputation if not for the money. The liar or liars behind this scheme are really bad at lying. Unexpectedly bad. The tactic of "recruiting" fake support from aunts and mothers to bluster and threaten is the kind of a lie a teen tells. What I mean is that it would frighten a kid, not an adult. The autistic child thing is also an appeal to emotion that would only appeal to a small section of readers. Lawyers, judges, the majority of adults would not be swayed by that appeal. The manuscript man who died in a car accident is laughable. Why switch persona from nieces to "dooped" authors to valiant mother of autistic child? These are the kind of inexpert lies that someone who desperately wants approval tells, not someone who wants to make lying their lifestyle.

If there is only one liar, she is young, unstable and not likely to stop plagiarizing other authors because she wants approval so desperately. I think there is more than one person doing the lying but have no idea as to motive. It could be the first time this particular author was caught but not the first time "they" pulled it off.

Pulled what off? I don't know exactly. Just a feeling that there is more to this than one plagiarism. If the late Mr. Shakey were here, he would say "Okay Miss Jane Marple, put down your tea cup and get off your dead ass. We have things to do!" --s6

Sixpence
08-09-2014, 07:16 PM
Lies and liars fascinate me.

I share a similar fascination, the machinations of liars and con-artists are guaranteed to get my attention.

Cases like this one boggle my mind. Lies upon lies upon sockpuppets upon excuses (which are possibly also lies). And to what end? I think that's what really gets me.

She wants to be known as a writer, but doesn't want to know what it is to actually write, edit and complete a book? If all she wanted was her name on a book with none of the writerly hassle attached she could have put an ad for a ghostwriter on elance or something. In her head, does a great big dollop of copypasta sprinkled with some find & replace and some shoehorned-in sexytime scenes actually equate to an original work?

Who knows where her other books came from, I expect we'll be hearing more about this over the coming weeks.

shaldna
08-09-2014, 09:36 PM
It's bad enough to have your work stolen, without also being told that this is a nice thing someone's done for you.

I know! Like, can you imagine if someone broke into your house and stole all your stuff and then someone telling you that you should be pleased because now the house is clean and minimalist?



This is the second time I've seen a publisher/author behaving badly and hiding behind "my child is autistic!" Makes me want to ask if this is the example to set for any child, autistic or not.


Let me guess, he used the old "I have autism which totes excuses whatever horrible things I do" excuse. As the sibling of someone with Asperger's, that excuse gets old really fast.

But then again, the "I have [insert condition here] which makes whatever I do okay" excuse gets attached to whatever disorder is currently being discussed in the media. Used to be Bipolar Disorder or Depression or ADHD was used as excuses.

To address both of these points - when I worked in government I used to hear these lines A LOT. And back when I used to teach it would be trotted out by indignant parents when I dared question why their kid hadn't handed in homework.

I get especially annoyed when people use illness as an excuse because my own daughter has severe chronic health issues that see her making several hopsital stays every year of a week or two at a time. I don't use that as an excuse for my behaviour, or hers. Its just a cheap shot and it leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


Plagiarism isn't "stealing" in the usual sense of the word. Morally, sure, but not in practice. You're not actually removing someone's property from their possession (kind of like making a copy and letting people download it for free), so selling it isn't in the same category as selling stolen goods. (INAL) It's a civil matter, not criminal court fodder.

And that's the rub right there, isn't it? I personally think it should be a criminal matter because it is still theft.

Ketzel
08-09-2014, 11:04 PM
There is such a thing as criminal copyright infringement. Here's a federal summary of the crimes:


Four types of criminal offenses actionable under the bill are listed in section 506 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/usc_sec_17_00000506----000-): willful infringement for profit, fraudulent use of a copyright notice, fraudulent removal of notice, and false representation in connection with a copyright application. The maximum fine on conviction has been increased to $10,000 and, in conformity with the general pattern of the Criminal Code (18 U.S.C.), no minimum fines have been provided. In addition to or instead of a fine, conviction for criminal infringement under section 506 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/usc_sec_17_00000506----000-) (a) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/usc_sec_17_00000506----000-#a) can carry with it a sentence of imprisonment of up to one year. Section 506 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/usc_sec_17_00000506----000-) (b) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/usc_sec_17_00000506----000-#b) deals with seizure, forfeiture, and destruction of material involved in cases of criminal infringement.
Section 506 (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/usc_sec_17_00000506----000-) (a) (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/usc_sec_17_00000506----000-#a) contains a special provision applying to any person who infringes willfully and for purposes of commercial advantage the copyright in a sound recording or a motion picture. For the first such offense a person shall be fined not more than $25,000 or imprisoned for not more than one year, or both. For any subsequent offense a person shall be fined not more than $50,000 or imprisoned not more than two years, or both. Here's the actual statute. (http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/506)

