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?