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Thread: The Latest Plagiarism Allegations

  1. #1
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Angry The Latest Plagiarism Allegations

    Have you seen the allegations about Cassie Edwards in the latest few entries of the SmartBitches blog? Here's the first one. (Apparently she was quoting some research sources much too closely, and paraphrasing them as well.)

    Do you think the publishers will do anything? Or will they be less likely to take these charges as seriously because the infringed works were nonfiction (in most cases, older books, and public domain in some cases)? Perhaps they will claim that it was accidental and unintentional?

    Also, thinking back to some of the previous plagiarism scandals in romance, it often seems like the infringed author is hurt not just by having her words stolen but by the way she is treated afterwards. For example, sometimes both publishers try to hush things up -- and this means the victim is pretty much set aside. Also, people have been known to point the finger at the victim. After Janet Dailey admitted to stealing from Nora Roberts, some JD fans attacked NR in letters, etc., claiming she had made it public just to sell books, etc. And the coverage of an earlier case on All About Romance shows some really bizarre occurrences. The part that angered me the most was when the plagiarist claimed that she was the one whose manuscript was stolen. She claimed that she posted her novel on the Internet (in the last 1990s), and the infringed author stole it. Her allegations were printed in Romantic Times, which accepted her claims, and as far as I know, they never printed a retraction and never apologized to Linda Turner, the infringed author.


    I noticed that in an earlier incident, Gina Wilkins told readers that if they noticed plagiarism, they should contact the author, not the publisher, as publishers tended to "sweep it under the rug." Do you think she has a point?
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  2. #2
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    I'm glad I'm not Cassie Edwards today--or any other day.

  3. #3
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    Well, they shred her pretty regularly on SBTB, which always makes me glad I'm not her.

    You'd think she'd change the passages just a little - the ones I read at Smart Bitches seemed so... stilted...
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  4. #4
    Down Under Fan HeronW's Avatar
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    To 'secure' your MS without going through government copyright, print out a copy, stuff it in an envelope and mail it to yourself.

    It comes back with a date mark from the Post Office. DO NOT OPEN IT! Tuck it away safe. Get the work pubilshed. If anyone comes along saying you took from them, when they are the plagerists, you take the STILL SEALED AND STAMPED envelope to court, open it there under the eyes of the court and by the intact timestamp --that proves you were first!
    Sometimes the only thing between the lines is empty space--except for here: http://heronw.blogspot.com/

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by HeronW View Post
    To 'secure' your MS without going through government copyright, print out a copy, stuff it in an envelope and mail it to yourself.
    Sorry, but no. This "poor man's copyright" is a myth and does not provide any protection or act as reliable evidence. Yes, I'm an attorney, but this doesn't constitute legal advice, blah blah blah (the usual disclaimers).

  6. #6
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    Wouldn't the date created stamp on a computer file help as well?
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  7. #7
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Chick View Post
    the ones I read at Smart Bitches seemed so... stilted...
    Which still makes them better than her "own" work.

    Which is now highly suspect.

    I've soaked in plenty of non-fiction to provide facts for my fiction, but never EVER just copied and changed a word or two. (In the quoted excerpts Edwards hardly did even that much.)

    Leaving out the ethics of wholesale copying (like some moron with an overdue book report), non-fiction can be hugely boring. It's a damn' stupid thing to copy and paste into a supposedly exciting adventure story.

    The sad thing is I seriously doubt anything will result from this other than a "don't do this" caution in a few writing workshops.

    Dan Brown got away with his wholesale ripoffs in DaVinci Code, and Edwards makes her publisher a lot of money. The non-fiction writers she ripped off are probably dead by now or can't afford a lawsuit.

    This is a case of "shame on you, Cassie" from a wise few, while her fans will simply not care.

    In the meantime, I expect she's currently chewing her way through more non-fiction to recycle into her dismal, overwrought drek.