Of course, you need a federal prosecutor to decide the crime is worth the law enforcement resources necessary to prosecute it, and I imagine the vast majority of cases are considered more appropriate for a private civil enforcement than a criminal case.

Bicyclefish
09-03-2014, 03:22 AM
Utah schoolteacher Tiffanie Rushton aka Sam Taylor Mullen (and a dozen or more other aliases) has been served with a court summons.


Rushton has been served with a summons to appear in Federal court on complaints of copyright infringement, defamation, false light, injurious falsehood, harassment, false advertising, and deceptive trade practices. If the suit is successful, she faces statutory damages of $150,000.00, plus damages for each sale of the infringing work, damages to compensate for the other allegations in the complaint, and attorney’s fees. [...]

the plaintiff’s attorneys have request a string of injunctions: prohibiting her from using fake accounts and identities to promote herself, prohibiting further disparagement of Rachel or Rachel’s works, prohibiting her from using any name other than her own online, requiring a retraction of all her attacks on Rachel, and requiring Rushton to publicly admit her plagiarism.[source] (http://johndopp.com/plagiarism-sam-taylor-mullens-busted/)

Maggie Maxwell
09-03-2014, 03:44 AM
Utah schoolteacher Tiffanie Rushton aka Sam Taylor Mullen (and a dozen or more other aliases) has been served with a court summons.

A schoolteacher.

A schoolteacher.

This lying, cheating bully was having a daily effect on children, acting as a role model for the next generation. I just... :rant:

Marlys
09-03-2014, 03:46 AM
A schoolteacher.

A schoolteacher.

This lying, cheating bully was having a daily effect on children, acting as a role model for the next generation. I just... :rant:

Yeah. There isn't enough palm for my face.

shakeysix
09-03-2014, 05:58 AM
J. Hoptoad Christ! Talk about brass cahoonies! I am wordless. --s6

Jack Asher
09-03-2014, 06:58 AM
$150,000? She's gonna need a second mortgage. That little excursion just cost her more then she was making in 5 years.

Filigree
09-03-2014, 09:40 AM
A Utah schoolteacher. I can't recall the particulars - is she LDS? Because the LDS folks I know place a rather high value on truthfulness in everyday life and business dealings. This could have repercussions in her ward.

Old Hack
09-03-2014, 11:14 AM
I was involved in a plagiarism case a few years ago: a writer of short fiction plagiarised the work of several of his writing friends, and published the works involved in charity anthologies, and won competitions with them. When his antics were exposed he denied plagiarism and insisted he was instead taking the works further, and adding to and improving them. It was extraordinary.

He was a teacher too. An English teacher at a secondary school in the UK. He's still writing.

Becky Black
09-03-2014, 12:12 PM
Utah schoolteacher Tiffanie Rushton aka Sam Taylor Mullen (and a dozen or more other aliases) has been served with a court summons.

That's good to see and I hope the plaintiffs win. It just might discourage some of the other plagiarists and potential plagiarists out there. Most exposed ones don't seem to face any real consequences beyond losing their KDP account.

Marian Perera
09-03-2014, 05:48 PM
This is rich. The plagiarist's real name is Tiffanie Rushton. When Rachel Nunes was trying to find out more about the plagiarism, she got this emai (http://rachelannnunes.blogspot.ca/2014/08/standing-against-plagarism.html?spref=fb)l:


I am contacting you today as a personal, real-life friend of Sam Taylor Mullens. She is a remarkable mother, wife, teacher, community member and so much more... Sam has been the voice of reason and is highly respected... She is nothing less than amazing... Please do not discredit this wonderful woman in a small Indie Publishing community. They need her.

Sincerely,
Tiffanie RushtonI hope Ms. Rushton didn't hurt her arm patting herself on the back like that.

BenPanced
09-03-2014, 10:42 PM
:e2violin:

KimJo
09-04-2014, 12:16 AM
Aside from the dishonesty (lying, stealing in whatever form) potentially causing problems for her if she's LDS... didn't she turn the plagiarized book into *erotic* romance?

I was LDS for about six months. One of the reasons I left was because I was told I shouldn't be writing romance of any flavor, let alone erotic. Because it involved premarital sex. That might have just been a "thing" in my ward, but still.

Of course, not everyone in Utah is LDS, so there's every possibility what's-her-face isn't.

Marlys
09-04-2014, 12:38 AM
Of course, not everyone in Utah is LDS, so there's every possibility what's-her-face isn't.

Don't know if she is right now, but she was (http://www.mission.net/texas/dallas/pictures.php?pID=21446).

ElaineA
09-04-2014, 01:20 AM
$150,000? She's gonna need a second mortgage. That little excursion just cost her more then she was making in 5 years.

Actually, it's potentially $450,000, just in statutory damages. The charges, if proven, allow for treble damages. Also, handy lawyer hubs tells me that if it's proven to be fraud, the damages cannot be discharged in bankruptcy. Tiffanie is gonna be in deep doo-doo.

Yay! to the prosecutor for taking up the case! :partyguy:

Bicyclefish
09-04-2014, 02:01 AM
This lying, cheating bully was having a daily effect on children, acting as a role model for the next generation. I just... :rant:
A "Bethany Johnson" -- one of Tiffanie's aliases -- maintains this site (http://familyofeducators.blogspot.com). Keeping in mind some of her aliases seem to be borrowed names of real people, this is speculation, but it appears she may be teaching 1st through 3rd grade.

Also, one of her other aliases "Gibby C" I believe is the same "Gibson Caughlin" mentioned in this post: http://cjbookandmoviereview.blogspot.com/2014/08/clearing-air-about-sam-taylor-mullins.html

talktidy
09-04-2014, 02:41 AM
Hello,

I am very new around here, but my response to this was – cripes!

Honestly, I thought this sort of thing only went on with misguided teenagers reposting fanfiction as their own work – yeah, I know fanfiction, but still.

My sympathies are definitely with Ms Nunes, but is it just me, or does anyone else think the plagiarist needs help? Strikes me, she’s utterly bonkers.

Tidy

Marian Perera
09-04-2014, 03:17 AM
Honestly, I thought this sort of thing only went on with misguided teenagers reposting fanfiction as their own work yeah, I know fanfiction, but still.

Plagiarism? Hell no. Q. R. Markham, Cassie Edwards, Janet Dailey - none of them were teenagers. Shey Stahl did copy fanfics, but she wasn't a teenager either.

None of these people were misguided, IMO. They knew very well what they were doing, and they thought they could get away with it.

Kevin Nelson
09-04-2014, 09:52 AM
I was LDS for about six months. One of the reasons I left was because I was told I shouldn't be writing romance of any flavor, let alone erotic. Because it involved premarital sex.

I know I'm going off on a tangent, but isn't it perfectly possible to write romance without premarital sex? Even erotic romance? Can married couples not have hot sex?

NRoach
09-04-2014, 10:51 AM
I know I'm going off on a tangent, but isn't it perfectly possible to write romance without premarital sex? Even erotic romance? Can married couples not have hot sex?

Well, romance is something that generally deals with finding someone new and falling in love with them. Married couples have generally been there and done that.

The rediscovery of a couple's old flame could certainly make for a solid romance, but as far as I can tell, it's one of the rarer base plots.

KimJo
09-04-2014, 07:24 PM
Yeah, what NRoach said. Pretty much the definition of a romance is two people meeting, falling in love, and building a relationship (or building a relationship and falling in love). In erotic romance, part of that relationship-building is lots and lots of explicitly-written sex. Which, by the definition(ish) of the genre, has to take place *before* the marriage because it's part of the build-up to the happy ending of the story.

I do have a couple of "spice up the marriage" romances, but those are a rare subgenre, and I've had readers tell me they don't want to read about people who are already married; they want to read about how people get from meeting to *getting* married. And I've worked in the past with one or two publishers who wouldn't even allow reunited lovers or friends-to-lovers stories; the main couple had to meet for the first time at the beginning of the story and go from there.