    Oh--if there were any doubts, this IS me being kind to her. No one gets points for taking a baseball bat to the mentally impaired.

  8. #8
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    The only things I've ever read of hers were on the SBTB site. Thank God.
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  9. #9
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    I read one page of a Cassie Edwards and was all, "Oh, no. No, no, no, no."

    As Samuel Johnson apparently never said of someone else's writing, "What is good is not original; what is original is not good."

  10. #10
    Nefarious Ghost Fan AnneMarble's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jersey Chick View Post
    Well, they shred her pretty regularly on SBTB, which always makes me glad I'm not her.

    You'd think she'd change the passages just a little - the ones I read at Smart Bitches seemed so... stilted...
    You should read her actual prose.


    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    Which still makes them better than her "own" work.

    Which is now highly suspect.
    Yup. She was already held up as an example of a trite writer with silly plots who managed to be insulting to Native Americans by portraying them as "noble savages." (All About Romance stopped reviewing her books because every one we got was bad, and it just seemed silly to keep tormenting the reviewers.) Now she's gone even beyond that. I read a few chapters of one of her more recent books (Savage Something or Another, I think) before writing a column. Oy.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    Leaving out the ethics of wholesale copying (like some moron with an overdue book report), non-fiction can be hugely boring. It's a damn' stupid thing to copy and paste into a supposedly exciting adventure story.
    That sort of writing stands out like a sore thumb, even if it's not plagiarism. While reviewing for AAR, I came across two stories (one a swashbuckling historical and one a contemporary romantic suspense) that took a complete stop to lecture the reader about the rain forest. zzz

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    The sad thing is I seriously doubt anything will result from this other than a "don't do this" caution in a few writing workshops.

    Dan Brown got away with his wholesale ripoffs in DaVinci Code, and Edwards makes her publisher a lot of money. The non-fiction writers she ripped off are probably dead by now or can't afford a lawsuit.
    Yeah, one of them was an article on ferrets. Good luck selling articles on ferrets and having enough cash to go after a major publisher.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    This is a case of "shame on you, Cassie" from a wise few, while her fans will simply not care.


    In the meantime, I expect she's currently chewing her way through more non-fiction to recycle into her dismal, overwrought drek.
    Gee, tell us what you really think. But I'm afraid you're right. She'll just go on publishing because she has a core audience. Apparently she's very popular with a certain set of older readers. I can't tell the books apart unless the model wears an especially bright loincloth.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillhoughly View Post
    Oh--if there were any doubts, this IS me being kind to her. No one gets points for taking a baseball bat to the mentally impaired.
    Last edited by AnneMarble; 01-08-2008 at 08:16 PM.
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  11. #11
    resident alien dolores haze's Avatar
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    I've been following this on Smart Bitches and Dear Author.

    I wish it was someone other than Smart Bitches who broke this story, beacuse they've bashed Edwards so much (deservedly so in my opinion), that it will just seem (to many) like they're sticking the knife into an author whose work they despise, instead of what it is - a gutsy and honest investigation of blatant plagiarism.

    I really hope Candy and Sarah don't get hauled into court over this. It isn't Lanaia Lee all over again - Edwards and her publisher are well able to afford legal action. Here's hoping Edwards chooses to do the right thing. Or maybe I'm just worrying too much.

    And, OMG! I could hardly believe Jennifer Cruisie's comment!

  12. #12
    starting over Marian Perera's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AnneMarble View Post
    I read a few chapters of one of her more recent books (Savage Something or Another, I think) before writing a column. Oy.
    Most of her Native American romances are titled that way. Savage Innocence, Savage Sunrise, Savage Sunset, Savage Moon, Savage Fires, Savage Embers, Savage Dance, Savage Joy, Savage Eden, Savage Surrender... it just goes on and on. I sometimes wonder if anyone can tell the difference between them. I heard that she intended to write a book for each Native American tribe, as if they hadn't suffered enough already.