Alexandra Little
09-05-2014, 07:40 PM
Plagiarism? Hell no. Q. R. Markham, Cassie Edwards, Janet Dailey - none of them were teenagers. Shey Stahl did copy fanfics, but she wasn't a teenager either.

None of these people were misguided, IMO. They knew very well what they were doing, and they thought they could get away with it.

And Kaavya Viswanathan, though she was just out of her teenage years when she c"wrote" her novel, and Cassandra Clare was I believe an adult when she plagiarize much of her fan fiction. There are quite a few cases out there.

Jack Asher
09-05-2014, 09:39 PM
There's a genre of Victorian Romance in which the main characters are married to avoid a scandal and only have sex after they have come to love each other.

Cathy C
09-08-2014, 06:55 AM
Bumping this with a blog link that just arrived via Twitter (http://johndopp.com/plagiarism-sam-taylor-mullens-busted/). Some rehash, but some new information, including a list of aliases of the plagiariser

aliceshortcake
09-08-2014, 10:52 AM
I'm intrigued by Doppler's claim that he knows of another case of plagiarism committed by Tiffanie Rushton...and that under the name 'Abby Forbush' she's been soliciting ARCs for review! No doubt everything she's ever published is being closely studied for more evidence of plagiarism. I hope the case goes to court and that Rushton is heavily fined.

William Haskins
09-10-2014, 04:08 AM
gawker torn between being outrage at plagiarism and tittering at the prudery of the writer who had her work stolen...

http://gawker.com/author-says-teacher-plagiarized-added-sex-stuff-to-her-1632628197/all

ElaineA
09-10-2014, 04:33 AM
I needed a laugh so thanks for the link, William Haskins. But is it Gawker tittering or the people who comment on Gawker?

Best one I saw was the first one:

"I wish that someone would steal my life and add more sex stuff to it."

to which someone even cleverer responded:

""I wish that someone would steal my life and add more sex stuff to it", IcecoldDavis typed as his lover skillfully ran her/his lips down Davis' abdomen, fingers trailing along his jawline."
:roll:
I do feel awful for Rachel Ann Nunes and all the other authors this Tiffanie person has stolen from. I hope they wring every penny out of the plagiarist.

William Haskins
09-10-2014, 05:06 AM
it's both.

the phrasing of 'sex stuff' in the headline and then italicized in the first paragraph is meant to mock the "ooo icky" reaction of the would-be prude.

Sirion
09-10-2014, 05:16 AM
This entire story is shocking. I can hardly believe this type of thing can go on in this day and age. Yet, the facts of the situation are out there for everyone to see.

This should be a wake-up call to everyone with a novel floating around out there.

-S

Lexxie
09-10-2014, 06:09 PM
http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_13637.shtml

Now it's hit the news, too.

Wilde_at_heart
09-10-2014, 06:52 PM
http://www.kutv.com/news/top-stories/stories/vid_13637.shtml

Now it's hit the news, too.

Good. I wonder if all it takes is one instance blowing up like that to deter others from trying the same thing. I'd like to think so. And while normally I object to piling on to that degree, but the way she was still trying to defend herself, lie and use socks to pretend otherwise makes me think she deserves whatever she has coming.

aliceshortcake
09-10-2014, 08:31 PM
It gets worse. In her book Hasty Resolution, published under the pen name Sam Taylor Mullens, Rushton also plagiarized Iraq veteran Chase Weston's Terror in a Cloud of Dust:

http://johndopp.com/tiffanie-rushton-plagiarism-not-isolated-incident/

I wouldn't be surprised if more examples came to light.

talktidy
09-10-2014, 10:20 PM
Plagiarism is one thing, but with all the sock puppetry, I still think Mullens needs a visit from some nice people in nice white coats.

Is there any likelihood that Rachel Nunes will receive any real restitution out of all this?

Xelebes
09-10-2014, 10:38 PM
A Utah schoolteacher. I can't recall the particulars - is she LDS? Because the LDS folks I know place a rather high value on truthfulness in everyday life and business dealings. This could have repercussions in her ward.

Commercial criminality is something that can be easily exploited in Utah, especially if you appeal to piety and evangelism. I can think of several LDS-associated businesses that flirt or exploit criminality and can rely on the church for protection, even if they are not part of the church.

I guess it's like that anywhere though.

KTC
09-10-2014, 10:38 PM
And in the WE'VE CREATED A CULTURE OF OF ENTITLEMENT YET WE ARE SHOCKED WHEN THINGS LIKE THIS HAPPEN department...

ShyWriter
09-21-2014, 08:17 AM
I didn't see this posted yet, but apparently some of the aliases Rushton's been using are the real names of kids from her 3rd grade class:

http://rachelannnunes.blogspot.com/2014/09/new-developments-in-sam-taylor-mullens.html

aliceshortcake
09-21-2014, 04:07 PM
Something tells me that Rushton's career as a teacher won't last much longer...

DreamWeaver
09-21-2014, 05:11 PM
Evidently according to the blog, some of the parents don't want to pursue this as they don't want to upset the plagiarist's life any further. Really? Really????!!!!! Someone steals my child's identity and I want to give them a pass? I simply don't understand this at all. Can someone suggest some logical reasons for not acting when one's child's identity is being used? Because I'd be more tenacious and protective than a mama pit bull, and the first people I'd be complaining to would be the school board.

Marian Perera
09-21-2014, 05:43 PM
Evidently according to the blog, some of the parents don't want to pursue this as they don't want to upset the plagiarist's life any further. Really?

No matter what crime has been committed, there will always be people who take the side of the criminal, feel sorry for him/her and feel that the embarrassment is enough of a punishment, so can't the victim back off and learn to forgive and let everyone go back to their lives instead of making such a big deal about it?

brainstorm77
09-21-2014, 07:45 PM
I was disgusted with her before, but this just tops it off. What in the world was this woman thinking? *shakes head*

jari_k
09-21-2014, 08:53 PM
Evidently according to the blog, some of the parents don't want to pursue this as they don't want to upset the plagiarist's life any further. Really? Really????!!!!! Someone steals my child's identity and I want to give them a pass? I simply don't understand this at all. Can someone suggest some logical reasons for not acting when one's child's identity is being used? Because I'd be more tenacious and protective than a mama pit bull, and the first people I'd be complaining to would be the school board.

It seems fishy to me that parents would want to protect any teacher who had used their children this way. I can't help wondering if these emails from "parents" are once again actually from the plagiarist and/or her buddies

Layla Nahar
09-21-2014, 10:00 PM
mind
blown

Marlys
09-21-2014, 10:20 PM
Wait. She...can't even come up with names on her own?

That's almost a parody of a plagiarist.

shakeysix
09-21-2014, 11:17 PM
She probably comes across as vulnerable and in distress because of good intentions. I know the type. Small towns are notorious for turning a blind eye on their own. --s6

LeslieB
09-22-2014, 12:38 AM
There is also the aspect that the parents might not want their child's name dragged into this any further. They might be worried people will associate their child with the crime, because people have a habit of remembering that they have heard a name linked to something bad, but not the details. They might prefer to fade into the shadows.

Dmbeucler
09-22-2014, 12:50 AM
While using the names is a level of awful... it isn't on the same level as say using the kids social security numbers. The less fuss the parents make the quicker people will forget about the names and hopefully by the time the kids are of an age to need their "good names," so to speak, this will all be forgotten.

Not excusing her bad behavior, but I know that is what I would be thinking if someone used my son's name for something like this.

DreamWeaver
09-22-2014, 01:36 AM
OK, I can see the logic behind some of those reasons. It wouldn't work for me, but I can see how it would seem reasonable for some folks.

elindsen
09-22-2014, 05:22 AM
I can understand parents wanting their children's names to fade. But I'm still not understanding why they don't want to do any action. Why would you want a teacher that, not only does not have the ethics she teaches in class, but one that views your child as a tool? A name to make herself and her crimes better? How can they trust her to do what's best for their children's futures?

While I can understand their reasons for not wanting to drag this into a big media thing, I would at the very least put my child in another classroom.

jjdebenedictis
09-22-2014, 06:05 AM
I have on many occasions been tempted to use my students' names in a book because, y'know, thinking up the perfect name is hard but I happen across some very beautiful ones in my work.

Big differences however: (1) I've never actually done it, (2) I would never use their full name, just a first or last name, (3) my students are adults who could comprehend what I'd done and legally fight back if they felt I'd stepped over the line, and (4) I'd only be looking for character names, not my writing pseudonym, which could lead to their reputation being sullied by my actions.

Especially here in the internet age, having one's identity stolen and used for dishonest purposes can follow the victim for a very long time and affect their life in all kinds of unpleasant and unforeseen ways.