  13. #13
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    Most of her Native American romances are titled that way. Savage Innocence, Savage Sunrise, Savage Sunset, Savage Moon, Savage Fires, Savage Embers, Savage Dance, Savage Joy, Savage Eden, Savage Surrender...
    That was what tipped me off to her lack of Getting It right there.

  14. #14
    Eternal Lurker smlgr8's Avatar
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    Is she the one whose books have all been the same for year and years, only the names have been changed? All with white women heroines and Native American heroes? Right? I always figured she was plagerizing herself over and over again.

  15. #15
    Eternal Lurker smlgr8's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Queen of Swords View Post
    Most of her Native American romances are titled that way. Savage Innocence, Savage Sunrise, Savage Sunset, Savage Moon, Savage Fires, Savage Embers, Savage Dance, Savage Joy, Savage Eden, Savage Surrender... it just goes on and on. I sometimes wonder if anyone can tell the difference between them. I heard that she intended to write a book for each Native American tribe, as if they hadn't suffered enough already.
    Oh yes, I see it is her. Should have read all the posts first. My bad. Yeah, I didn't even know her stuff was still getting published.

  16. #16
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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    Stop, you're making me long for the scene in Little Big Man where all the N.A.s in the world ride down on Custer!

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  17. #17
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    I'd never heard of her either, until SMTB came along. I don't know how often it happens, either.

    I used to be paranoid about someone stealing my brilliance - now I realize that it ain't all that brilliant and no sane person would want to steal it.
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  18. #18
    Hapless Virago IceCreamEmpress's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mollyluna View Post
    Where is it? Where is it? I'm looking for it... link please?

    It's on either the second or the third installment of the saga, 10 or 15 comments in. I think it reads, in toto, "Did Carrie Edwards run over your dog or something?"

    On a later installment, Crusie comes back and says (and this one is a paraphrase), "I don't mean to minimize the plagiarism issue at all, but you guys love to use Edwards as a punching bag."

  19. #19
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    Oh... if it's the one I think it is, it's in this section:

    Cassie Edwards Investigatory Extravaganza II: This Time, it’s Not Dangeresque I
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  20. #20
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    It's never a good idea to read either Smart Bitches or the comments while drinking or eating. Good way to choke.
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  21. #21
    Grumpy writer and editor Absolute Sage Gillhoughly's Avatar
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  22. #22
    resident alien dolores haze's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by IceCreamEmpress View Post
    It's on either the second or the third installment of the saga, 10 or 15 comments in. I think it reads, in toto, "Did Carrie Edwards run over your dog or something?"

    On a later installment, Crusie comes back and says (and this one is a paraphrase), "I don't mean to minimize the plagiarism issue at all, but you guys love to use Edwards as a punching bag."
    Thanks. I should have provided the link. I didn't catch her second comment. For those who might be wondering about what Cruisie means when she refers to "punching bag", here is a link to a review of "Savage Moon" in which the Smart Bitches refer to "Savage Moon" as "the literary equivalent of maggot infested cheese."

    http://www.smartbitchestrashybooks.c...assie_edwards/

    For the record, I agree with every word in this brilliant, hilarious and "savage" review.

  23. #23
    Working, working, working... AW Moderator Calla Lily's Avatar
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    Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. Oh my gosh. I just read that review. I had to stuff a napkin my mouth to stifle the hysterical laughter (I'm at work).

    And I though my recent review of a bad movie was snarky!

  24. #24
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    Go read their posts on the mockup of romance covers. More than once, my husband's come to check on me because I was laughing like a total lunatic.
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  25. #25
    Up all night to get Loki Jersey Chick's Avatar
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    Might be. There are a few of them. Hang on, I'm trying to look, but the site is loading reeeaalll slllloooowwww.... BRB

    ETA: Yes... that's the one!
    Last edited by Jersey Chick; 01-09-2008 at 12:25 AM.
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