She's a dishonest person, start to finish. I'm glad she got caught and I hope she pays for her actions, and my gosh -- I hope some of those parents raise the roof over her victimizing their children like this.

elindsen
09-22-2014, 06:33 AM
I feel bad for those kids. What if one of them wanted to be a writer? If this story gets big enough, those names will be all over it. If Jill Adler* of Utah wanted to be a writer her name is now tied to plagiarism. Or, for that matter, any type of professional career where a background check is done.

*I made that name up on the spot. Granted, a name like John Smith would be lost in this mess because it's so common. But an unusual name would be easy to track.

Polenth
09-22-2014, 08:52 AM
I feel bad for those kids. What if one of them wanted to be a writer? If this story gets big enough, those names will be all over it. If Jill Adler* of Utah wanted to be a writer her name is now tied to plagiarism. Or, for that matter, any type of professional career where a background check is done.

*I made that name up on the spot. Granted, a name like John Smith would be lost in this mess because it's so common. But an unusual name would be easy to track.

It's bad their names were used, but it won't stop them using their name in the future. By the time they're old enough for it to matter, this case will have sunk, and not be ranked highly in the search engines. All they need to do is establish their own web presence, and stuff about the real them will be the top results for a name search.

Bear in mind my name is very distinctive and I've been active on the internet since 1997. But if you search for me, the oldest stuff on the first pages comes from around 2010-2011.

And in the worst case scenario, if someone does dig enough to find this case, it's going to be clear they weren't plagiarising adult novels to write erotica when they were small children.

aliceshortcake
09-22-2014, 11:43 AM
I suppose it's possible that at least some of the parents who don't want to be involved in Nunes' legal action simply can't understand why plagiarism is such a big deal. Not everyone cares about books, and many people never pick up a book after they leave school. But even so, don't they understand that their children's names were used as part of a campaign to harrass and discredit Nunes? Still, as long as some parents are willing to support her I don't suppose it will damage her case if others choose not to.

elindsen
09-22-2014, 09:24 PM
It's bad their names were used, but it won't stop them using their name in the future. By the time they're old enough for it to matter, this case will have sunk, and not be ranked highly in the search engines. All they need to do is establish their own web presence, and stuff about the real them will be the top results for a name search.

Bear in mind my name is very distinctive and I've been active on the internet since 1997. But if you search for me, the oldest stuff on the first pages comes from around 2010-2011.

And in the worst case scenario, if someone does dig enough to find this case, it's going to be clear they weren't plagiarising adult novels to write erotica when they were small children.

Hopefully the case and time allow the children's names to fade. I hope you're right

Bicyclefish
09-23-2014, 07:38 AM
Didn't see it mentioned in this thread -- my apologies if it was -- but Nunes is not the only one Tiffanie Rushton/ Sam Taylor Mullens is accused of plagiarizing.


September 9th, 2014 My husband received an email of a John Doppler Blog showing a side by side comparison of Terror in a Cloud of Dust by Chase Weston, and the opening pages of Hasty Resolution by Sam Taylor Mullens (which is a pen name for Tiffanie Rushton) It was absolutely mind blowing; other than the omissions of the profanity my husband originally wrote they were nearly identical. [...] (I encourage everyone to see for themselves www.johndopp.com (http://johndopp.com/tiffanie-rushton-plagiarism-not-isolated-incident/).) (source) (http://rachelannnunes.blogspot.com/2014/09/open-letter-to-tiffanie-rushton.html)

aliceshortcake
09-23-2014, 12:17 PM
Didn't see it mentioned in this thread -- my apologies if it was -- but Nunes is not the only one Tiffanie Rushton/ Sam Taylor Mullens is accused of plagiarizing.

The plagiarism of Terror in a Cloud of Dust was mentioned in post 73 but it bears repeating for sheer WTF value...

haunted
03-12-2015, 05:58 AM
I'm sure we have all "riffed" off an idea from someone else's book. But this is beyond criminal. Stealing of ideas is hard to litigate. If someone publishes a book and within 6 months another writer uses many of the same ideas in their book-- that is plagiarism and the height of arrogance to pass off as your own. Especially when that writer had proven access. We all think of similar ideas sometimes, but not to that degree. I've experienced this, and it is hard to take lying down.